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What do CC and BCC mean in Gmail?

How To
By
November 29, 2021
Gmail logo on smartphone stock photo 3
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Email has evolved over the years to include some really cool cutting-edge features. But some features have been there since the beginning, especially CC and BCC. You may be wondering what CC and BCC means in Gmail and when you would use it. We’re here to explain it.

Read more: How to create a group email in Gmail

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In Gmail, CC means Carbon Copy and BCC means Blind Carbon Copy. BCC is used when you want to send a copy of an email to another person, without the main email recipient knowing you’ve done so. BCC can also be used to send an email to multiple people, without each recipient knowing the email details of the others.

What do CC and BCC mean in Gmail and how would you use them?

Back in the Dark Ages, when we were all using typewriters (anyone under the age of 20 can Google it!), you would put an extra piece of paper underneath the one you were typing on. That piece of paper was called “carbon paper” and when you typed on the top sheet, an imprint of what you typed would appear on the carbon paper. That would be your carbon copy of the document. Basically an early form of photocopiers or computer printers.

Now that we’re all in the digital age, and typewriters have gone the way of the dinosaurs, we’re all using email for our communications. The email equivalents of carbon copies are Carbon Copy (CC) and Blind Carbon Copy (BCC), which are what you see when you start a new email to someone.

CC is when you send an email to more than one recipient at the same time, but all recipients can see that the others have a copy, and they can see one another’s email address. This would commonly be used if you’re emailing a work colleague, but you also want to keep your boss in the loop.

But what if confidentiality, privacy, and secrecy are paramount? Then that’s when BCC comes into play. By entering the email addresses into BCC, none of the email’s recipients will know who else has a copy. They also won’t be able to view the email addresses of those people. As well as emails containing sensitive information, BCC is also ideal for group emails where, for spam reasons, you wouldn’t want to give out everyone’s details.

How to send emails with undisclosed recipients in Gmail?

If you want to send emails with undisclosed recipients in Gmail, you should use the BCC option. This hides the email addresses of other recipients of the email. Not only will recipients in the BCC field be unaware of each other, recipients in the To and CC fields won’t know about the BCC recipients either. This is useful when you want to email multiple people without disclosing their addresses to other recipients. This works well for users who have distribution lists, like teachers who are emailing students assignments.


Read more: How to recall an email in Gmail