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How to Hide Email Addresses when Sending to Multiple Recipients in Outlook 2013

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When sending email to multiple recipients (some of whom are unknown to each other), it’s recommended not to display everyone’s email address. Some people might get quite upset with you for advertising their email address to people they don’t know.

Generally, when you send email to multiple recipients, you enter their email addresses in the Cc (Carbon Copy) field, where their addresses are visible to everyone receiving the email. This is acceptable if all the people already know each other and may even have the email addresses. However, if some of the people you’re including in the Cc field do not know each other, it’s not a good idea to use the Cc field and advertise everyone’s email address to everyone else.

This is where the Bcc (Blind Carbon Copy) field comes in. Putting an email address in the Bcc field basically instructs the mail server to take off the address label before delivering the message so anyone receiving the email message cannot see who else received it. So, you can put all the email addresses of the recipients in the Bcc field. However, only putting email addresses in the Bcc field, with no address (or your own address) in the To field, may cause the message to be flagged as Spam by some junk email filters.

There is a way around this. We will show you how to use your own email address as “Undisclosed recipients” for the To field and add the other email addresses to the Bcc field so you can safely send your message.

Open Outlook and click the People link on the Navigation Bar.

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NOTE: If you have the Navigation Bar displaying in the compact view, click the people icon.

See our article to learn how to display the Navigation Bar in the compact view.

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In the New section of the Home tab, click New Contact.

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In the Full Name edit box, enter a name for this contact that will display in the To field. You can call it “Undisclosed recipients” or any other name you want. Enter your own email address in the E-mail field and click Save & Close.

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Now, click Mail on the Navigation Bar. If you have the compact Navigation Bar, click the envelope icon.

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In the New section of the Home tab, click New Email.

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Click To on the Message window.

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Select the new contact made for your own email address, click To, and then click OK.

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You may notice that there is no Bcc field available on the Message window. You have to add it. To do this, click the Options tab, and in the Show Fields section, click Bcc.

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How to Hide Email Addresses when Sending to Multiple Recipients in Outlook 2013
When sending email to multiple recipients (some of whom are unknown to each other), it’s recommended not to display everyone’s... [Read Article]

The Bcc field is added to the Message window. Add the email addresses for all the people you want to receive this email either by clicking the Bcc button and selecting them, or by entering them manually in the Bcc field. As you start typing an address in the Bcc field, a matching address from your address book is suggested.

NOTE: You can also create a distribution list containing all the email addresses you to which you often send emails as a group. See our article about creating distributions lists in Outlook 2013 to find out how.

Some ISPs (Internet Service Providers) may put limits on the number of people to which you can send one email. In this case, try sending the message to 20 recipients or less at a time per email.

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If you send one email to multiple recipients with all the addresses visible to all, you can cause some people to receive spam, if some people on your list are not careful with the email addresses they have. There are plenty of other ways spammers can get your email address.

Lori Kaufman is a freelance technical writer who likes to write geeky how-to articles to help make people's lives easier through the use of technology. She loves watching and reading mysteries and is an avid Doctor Who fan.

  • Published 03/28/14

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