What Do CC and BCC Mean in Emails? The Difference & How to Use Them?

What Do CC and BCC Mean in Emails? When sending text, the CC and BCC fields function similarly. The letters CC and BCC stand for “carbon copy” and “blind carbon copy,” respectively.

What Do CC and BCC Mean in Emails The Difference How to Use Them
What Do CC and BCC Mean in Emails The Difference How to Use Them

These words may have been self-evident when email was first invented, but they are now outdated.

What Do CC and BCC Mean in Emails?

Both CC and BCC are methods of sending several copies of an email to different individuals. You may, however, specify several addresses in the To field to send copies of an email to additional people.

Carbon Copying Explained | What Do CC and BCC Mean in Emails?

“Carbon copy” is the origin of the abbreviation CC. By placing a sheet of carbon paper between two pieces of paper, the strain from writing on the first piece of paper pushes the ink from the carbon paper down onto the second piece of paper, generating a second copy of the text A carbon copy (CC) is a method of transmitting additional copies of an email to other individuals, similar to a physical carbon copy.

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Some people refer to CC as “courtesy copy,” which is a more accurate description of what a CC is.  As in “I CC’d him on the email.”

CC vs. BCC | What Do CC and BCC Mean in Emails?

The CC list is open to all other recipients when you CC people in an email. If you CC bob@example.com and jake@example.com on an email, for example, both Bob and Jake would know that the other got the email.

The abbreviation BCC stands for “blind carbon copy.” Unlike CC, the list of BCC recipients is only visible to the sender. If the BCC list includes bob@example.com and jake@example.com, neither Bob nor Jake would be aware that the other has received the email.

Anything else, including the CC list and the contents of the email, is visible to everyone on the BCC list. The BCC list, on the other hand, is private—only the sender has access to it. On the BCC list, an individual can only see their own email if they are on it.

CC vs. To

The To and CC fields function in the same way. If you put four email addresses in the To field or one in the To field and three in the CC field, the four people will receive your message.

The email will be sent to all four people at the same time. They’ll also be able to see every other recipient’s email address in the To and CC areas.

When it comes to email protocol, the To area is usually reserved for the email’s primary recipients.

The CC field is used to submit a copy of the message to other interested parties for their records. This isn’t a hard and fast rule, and how To and CC are used varies.

What Do CC and BCC Mean in Emails?

Let’s say your supervisor asks you to send an email to a customer in response to a complaint.

To ensure that your boss receives a copy of the email, you’d place the customer’s email address in the To field and your boss’s email address in the CC field.

You’d hide your boss’s email address You’d put your boss’s email address in the BCC area instead if you didn’t want the customer to see it.

What Do CC and BCC Mean in Emails? – When Do You Use CC and BCC? CC comes in handy when:

• You want a copy of an email sent to someone who isn’t one of the primary recipients.

• You want the message’s recipients to be aware of who else has received the message.

• You want someone else to receive an email, but you don’t want the primary recipients of the email to know you’ve sent a copy to this other user.

If you’re having an issue with a coworker, for example, you might give them an email and BCC the human resources department.

HR would obtain a copy of their documents, but none of your coworkers would know.

• You’d like to distribute a copy of an email to a wide group of people. If you have a big mailing list, for example, you might use the BCC field to include anyone on it.

No one will be able to see the email addresses of others. You’d be exposing their email addresses if you CC’d these people instead because they’d see a long list of CC’d emails in their email program.

You might also put your own email address in the To field and everyone else’s in the BCC field to keep everyone’s email addresses hidden.

Email Threads, BCC, and Replies | What Do CC and BCC Mean in Emails?

When it comes to email threads, keep in mind that BCC is not the same as CC. If you send an email to bob@example.com with a BCC to jake@example.com, Jake will receive the original email.

If Bob responds, Jake will not receive a copy of his answer. Since Bob’s email software is unable to determine if Jake has received the email, it does not give him a copy of the reply.

Of course, you can BCC Jake in future emails or forward a copy of the answer to him. If you CC’d Jake instead, it’s also likely that Bob will delete Jake’s email from the CC field and respond directly to you.

If you CC anyone in an email thread, they are much more likely to receive all of the responses. If you’re BCCing them, you’ll need to keep them informed.

What Do CC and BCC Mean in Emails Summary?

In reality, a lot of this comes down to email etiquette, and different people – particularly the To and CC fields – will use these fields in different ways. Don’t be shocked if they’re used in different ways.

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