How to Email Multiple Recipients Using Cc and Bcc

When and how you should use these two options

What to Know

  • Add a Cc or Bcc field to new emails. Enter the recipients' names or email addresses. The difference? Bcc provides anonymity.
  • Everyone on the email can see who is Cc'd, but only the sender knows who was Bcc'd on a message.
  • People in the Bcc field don't receive reply emails from To or Cc recipients.

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 enter as many addresses into them 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, of course.

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

The CC and/or Bcc fields are added to the new outgoing email.

GMail new message screen with Cc and Bcc fields

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 Where to Enter 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 having to write or type it twice.

Screenshot of the Cc field in Gmail

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 Where to Place 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.

Screenshot of Bcc field in Gmail

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.

Add Blind Carbon Copy Recipients

Follow the links below for your operating system and email program to find out how to add Bcc recipients to your email:

Windows

OS X

Mobile

Web

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