We will review four different methods.
Each of the methods has advantages and disadvantages versus the “other methods.”
I leave you with the decision of – which of the methods is the best method for you.
Prevent to option of Reply All | Article Series
The Prevent to option of Reply All article series, including the following three articles:
- Prevent the option of Reply All – Using BCC – Part 1#5
- Prevent the option of Reply All using Distribution Group + Delivery management restrictions – Part 2#5
- Prevent the option of Reply All using Outlook Form – Part 3#5
- Prevent the option of Reply All by using NoReplyAll Outlook Add-In – Part 4#5
- Set the default Reply option for OWA and set Mail tips for distribution group – Part 5#5
Why should we prevent the Reply All option from our users?
There are a couple of answers for this question.
The most common scenarios the “need” to prevent the option of Reply All are:
- Unnecessary mail flow
A scenario in which the original mail was sent to many recipients and one of this recipient felt the uncontrollable urge to “say something smart” and hit the Reply All button. The outcome is unnecessary E-mail that wastes the precious time as the rest of the recipients.
- Data privacy violation.
A scenario in which secret information or non-appropriate information is sent to the group of the recipients.
In this scenario, the recipient who gets the E-mail that was sent to many other recipients.
One of the users who receives the E-mail, want to respond to a particular recipient, such as the recipient that creates the E-mail.
By mistake, the users select the Reply All option.
The information that was supposed to reach to the specific recipient is sent to all the recipients who were included in the original E-mail message.
What are the methods that are available to us for “disable” the Reply All option?
The methods of disabling the “Reply All“ option that we will review is as follows:
Method 1#4 – Prevent “Reply All” | Send E-mail using the BCC option
In this solution, we send the E-mail to a couple of recipients. Instead of sending the E-mail to the destination recipients using the standard “TO” or the “CC” mail fields, we use the “BCC” option.
When using the BCC option, the destination recipients who get the E-mail, cannot see the rest of the recipients that was included in the “original E-mail message.”
For this reason, when the destination recipient uses the option of Reply All, the E-mail will not include all the recipients.
We will review this method in the current article.
Method 2#4 – Prevent “Reply All” | Using a Distribution Group + delivery management restrictions
In this solution, we create a dedicated Distribution Group and restrict the ability of our users to send E-mail to this Distribution Group.
Technically, the destination recipients will be able to use the option of Reply All, but the E-mail will be blocked, and will not be sent to the recipients who consider as the distribution group members.
We will review this method in the article – Prevent to option of Reply All using Distribution Group + Delivery management restrictions – Part 2#5
Method 3#4 – Prevent “Reply All” | Using a custom Outlook Form
In this method, we will need to create a custom Form using Outlook, and remove the
option of “Reply All”. The E-mail message that is based on the custom template that was created will look like in standard E-mail but the Reply All option.
We will review this method in the article – Prevent to option of Reply All using Outlook Form – Part 3#5
Method 4#4 – Prevent “Reply All” | Using a custom Outlook add-on
In this method, we use a nice and useful desktop Outlook add-in named – NoReplyAll Outlook Add-In.
In this scenario, we install this Outlook add-in that adds additional options to our mail client interface such as – menu item that enables us to remove the “Reply All” option from a specific E-mail or from every E-mail message that is sent.
We will review this method in the article – Prevent to option of Reply All by using NoReplyAll Outlook Add-In – Part 4#5
Method 1#4 – prevent “Reply All” | Send E-mail using the BCC option.
In the following section, we will demonstrate how to use the BCC option for preventing the option of using “Reply All”.
To be able to demonstrate the use of the BCC option, let’s use the following scenario:
Bob needs to send E-mail to many recipients. Bob would like to avoid a scenario in which one of the recipients will use the “Reply All” and send a reply to all the recipients whom the E-mail was sent to them.
One of the destination recipients is – Brad.
Sending E-mail to a list of recipients by using BCC
By default, when creating a new E-mail message, we add the E-mail address of the target recipient in the TO field.
For example – Bob sends E-mail to Brad + Angelina.
When the recipient (Brad in our scenario) gets the E-mail, he can see the list of all the “other Exchange client” which the E-mail sent to them.
When Brad gets the E-mail, he can see the E-mail sent by Bob, and also, Brad can see all the other recipients.
When the recipient selects the Reply All option, the “TO” field is automatically populated with all the recipient’s E-mail addresses that were included in the “original mail”.
The “trick” that we are going to use is implemented by adding the E-mail address of the destination recipient to the BCC field instead of the TO mail field.
For those of us who are not familiar with the concept of BCC, the term BCC stands for Blind Carbon Copy.
When using this option of BCC, the destination recipient cannot see information about “other recipients” that was included in the original E-mail message.
The target recipient will be able to see only the E-mail address of the E-mail originator (the recipient that sends the E-mail).
How to use \ add the BCC option.
The way that we use the BCC option depends on the mail client that we use.
Using the BCC option OWA | Office 365 mail client
In case that we use OWA mail client, the BCC field appears on the right side of a new E-mail message
Using the BCC option in Outlook
In case that we use the Outlook mail client, the BCC option doesn’t appear by default.
To add the BCC option, we need to create a new E-mail message, select the Options menu and click on the From icon.
- Click on the From icon
In the following screenshot, we can see that the BCC option was added to the E-mail message.
This time, Bob adds the recipients to the BCC… field instead of the standard For… field.
When Angelina gets the E-mail, Angelina sees the E-mail, as an E-mail message that was sent from Bob and she cannot see the “reset of the recipients” which was included in the E-mail message that Bob sent.
In case that Angelina decides to select the Reply All button, the outcome is that original originator of the E-mail message will be added to the To… field (Bob in our example).
In our example, when Brad hit the Reply All button, the E-mail will be sent to Bob (and not to all the recipients who appear on the original E-mail message).
The next article in the current article series
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