What do CC and BCC mean in emails?

What do CC and BCC mean in emails?

Woman typing email on laptop
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CC stands for carbon copy while BCC stands for blind carbon copy. Use CC when you want to send a copy of an email to a recipient. Use BCC when you want to send a copy but hide the recipient’s email address.

CC and BCC are standard fields that you will see in your inbox. But what does CC mean anyway? What does BCC mean? Here, we’ll answer your questions by explaining the two terms and how you can use them in your emails.

What do CC and BCC mean?

CC means carbon copy. Similarly, BCC stands for blind carbon copy. The term “carbon copy” comes from a time before e-mail. When physical memos and letters were used, the creator placed a piece of carbon paper between the pages to make a copy.

Carbon paper in a box on a flat surface
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The terms CC and BCC have been kept at the beginning of the email, where you can copy or blind copy another recipient on the message.

What does CC mean in an email?

CCing or copying a recipient in an email means sending them a copy of the message by inserting their email address in the CC field. When you do, those on the “To” line can see the email addresses of those on the CC line and vice versa.

RELATED: How to CC or BCC in Gmail

When should you use CC?

When you send an email to a recipient, you add their address in the “To” field. This is the person for whom the message is intended and may even compel them to act.

If you want to include another person in the email just to let them know, now is the time to use the CC line. This ensures that the CC recipient understands that the email is for their information only and does not require any action.

CC field in an email

For example, you may email a customer with a service quote and want to copy your manager so they are aware of the message and quote. This is the perfect time to use the CC field.

You may also encounter situations where someone asks you to copy it to an email, which is common in the workplace. This means that they want to be kept informed, see the message you send or have it as a reference. Again, this is when you should use the CC field instead of the “To” line.

What does BCC mean in an email?

BCC or blind carbon copy of a recipient in an email means copying it to the message using the BCC field. When you add someone to the Bcc line in an email, they receive a copy of the message, but their email address remains private. This means that no one on the “To” or CC fields can see the email address of the person you blind copy on message.

RELATED: How to Add Bcc in Outlook Emails

When should you use BCC?

If it’s important for a recipient to see an email, but you want to keep their email address private, now is the time to use BCC.

Bcc field in an email

For example, maybe you want to send an email to all your customers telling them you’ll be out of the office for a few days, but you don’t want your customers to see each other’s email addresses. This is an excellent time to use the BCC field.

Similar to our CC example earlier, your boss or supervisor may ask you to blind copy them to an email you send. While this still means the person wants to stay up to date with your message, they don’t want your recipient (on the “To” line) to see their email address.

A key difference between BCC and CC is that it’s not just about the field you use to address the email. The one you choose determines which email addresses can be seen by other recipients.

And this is the basis of BCC and CC. You want to know more ? Learn how to add a BCC in Outlook or how to CC or BCC in Gmail.


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