How to Send an Email to Undisclosed Recipients From Gmail

Protect email recipients' privacy when sending Gmail messages

When you send a message from Gmail with multiple addresses in the "To" field, each recipient can see the email addresses of all other recipients. To send a message to undisclosed recipients in Gmail, you must use the "Bcc" field.

Instructions in this article apply to the web version of Gmail.

How to Send Email to Undisclosed Gmail Recipients

Each recipient in the Bcc field receives a copy of the email, but they cannot see the names of the other recipients, which protects everyone's privacy. To send a message in Gmail with all email addresses hidden:

  1. Select Compose in Gmail to start a new message.

    You can also press the C key to bring up the message composition window if you have Gmail keyboard shortcuts enabled.

    Compose button in Gmail
  2. In the To field, type Undisclosed recipients followed by your own email address within angle brackets. For example: Undisclosed recipients <>

    To undisclosed recipients in Gmail
  3. Select Bcc.

    If you don't see the Bcc field, click Bcc on the top right of the message you created. You can also use the Gmail keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Shift+B (Windows) or Command+Shift+B (Mac) to display the Bcc field.

    Add Bcc recipients in Gmail
  4. Type the email addresses of all recipients in the Bcc field.

    You must separate multiple email recipients with a comma.

    Type bcc recipients in New Message window
  5. Type your message and provide an email subject, then select Send.

    You can add text formatting using the toolbar at the bottom of the compose window.

    Send button in Gmail

This method cannot be used for large mailings. According to Google, free Gmail is meant for personal use, not for bulk mailing. If you attempt to add the addresses of a large group of recipients in the Bcc field, the entire mailing may fail.

How to Make an Email Group in Gmail

If you frequently send messages to the same group of recipients, consider creating an email group in Gmail:

  1. Open Google Contacts and check the box beside each contact you want to include in the group.

    Selecting contacts in gmail
  2. Press the label button above the list, then select Create Label in the sidebar.

    Create label for contact in Gmail
  3. Enter a name for the new group and select Save.

    Create new label for Gmail contact
  4. To add more contacts to a group, select the contact(s), then select the Label icon and choose the group.

    Manage Gmail contacts labels
  5. A check mark will appear next to the group name. Select Apply to add the contact(s) to the group.

    Applying a label in Gmail contacts

When composing an email, type the name of the new group in the Bcc field. Gmail will populate the field with the complete name, and no one in the group will be able to see the addresses of any other recipients.

If you want all recipients to know who else is receiving the message, add a note at the beginning that lists all recipients minus their email addresses.

What About Reply All?

Email addresses in the Bcc field are copies of the email only. If a recipient chooses to reply, they can only reply to addresses listed in the To and Cc fields. For this reason, Bcc is a great way to stop a reply-all chain before it starts.