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What's the difference between 'reply', 'reply all' and 'forward'?

Email is part of our daily lives and we find ourselves sending and receiving emails constantly.  Occasionally, you will need to reply to the sender or send the original message to another person/group.  It can sometimes be confusing if you should use 'reply', 'reply all', or 'forward'.  Let's break down each one, what it means and how to use them.




  • 'Reply' sends your response only to the person that sent you the mail. Therefore, anyone to whom the mail was also sent or Cc'd will not receive your reply.
  • 'Reply To All' sends your response to everyone the mail was sent to or were Cc'd.

Note: Anyone Bcc'd in the original mail will not receive your response. However, be very careful here, if you were Bcc'd and you reply to all everyone will now know that you had been Bcc'd.

  • "Forward" sends the message to another person or group, and will include any attachments included in the original email.  This means that the person/group to whom the mail has been forwarded can see all details about the original sending.  You can remove any attachments or edit the original response before forwarding the message.

Email can be tricking so be aware when you are replying or forwarding to double check that the information you want to be seen from the original email is how you would like it and that you are sending it to the proper people.

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