How to Email Multiple Recipients Using Cc and Bcc

When and how you should use these two options

This article explains how to email multiple recipients using the Cc and Bcc fields in your email program.

Email Multiple Recipients Using Cc and Bcc

The new email screen in every email program has a To field where you enter the recipient's name or email address. Many outgoing email screens display a Cc field as well, and some display a Bcc field. Whether or not you see them, the Cc and Bcc fields are available in your email provider. You may have to take an extra step to find and display them.

After the fields show at the top of your email, you can type as many email addresses as you want, each separated by a comma. Your outgoing email goes to each person listed in the Cc and Bcc fields, along with anyone in the To field.

How to Locate and Open Cc and Bcc Fields

If you don't see the Cc and Bcc fields, you have to look for them. Once you activate the fields, they may (or may not, depending on the email program) remain in place for every new email you send.

For example: In Gmail, select either Cc or Bcc (or both) in the upper-right corner of a new message.

Gmail new email screen

There is no one-size-fits-all place to look. In Safari, the fields are selected in the View tab; in Outlook, they are available in the Options section.

What Cc Means and How to Use It

Cc is short for carbon copy. Before mail went digital, carbon copy paper made it possible to send the same letter to two people without writing or typing it twice.

"Cc" in emails.

When an email address is entered in the Cc field, that person receives a copy of the message sent to the person in the To field. It's useful for keeping people in the loop even if they're not the focus of the message.

More than one email address can be entered in the Cc field, and all addresses will receive a copy of the email.

The Shortcomings of Cc

There are some downsides to sending email carbon copies. When you use the Cc field, both the original recipient and all carbon copy recipients see the email addresses the message was sent to, and some people might object to their email address going public.

Plus, crowded Cc fields don't look good. They can become quite long and take up screen space. Even worse, when somebody replies to all in your message, every addressee in the Cc field receives the response.

What Bcc Means and How to Use It

Bcc stands for blind carbon copy. This field hides the email addresses entered in it. Only the original sender of the email can view the Bcc recipients. So, to keep maximum anonymity, put your email address in the To field and use Bcc for recipients.

"Bcc" field highlighted in new email

People in the Bcc field also don't receive reply emails from To or Cc recipients, which is handy during a lengthy mail conversation if you don't want to spam everyone's inboxes.

Bcc is also useful when you send a newsletter or send a message to undisclosed recipients.

Adding Bcc Recipients

Each operating system and email program has a slightly different method for adding Bcc recipients. Here's how to add Bcc recipients in Windows, macOS, and popular email programs.

Adding Bcc Recipients in Windows (AOL and Outlook Mail)

To add Bcc recipients in AOL, select Compose to open a new email, then click Bcc in the To field. The Bcc field then displays under the To field. Enter addresses in the Bcc field.

AOL Mail - Selecting "Compose" and "Cc Bcc" to add Bcc line.

To add Bcc recipients in Outlook, open a new email, then select Options. Select Show Fields (three vertical dots) > Bcc to add the recipients.

Outlook mail - Selecting "Options," "Show Fields," and "Bcc."

When forwarding or replying to an email in Outlook, go to the Message tab (three vertical dots in upper-right corner of screen) to access Show Fields.

Adding Bcc Recipients in macOS

To add Bcc recipients in macOS, open a new email window and select View. Type the addresses in the Bcc Address field. 

Adding Bcc Recipients in iOS Mail

To add Bcc recipients in iOS Mail, first tap the compose icon, then tap Cc/Bcc, From to expand the field. Tap the Bcc field that displays and add recipients.

Adding "Bcc" field on iOS.

Adding Bcc Recipients in Gmail, Outlook.com, and Yahoo Mail

To add Bcc Recipients in Gmail, select Compose to open a new message. In the To field, select the down-arrow on mobile devices or Bcc on the desktop. Enter recipients in the Bcc field that displays.

Gmail - Selecting "Compose" and the down-arrow in To field to add Bcc field.

The keyboard shortcut to create a Bcc field in Gmail in Windows is Ctrl+Shift+B and Command+Shift+B in macOS.

To add Bcc recipients in Outlook.com, select New Message, then select Bcc in the From field. Enter recipients in the Bcc field that displays.

Outlook.com - Selecting "New Message" and "Bcc" to add Bcc field.

To add Bcc recipients in Yahoo Mail, select Compose to open a new message, then select CC / BCC in the TO field. Enter recipients in the BCC field.

Yahoo mail - Selecting "Compose" and "BCC" to add BCC field.
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