Bcc vs. Cc

Till today, a large number of people get confused about the difference between bcc and cc in an email context. In this article, we have covered the main difference between bcc and cc and ensure that you are sending the email to the right people and in the right way.

At a moment when you log in to your email account and start composing a new email or click to reply to a mail, you have received.  You will observe three separate lines for entering the email addresses of the recipients.

In the section “from,” you will observe your email address, while in the section “To” you will add the email address of the main recipient(s) of your email. In case you haven’t noticed it yet, there are two more separate fields for entering the email addresses of the recipients right below the To section.

These two fields are named as bcc and cc, and this applies to every email provider, be it your MS Outlook, or Gmail account. The main difference between bcc and cc is the visibility of email addresses to other recipients. The term bcc indicates “blind carbon copy” which is quite similar to cc except that the email address of the recipients listed in this field are not visible in the received message section, and the recipients in the To or Cc fields cannot identify that a copy sent to these address.

 The word cc stands for “carbon copy,” which means that whose address appears the cc afterward: header will receive a copy of a message. Also, the cc header will appear inside the header of the received message.

Comparison Chart

Basis Bcc Cc
Full-Form The term bcc indicates blind carbon copy The term cc means a carbon copy
Visibility A field in an email that makes the recipients invisible to other recipients of the email A field in an email that makes the recipients see the other recipients who receive the email
Permission Prevents the recipient from getting to see to whom a copy of an email has been sent Permits a recipient to know to whom a copy of an email has been sent
Example If the email has a cc of Kylie and Bcc of John, then only Bcc knows they have a tag. If the email has a cc as Kylie, then they see all the conversation carried out.

What is bcc?

In the digital world of today, where email is the standard, bcc is commonly known as blind courtesy copy. It is the easiest way to secretly send a copy of your email and involve the third person while keeping the original recipients blind to that fact.

Formerly bcc was known as a blind carbon copy and was specifically used for saving time, reducing the necessity to make duplicates of office memorandums and standard forms.

In past typists had a trick where they would make these duplicates but not add addresses or other important information until after the copies were made, so not everyone would see that confidential information. Often recipients of the originals would be blind to any information of any people getting copies of their documents.

 Uses of bcc?

  • Cc Field: It is used to connect people you publicly want to inform of the message.
  • Bcc Field: It is used to connect people you privately want to inform of the message.

Standard email etiquette states that neither that cc’ed nor bcc’ed is expected to respond to the email message. However, it is common for people kept in cc to respond if they have any relevant or exclusive information that needs to be added to the conversation.

Those that are bcc’ed, on the other hand, are traditionally expected never to respond since the other party does not know they were included or were privy to the conversation in the first place.

 Benefits of Using bcc

Using the bcc field to send an email message to a large group of people has many benefits, including:

  • The privacy of email addresses is safe in the original message. Recipients will receive the message, but will not be able to see the email addresses listed in the bcc field.
  • At a time when an email is forwarded, the addresses of everyone in the To and cc fields are forwarded along with it, but addresses that have been placed in the bcc field are not forwarded.
  • If you have placed an extensive list of recipients in the To or CC field, all of them will receive the reply. By keeping recipients in the bcc field, you can also protect them against receiving unnecessary replies from anyone using the Reply All
  • A lot of viruses and spam programs are now able to go through mail files and address books for email addresses.  We can also use the bcc field as an anti-spam precaution. It lessens the likelihood that recipients will receive a spam message or a virus from another recipient’s infected computer.

What Is cc?

In general, cc is used when you need to include someone in an email conversation, but you do not need to address them personally. You would enter your primary contacts in the “To” field, while anyone else who may also need to see the conversation (but not is involved necessarily) would be entered in the CC field. Perhaps you are working on a project with your team members, but another department needs to keep an eye on progress. Just drop in the email addresses of the department head, and they will receive a copy of all correspondence.

How to use cc?

Using cc in the current email language means you are sending an email not only to the main recipient in the “To” section but also to one or more secondary recipients. In your email, you can CC up to 100 recipients in any one email.

To complete the CC field:

  • Open your outlook or Gmail account and click compose to write a new message.
  • Click the “To”field by inserting the primary recipient email address.
  • Click cc in the top right of the email composer.

Benefits of Using cc

  • You want someone to receive a copy of an email, but they cannot be the primary recipients.
  • You want the recipients of the message to know the other people who have been sent the message.

Key Differences between Bcc and Cc

  1. The term cc means carbon copy, while the term bcc has the name of a blind carbon copy.
  2. If the email has a cc added as Kylie, then they can see all the conversations carried out while if the email has a cc of Kylie and Bcc of John, then only Bcc knows they have a tag.
  3. In both cases of cc and bcc, the recipient cannot see all that the tagged person has replied to the conversation. Only they and the person who has created the bcc and cc options have the facility to interact with each other without permission.

Comparison Video


In email terminology, bcc stands for blind carbon copy while cc stands for carbon copy. The difference between them is that carbon copy recipients are visible to all other recipients, but those who are blind carbon copy recipients are not visible to anyone.

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