You can use the ‘Cc’ and ‘Bcc’ fields if you want to send a message to more than one person. ‘Cc’ stands for ‘Carbon copy’ and ‘Bcc’ stands for ‘Blind carbon copy’. With ‘Bcc’ you can hide the identity of the person(s) receiving the email.
Sometimes you have an email message that you need to send to lots of people. You might, for example, want to send digital photos of a wedding or birthday party to all your friends and family, or email everyone in a group or society you belong to. There are three ways of sending an email to more than one person, and they are common to most email and webmail programs. You can put all the addresses in the ‘To’ field, or you can use one or both of the ‘Cc and ‘Bcc’ fields.
Why you should use ‘Cc’ and ‘Bcc’
When to use the ‘To’ field for all recipients, and when to use ‘Cc’, is not so clear-cut. As a general guideline, if you want someone to see an email but don’t really expect a reply, you can use the ‘Cc’ field. If you want a reply you could put their address in the ‘To’ field.
‘Cc’ – step by step:
- Open your email or webmail program and create your email.
- Enter the main recipient(s) in the ‘To’ field – the people from whom you expect a reply.
- Enter other recipients in the ‘Cc’ field. With some email programs and webmail you might have to first click a button saying ‘Show Cc field’ or ‘Show Cc and Bcc field’.
- Send the email as normal
How to use ‘Bcc’
In some programs, you may have to do a bit of work before you use ‘Bcc’ for the first time. In Outlook Express, for example, you need to create your message and then click on the ‘View’ menu – and ensure that ‘All Headers’ has a tick next to it, as in the image below.
You shouldn’t need to do this again but if so, just repeat these steps.
‘Bcc’ - step by step:
- Open your email or webmail program and create a new email.
- If the ‘Bcc’ field is not visible, you will need to make it visible now.
- Enter the main recipient(s) in the ‘To’ field – the people from whom you expect a reply. If you wish, you can leave this blank or enter your own address.
- Enter all the other people you wish to send the email to anonymously. No address entered in this field will be visible to any other person receiving it. The addresses will show up as something like ‘Undisclosed Recipients’.
- Send the email as normal.
The ‘Bcc’ field is really useful for protecting people’s privacy and preventing their email address being forwarded around the internet and misused.