What do cc and bcc mean?

Cc and bcc can both be used to send copies of an email to additional recipients. But have you sometimes wondered what the letters stand for? Or have you steered clear of both because you aren’t quite sure about the difference between cc and bcc? In this post, we’ll explain when to use cc vs bcc, how it works in your mail.com account – and what this all has to do with typewriters.

How to use cc

By putting the email address(es) in the Cc field you send a copy of the email to those recipient(s) for their information only, indicating that no reply is required or expected. Those email addresses are also visible to the main recipient (whose address is in the "To" field) and they can decide whether to reply to the sender only (by choosing "Reply") or to also include the cc’ed addresses (by clicking "Reply all").

How to use bcc

The recipients put in the Bcc field are invisible to all other recipients (under “To” or “Cc”). This option is useful if you wish to keep the email addresses private. This also means that the bcc'ed recipients will not receive any reply emails from the other recipients.

When should I use bcc in an email?

Using the bcc function can be very useful if you are, for instance, sending out a newsletter and need to protect the data privacy of all the recipients by not displaying their email addresses to others. Or if you are inviting both friends and coworkers to a party and you don’t want to share people’s work email addresses with everyone. Another advantage here is that bcc recipients don’t receive copies of replies to your original email – so even if one of your bcc’d party guests accidently hits “Reply all” to tell you “Love to come!”, their message won’t clutter up the inboxes of all 100 people on your invite list! It is, however, considered bad form to bcc your boss on a message to a coworker – if you are getting people higher up in the chain involved, you should be transparent and add them under cc.

Where do I find cc and bcc in my mail.com account?

In your mail.com email inbox, click Compose E-mail. This opens up a window where you can write a new message. On the right side under Send, you’ll find a button marked Cc/Bcc. Click this button:
Screenshot of "Cc/Bcc" option in mail.com email
Click "Cc/Bcc" to open the fields

This will cause Cc and Bcc fields to appear underneath the To field. Either type the email address of the desired recipients directly into this field, or click the address book icon to the left of the letters to select recipients from your Contacts:

Screenshot showing fields to enter email recipient(s)
Enter your recipient(s) in the desired field(s)

Bonus explainer:

What does bcc stand for?

In the golden age of typewriters – before we had copy machines and computers – the only way to have an identical copy of the document you typed was to make a “carbon copy” by placing a sheet of carbon paper under the page you were typing, which in turn left an imprint of what was typed on a blank page underneath it. And as a courtesy to the primary recipient, a typist would write “CC to: Name” at the end of the letter. When email came into use, the term “cc” got a new lease on life. And the term “blind carbon copy,” or “bcc” was now used to mean a copy of an email sent to recipients who were not disclosed, meaning the other recipients were “blind” to their existence.

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