What Is BCC (Blind Carbon Copy) In Emails?

Email is a popular way of communication in private life and business life. Emails can be sent to multiple recipients in different ways. To, CC (Carbon Copy), BCC (Blind Carbon Copy) can be used to specify recipients in different ways. BCC (Blind Carbon Copy) is a very useful feature for emails.


We have to start from the basic email options where To: is used to specify the recipients. To is used to specify the receivers explicitly and the recipient is addressed directly to take action. Carbon Copy (CC) and Blind Carbon Copy (BCC) is used to send a copy of the mail and they are not directly responsible for the email.

CC (Carbon Copy)

Carbon Copy (CC) is used to send a copy of the email to the other recipients. Carbon Copy usage comes from the teletypewriters where the pages will copy with Carbon Copy. CC receivers generally do not take action related to the email. CC receivers can see other CC receivers and also To part.

BCC (Blind Carbon Copy)

Blind Carbon Copy is a blind version of the CC which means it is similar to CC where BCC is blind. BCC is used to hide BCC recipients from To and CC recipients. BCC can be useful to hide recipients from each other in different cases.

BCC Example

Below we can see an example email with To, CC, and BCC parts. There is also a simple email body. We will examine the visibility of the all To, CC, and BCC recipients

To:[email protected]; [email protected]; 

CC:[email protected]; [email protected];

BCC:[email protected]; [email protected];

Subject: Hello

Hello everyone,
Please reply back to the recipients

Which can be shortened like below. We will just show the names of the related parts.

To: Ismail, Hakki

CC: Ahmet, Ali

BCC: Elif, Ecrin

Subject: Hello

Hello everyone, 
Please reply back to the recipients
  • Ismail and Hakki can see Ahmet and Ali but can not see Elif and Ecrin.
  • Ahmet and Ali can see Ismail and Hakki but can not see Elif and Ecrin.
  • Elif can see Ismail,Hakki, Ahmet and Ali but can not see Ecrin.
  • Ecrin can see Ismail,Hakki, Ahmet and Ali but can not see Elif.

As we can see that nobody can see Elif and Ecrin.  Everyone can see Ismail, Hakki, Ahmet and Ali.

BCC Gmail

Google mail or Gmail provides the BCC part like below. CC and BCC can be enabled from the new email right upper corner by clicking CC and BCC which will be shown below To: part.

BCC Gmail
BCC Gmail

BCC Microsoft Outlook

BCC can be used in Office 365 or Microsoft Exchange Server like below. CC and BCC can be shown from the right upper corner of the new mail by clicking to the CC and BCC labels. The following example can be implemented in Outlook desktop client too.

BCC Outlook
BCC Outlook

When To Use BCC?

Well BCC can be used for different cases and situations where we want to hide some of the email receivers from others or all of them from each other.

  • Sending an email to a group of receivers to hide them from each other.
  • BCC can prevent spamming the receivers from each other.
  • If there are a lot of receivers only some of them can see each other.
  • When we want to remove someone from future responses to the given email thread.
  • BCC stops overflowing of email inboxes where To, CC line replies to original email will not be forwarded to the BCC line.
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When Not To Use BCC?

As BCC can be seed very handy way some cases but in other cases, it may seem some problematic and unpolite way. So there are some situations we do not to use BCC.

  • Using BCC is a sneaky way where it may harm the trust between parties.
  • Not all of the recipients can see each other it may create some duplicate and extra questions.

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