Table of contents
The ins and outs of BCC
The ins and outs of BCC

More about Bcc

Your browser does not support video.

Use Bcc to protect your privacy and the privacy of your recipients. You can also use it to keep names confidential, but this can get complicated. Watch this video for some important precautions.

Want more?

Introduction to IRM for email messages

Create a contact group

Create a contact group from a list of names in an email message

Create a contact group from a list of contacts in Excel

In general, Bcc can be used for two things. First, Bcc allows you to protect the privacy of the individuals.

For example, when you send a message with a large distribution, such as a newsletter, you can add the recipients’ addresses in the Bcc field to ensure that the people who receive the mail can read your message, but cannot see the names or email addresses of other recipients.

And even if they click Reply All, they’ll only be able to send a message to you, the sender.

To protect your privacy, you can also change the address in the From field.

Click the OPTIONS tab, and add the From field.

Then, select another email address from which to send the newsletter.

Now, recipients cannot contact you directly.

For more information about sending email from another address in Outlook, see the links in the course summary.

The other way you can use Bcc is to keep names confidential, but this can get complicated.

For example, let's say you have concerns about the professionalism of a colleague’s behavior, and even though you are dealing with the situation yourself, you’d like your manager to be aware of the situation and the steps you are taking.

By adding your manager as a Bcc recipient, you can ensure awareness, but not publicly bring them into the conversation.

You want the person you replied to, to believe that the conversation is just between the two of you.

Well, you can imagine the ethical, and even emotional complications that could arise.

For example, imagine what would happen if the person you put in Bcc decided to Reply All to the email.

You’d have a lot of explaining to do.

First, make sure you don’t get into a situation in which a Bcc recipient will reply to a message or use the information in the message in a way you hadn’t intended.

You can do that by simply making sure the Bcc recipient knows your intentions and can be trusted.

Second, if you are the Bcc recipient of a message, don't violate the trust of the sender and jump into a conversation you haven’t been invited to.

Third, when in doubt, don't use Bcc. Forward the message instead.

Then, if you feel it is the right thing to do, you can protect the privacy of the original recipients by deleting their names.

You can further protect privacy by using Information Rights Management.

To learn more about this, Bcc, and to get tips for creating a mailing list, check out the links in the course summary.

Need more help?

Expand your skills
Explore Training
Get new features first
Join Microsoft Insiders

Was this information helpful?

What affected your experience?

Thank you for your feedback!