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Protecting your Internet friends by using the BCC function

Dwight WattInstructor
BCC is Blind Carbon Copy and is a way for you to hide the e-mail addresses of all the people you are sending the message to from everyone who receives it.  This means your recipients do not have to dig thru a list of recipients before seeing the message and also that spammers who see the message cannot harvest all of their addresses.

When you get e-mails that were forwarded to a number of people, have you ever not been happy with having to go thru a long list of names before you found the message? There is a easy solution for you not to do this to people when you send e-mails

Use the BCC (Blind Carbon Copy) feature to send the e-mails.
In the TO: line put your e-mail address (that way you will actually only show your e-mail address and no one else’s). I realize that this will make the e-mail appear a little strange as it is sent from you to you.

In the BCC: line put the addresses of everyone you are sending it to. The BCC entry will allow sending it to everyone but only the TO: name and their name will appear on the e-mail message.

If the BCC: choice does not appear, then you may need to set the option for it to appear (instructions below).

After you have finished addressing the message, delete all the lines at the top of the message that are the old addresses. Clear everything from the body, except the real message.

Now your friends will more readily read your e-mails since they will not have to wade thru lists of everyone it was sent it to.

In Outlook Express and Windows Mail the default is for only the TO and CC boxes to appear.  To just change on one message simply click TO or CC and you will see the option for BCC also.

Windows XP had Outlook Express.  Vista changed it to Windows Mail.  In Windows 7 it Windows Live Mail and is not included with 7 but must be downloaded from Microsoft.

To change your settings so BCC appears on all messages you are creating you will go in Outlook Express or Vista's Windows Mail:
1) Click to create mail (or message)
2) Click the View menu
3) Click the All Headers option which will put a check beside All Headers
Settings for OutlookExpressNow you will have the BCC  box showing along with TO and CC

In Windows Live Mail, create a new message and click on View menu and click CC and BCC so a check mark appears (or click the blue label-text, as shown).
Settings for Windows Live Mail
Following these few steps will not only make your emails easier to read, you will be protecting the email addresses of all of your friends.

If you have any questions about this process, please post them below here in a 'Comment'.  I will monitor this Article and respond to you as quickly as I can.  

Comments (4)

Author of the Year 2011
Top Expert 2006

Great advice to share with all of my "Internet Friends" who insist on sharing email addresses.
One of my absolute pet-peeves.
Good "Netiquette".

"Yes" vote above!
Author of the Year 2009

I also use the BCC function as a way to "offsite archive" mission-critical emails.  I BCC it to a company email account so I'm sure I'll have a second copy of it.  I don't want to confuse the recipient by displaying that separate address (and he does not need to know anything about my procedures) so BCC is the perfect option.
Dwight WattInstructor


That is a good use also. I was just wanting people to get basic idea of use.  It works well for allowing someone you don't want everyone to know is seeing it.  Which goes back to typewriter BCC use, where BCC originated,  
Chris RaisinRetired Systems Analyst/Programmer

I have only one problem with it.

If I am sending on "joke" type emails top friends (i.e. messages I have received from other friends) I like to know that they have not LAREADY received this current email in a "joke post-out" - But how can I do that if their name does not appear?

It would have been great for Microsoft to introduce another field called: "SHcc"
(Show copied" rather than "Blind Copied") where just the NAME only of the adressees appear (with no way to see their email address). I have tried senidng mail under "Show As" in the "To" or "CC" fields, but they can be expamded by the recipient. Also, using "Group" adresses does not work, because they also can be expanded to reveal email addresses.


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