Remove All Email Addresses When Forwarding a Message

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Some email messages are worth forwarding.

If many people share that opinion, many will forward a particular message, and they will forward it to many other people. Most email programs insert the headers including To: and often Cc: by default when you forward a message.

What Happens if You Do Not Remove Addresses

This has a single advantage that everybody knows who already got a particular message. No need to forward the same email to the same person twice.

But including all header information with all other To: and Cc: recipients has overwhelming disadvantages.

  • The message looks horrible, and often the actual content is buried and hard to find between all the email address.
  • You share the email addresses with third parties without the consent of the addresses' owners. I wouldn't want my address given to I don't know who just because somebody forwarded me something that she also happened to forward to 150 other people.

Remove All Email Addresses When You Forward a Message

That's why you should always

  • remove all email addresses

(except for the original sender if you deem it appropriate) before you send a forward. If you forward the message inline, just highlight them and hit Del. If you forward the message as an attachment, you might have to take some extra steps.