How to Use Bcc in Gmail

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To blind carbon copy (Bcc) someone is to email them in a way where they can't see the other Bcc recipients. In other words, it's used to email hidden contacts. 

Say you want to email your 10 potential new employees at the same time with the same message but in a way where none of them can see the email addresses of the other recipients. This might be done in an effort to keep the addresses private or so that the email looks more professional.

Another example might be if you're actually wanting to email just one of them but make it look like it's going to the whole company. From the perspective of the one recipient, the email looks like it's going to multiple undisclosed recipients and isn't necessarily targeting the one employee.

Other examples could be given as well since Bcc isn't just reserved for professional settings. For instance, maybe you like to send copies of your emails to yourself without the other recipients knowing.

Remember that the To and Cc fields do show all the recipients to every other recipient, so be aware of that when you choose which field to put the addresses into.

How to Bcc People With Gmail

  1. Select Compose to start a new email.

  2. Select the Bcc link to the far right of the To text area. You should now see both the To and Bcc field. Another way to toggle this field is to enter Ctrl+Shift+B on Windows or Command+Shift+B on a Mac.

  3. Enter the primary recipient in the To section. You can even write more than one address here just like you can when sending regular mail. Just remember, however, that addresses here are shown to every recipient, even every Bcc recipient.

    You can also hide the addresses of all recipients by leaving the field blank or entering your own address.

  4. Use the Bcc field to enter all the email addresses you want to hide but still get the message. 

  5. Edit your message as you see fit and then select Send.

If you're using Inbox instead of Gmail, use the plus button on the bottom corner of that page to start a new message, and then select the arrow to the right of the To field to show the Bcc and Cc fields.

More on How Bcc Works

It's important to really dig into how Bcc works when sending emails so that you set up the message properly depending on how you want it to appear to the recipients.

Let's say Jim wants to send an email to Olivia, Jeff, and Hank but doesn't want Olivia to know that the message is also going to Jeff and Hank. To do this, Jim should put Olivia's email in the To field so that it's isolated from the Bcc contacts, and then put both Jeff and Hank in the Bcc field.

What this does is makes Olivia think that the email she got was sent to just her, when in reality, behind the scenes, it was also copied to Jeff and Hank. However, since Jeff was put into the Bcc area of the message, he will see that Jim sent the message to Olivia but that he was copied. The same is true for Hank.

However, another layer of this is that neither Jeff nor Hank knows that the message was blind carbon copied to the other person! For example, Jeff's message will show that the email came from Jim and was sent to Olivia, with him in the Bcc field. Hank will see the exact same thing but his email in the Bcc field instead of Hank's.

So, in other words, each individual Bcc recipient will see the sender and anyone in the To field, but none of the Bcc recipients can see the other Bcc recipients.