How to Use BCC in Gmail

Hide recipients' addresses from each other in an email

An illustration of an email with multiple recipients.

 Lifewire

BCC (blind carbon copy) allows you to hide the addresses of email recipients from each other. Entering an address in the BCC field makes it invisible to other recipients of that emal.

Although this procedure covers the use of Gmail on the web, most email programs handle BCC very similarly. In fact, RFC 2822 — an official standard — specifies how BCC should be implemented regardless of the program or service.

How to Bcc People With Gmail

  1. Select Compose to start a new email.

    Gmail compose message
  2. Select Bcc to the far right of New Message window.

    Another way to toggle this field is to enter Ctrl+Shift+B in Windows or Command+Shift+B in macOS.

    Gmail window open to New Message window.
  3. Enter the primary recipient(s) in the To section. These addresses are visible to every recipient.

    To hide the addresses of all recipients, leave the To field blank, or enter your own address.

  4. In the Bcc field, enter all the email addresses you want to hide but to which you are sending the email.

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

More About BCC

BCC is useful for two major reasons:

  1. As an administrative tool, it prevents "reply-all" snarls when someone replies to the entire list, which spirals into additional replies and unnecessary emails.
  2. It keeps people's information private. Because the names and addresses of individual BCC recipients remain obscured to all but the sender, the privacy of the people receiving the message is assured.

BCC isn't without its downside, however. People in corporate settings sometimes use this field to surreptitiously loop in supervisors or coworkers.

Rule of thumb: Don't use BCC unless you'd be OK with the BCC list accidentally leaking.