Why do all BCC and CC addresses appear in the TO: field?

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Question

The “CC” field is call the Carbon Copy. If you include email addresses in this field, each person will receive a copy of the message and their details will be in the email message. This means that everyone knows who has recieved a copy.

The “BCC” field is call the Blind Carbon Copy. If you include email
addresses in this field, each person will receive a copy of the message,
but they are not included in the body of the email message. That is,
someone who receives an email as a result of a BCC can see all of the CC
recipients, but their own details cannot be seen by any other recipient.

Some mail clients, such as Outlook, do not comply with Internet (RFC)
standards, so the BCC addresses will appear visible to all
recipients. This entry explains why this happens.

Answer

All messages should have a “From:” and “To:” clause in them. This means that details of the sender and recipient can be displayed to the user receiving the message. Most mail clients comply with the RFCs and so there are no problems.

However, some mail clients use “Sender:” and “Receiver:” instead of the RFC standards. There are several consequnces resulting from this non-complaince:

  • Mail clients do not display the correct information so users do not know who the message was from;
  • Some mail gateways have problems delivering the email correctly.

In order to encourage compliance with RFCs, GMS software will correct this error by default. The option is listed on the page System > Compliance and is called ‘Always insert missing “To:” clause’.

When selected, this option attempts to make the best guess at the information the sending mail client should have provided when the From and To clause are missing. If the correct clauses are there, GMS will not make any changes. GMS will identifiy all SMTP RCPT
TO: clauses and put them into the To: field. There is no way to identify which of these was originally a “BCC” or “CC” field, so all of these addresses will also appear in the TO: field.

If you wish to use BCC in emails sent from mail clients that fail to comply with Internet standards, then you must uncheck this option.

Keywords:BCC to outlook email always insert missing to clause CC

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