How to forward an email to separate recipients

I was recently asked how you can forward an email multiple times to different recipients without one group of recipients knowing about the other. At first I was confused by the question until I discovered that the person was using Gmail and was really forwarding a forwarded email (how’s that for a mouthful?)

Let me back up and start at the beginning so you can see how this plays out. In Gmail, you can open an email and choose to forward it to one or more recipients. When you do this, the new forwarded email shows up beneath the original email on the screen due to Gmail’s default “conversational” display.

Gmail conversational display

So if you subsequently click the forward button on the bottom-most email, you are really forwarding the previously forwarded email. This means that all of the recipients of the first forwarded email (as well as any message you included with it) show up in the body of the second forwarded email.

Forwarding an email in Gmail

This is exactly what the person I was talking to didn’t want. She wanted to forward the email two times with each group of recipients thinking they were the only ones receiving it.

To accomplish this in Gmail, it’s just a matter of forwarding the top-most (or original) email both times. The original email will not contain any of the information contained in your first forwarded email.

Gmail forward original email

I also want to point out that in Gmail, or any other email system, you can always just edit out any part from the body of the email you don’t want to include. Just highlight the text with your mouse and hit the delete key.

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