HomeWinBuzzer TipsHow to Add BCC or CC in Outlook and Outlook.com

How to Add BCC or CC in Outlook and Outlook.com

We explain what Cc and Bcc in Outlook are while explaining how to add recipients and what situations to use them in.


If you don’t often send email in a corporate setting, you may be a little confused about the Bcc and Cc options in Outlook. We’re going to take the time today to explain what they are, how they work, and most importantly how to add BCC or CC in Outlook emails.

What is Bcc and Cc in Outlook?

Cc stands for “carbon copy” and is a way to transparently copy an email across to additional recipients. Bcc, meanwhile, stands for “blind carbon copy”, and lets you copy in others without their name or email address being shown to other recipients.

How does Bcc work?

Recipients in the Bcc field can’t be seen by the primary recipients in the “To:” field, other recipients in the “Bcc” field, or those in the “Cc” field. Depending on the email software, Bcc recipients may be able to see “To” recipients or those Cc’d, but will never be able to see other Bcc recipients.

As well as increasing privacy, Bcc stops mass email chains should one recipient in the chain hit the “Reply All” button. As Bcc recipients can see other Bcc’s, they’re unable to reply to everybody on the list. A non-essential Cc recipient can also be moved to Bcc so that they are unable to see future reply all’s. It’s usually considered polite to inform the recipient of this when it happens.

Limitations of Bcc in Outlook

Before you use Bcc, you should know that doing so increases the chance that an email will hit a recipient’s spam folder. This is because Bcc is a favorite tool of spammers and scammers. For the same reason, many email service providers limit the number of people that can be Bcc’d in a single message. To avoid spam filters, you should ensure the recipients know they’ll be getting an email and have you in their safe sender’s list.

How to Add CC or BCC to Outlook Desktop

Most business users will probably use the Outlook desktop app. Adding a blind carbon copy or carbon copy is very easy, but by default the Bcc field may not appear. Here’s how to enable the Bcc field in Outlook and add a recipient to it:

  1. Open New Email
    Click the “New Email” button in the top-right corner to start composing.

    Windows 11 - Outlook - New Email

  2. Show the BCC Field
    Navigate to “Options” in the ribbon, click the three dots, and select “Bcc“. The BCC field will now appear under the “To” and “Cc” fields.

    Windows 11 - Outlook - New Email - Options - More - Show Fields - Bcc

  3. Add a Cc or Bcc recipient to your Outlook email 

    Click the “Bcc” button, then press “Bcc” again in the “Select names” window. Click on the recipients you’d like to add to the list and press “OK”. If you’d rather add someone as a Cc, repeat the process but press the “Cc” buttons instead.
    Windows 11 - Outlook - New Email - Options - More - Show Fields - Bcc - Add Adress

How to Add Cc or Bcc in Outlook for Web

The process to Bcc in Outlook web is actually a bit easier. It only takes a total of four clicks to add someone:

  1. Start New Email
    Create a new email and click the “Bcc” or “Cc” link on the right-hand side of the “To” field.

    Windows 11 - Outlook.com - New Message - Bcc

  2. Open Recipient Selection
    Press the “Bcc” or “Cc” button below the “To” field to access your contact list.

    Windows 11 - Outlook.com - New Message - Bcc

  3. Choose Recipients
    Click the plus icon next to a contact’s name to add them, then click “Save” to finalize your selection.

    Windows 11 - Outlook.com - New Message - Bcc - Add Adress - Save

FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions About CC and BCC in Outlook 

What does BCC mean in email?

BCC, standing for “Blind Carbon Copy“, is a feature in email systems that allows the sender to include recipients in the email distribution without revealing their email addresses to other recipients. Unlike CC (Carbon Copy), where all recipients can see each other’s addresses, BCC ensures the privacy of the recipient’s email address. This feature is particularly useful for sending mass emails where privacy needs to be maintained.

Can CC and BCC recipients see each other in an email?

No, recipients listed in the CC field cannot see the identities of those in the BCC field. BCC is designed to maintain the privacy of those recipients, making it impossible for CC and To field recipients to view BCC addresses. BCC recipients also cannot see other BCC recipients, preserving anonymity among all BCC’d parties.

What happens if someone replies all to a BCC email?

If a BCC recipient hits “reply all” to an email, their response will only be sent to the original sender and not to other BCC or CC recipients. This functionality ensures the privacy of BCC addresses, but it’s important for senders to caution BCC recipients about the potential consequences of replying, to avoid unintended disclosure.

Do BCC emails go to spam more often?

BCC emails can be more susceptible to being marked as spam by email clients due to their common association with bulk or unsolicited emailing practices. Email clients and servers may scrutinize emails with numerous BCC recipients more closely. To mitigate this risk, it’s crucial to obtain consent from recipients beforehand and encourage them to whitelist your email address.

What is the maximum number of BCC recipients allowed in Outlook?

The maximum number of BCC recipients in Outlook can vary depending on various factors such as your email server’s policies, your internet service provider’s restrictions, and Outlook’s own limitations. Typically, limits can range from as few as 50 to over 500 recipients per email. For precise numbers, consult your email administrator or service provider’s guidelines.

What’s the difference between Outlook and Outlook 365?

Outlook is traditionally known as a desktop email client that is part of the Microsoft Office suite, which you purchase once and install on your computer. Outlook 365, part of the Microsoft 365 subscription service, offers the Outlook application along with cloud-based versions of several Microsoft Office apps and additional services like online storage. Subscribers receive continuous updates and new features, enhancing collaboration and accessibility across devices.

Can BCC recipients reply to all?

Technically, BCC recipients can click “reply all,” but their reply will only reach the original sender. This function protects the anonymity of BCC addresses and prevents BCC recipients from inadvertently revealing their receipt of the email to other original recipients.

How do I send a mass email and hide recipients in Outlook?

To send a mass email while keeping recipient addresses hidden, utilize the BCC field in Outlook. Place all recipient addresses in the BCC field instead of the To or CC fields. This ensures that each recipient sees only their address and the sender’s, maintaining privacy and preventing the sharing of email addresses among recipients.

Can you find BCC in email header?

BCC recipients are not listed in the email headers accessible to CC or To field recipients, ensuring the privacy of BCC addresses. However, email server logs may contain this information for administrative purposes, though it is not accessible to general users or recipients.

Is it unprofessional to use BCC?

Using BCC is not inherently unprofessional but should be approached with consideration. It is particularly useful for preserving privacy and preventing unwanted reply-all chains in mass communications. However, transparency is important in professional settings, so use BCC judiciously and inform recipients when appropriate.

Why might my BCC’d emails not be received?

Emails sent with many BCC recipients can sometimes be filtered as spam by recipient email servers, especially if the content resembles typical spam characteristics or if recipients have not previously interacted with your email address. To improve deliverability, ensure your message is relevant, avoid overly sales-oriented language, and ask recipients to add you to their contact list.

How do I manage a large BCC list?

For large BCC lists, consider using email marketing tools or services that specialize in mass email campaigns. These platforms manage large recipient lists more efficiently, provide insights into email engagement, and comply with email regulations. If using Outlook, create a distribution list or contact group to manage large BCC lists more effectively.

Can I add a BCC recipient after an email is sent?

Once an email has been sent, it is not possible to modify its recipients, including adding BCC recipients. It’s crucial to review and finalize your recipient list before sending an email. If you need to include additional recipients after sending, a new email must be composed.

Why is the BCC field not visible by default in Outlook?

The BCC field is not visible by default in Outlook to simplify the interface and to minimize the risk of misuse. Users can enable the BCC field as needed to protect the privacy of recipients in specific situations, such as when sending mass emails or when the recipients should not be aware of each other.

How do I ensure BCC recipients don’t accidentally reply to all?

While you cannot control the actions of BCC recipients, best practices include informing BCC recipients that they have been BCC’d and advising them on the appropriate response protocol. This can include requesting that they reply only to the sender if necessary and not use the “reply all” function to maintain privacy and avoid revealing their receipt of the email.

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Though Microsoft Office has a dark mode, you may have noticed that it doesn’t apply by default. Even if you have your Windows theme set to dark, Microsoft Word will burn your retinas with its bright white coloring. In our other guide, we show you how to enable Microsoft Office dark mode for your desktop and online apps. The changes will apply across Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook.
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Last Updated on April 22, 2024 10:54 am CEST by Markus Kasanmascheff

Markus Kasanmascheff
Markus Kasanmascheff
Markus is the founder of WinBuzzer and has been playing with Windows and technology for more than 25 years. He is holding a Master´s degree in International Economics and previously worked as Lead Windows Expert for Softonic.com.
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