Difference Between CC and BCC
By Andrew Parker - May 3, 2022

If you’ve ever written an e-mail (and we’re pretty sure every single person on the internet has written at least one at some point), you’ve seen the letters CC and BCC appearing near the “To” field on your screen. In short, these two options are used to include additional recipients in your message. But what is the actual difference between them?

Table Summary

Stands for “carbon copy”Stands for “blind carbon copy”
CC recipients receive “Reply All” responses in the threadBCC recipients do not receive “Reply All” responses in the thread
All recipients of the e-mail will be able to see who has been CC’dOther recipients of the e-mail will not be able to see who has been BCC’d
woman working on her laptop

Getty Images / DigitalVision / Marko Geber


Sometimes referred to as “courtesy copy”, CC actually stands for “carbon copy”. CC recipients receive the e-mail and any further response in the thread as long as it is sent as a “Reply All” message. Being CC’d on an e-mail also means your e-mail address will be visible to anyone in the thread. The main purpose of this function is to distinguish between primary and secondary recipients of an e-mail – that is, CC recipients are typically added simply to keep people in the loop.

BCC, on the other hand, stands for “blind carbon copy”. This means that although a BCC recipient will receive an exact copy of the original message in the thread, this person will not receive any further e-mails in the thread even if they are “Reply All” responses. Being BCC’d means other recipients of a message will not be able to see your e-mail address, which is why this type of function is mostly used for mass e-mails in order to protect recipients’ privacy.


The main difference between CC and BCC is whether you want other recipients to know to who you are sending your message. While the e-mail address of CC recipients is visible to all recipients in the thread, BCC e-mail addresses are not visible to anyone but the sender of the original message.