Reply to All in Outlook – how to disable this function

By | 27th April 2015

Reply to AllAs you know, I work as a Microsoft Certified Trainer providing training and coaching on Microsoft products to companies in the United Kingdom. Some of my work comes via an agency, and one particular agency that I have worked with for many years always e-mails the job requirement to me and other trainers registered with them via a Bcc in Outlook.

This protects everybody’s identity, but the problem arises when one of the recipients decides to use the Reply to All email function in Outlook. As soon as this is invoked all the original recipients’ e-mail addresses are revealed which rather defeats the object.

Reply to All – turning it off

I have often thought that this was a potential risk, and I mentioned it to the agent the other day during our conversation. He was unaware that the Reply to All function could be turned off in Outlook 2010 and 2013 and asked me how he could achieve it.

I sent him detailed instructions on how to turn off Reply to All and decided to use them as the basis of this post. Here is the step-by-step sequence of instructions you need to follow, and don’t worry — it might look complicated, but in actual fact it is really very easy.

Step one

In order for this to work we must use a form, and in order to create a form we need to turn on the Developer tab. To do this, go to the File tab then down to Options and click Customise Ribbon. Scroll down until you find Developer and tick the box to turn the developer ribbon on.

Reply To All - adding the Developer tab

Step two

Open a new blank e-mail message and put in the recipient’s details. If you are using the Bcc method, add your own email address in the To box and your recipient’s email addresses in the Bcc box (read the post on using the Reply to All BCC method here).

Step three

Now go back to the Developer tab and choose “Design This Form

Reply To All - design this form

Step four

The form will now be shown at the top of the e-mail window. Click on the Actions tab and then double-click the entry for Reply to All:

ReplyToAll-4

Step five

The dialogue box will open. At the top of the box is a small check box that says Enabled -untick this box to turn the feature off:

ReplyToAll-5

Step six

Click OK and in the Enabled column the word Yes will have changed to No:

ReplyToAll-6

Step seven

Click Run This Form on the Developer tab to clear the screen and return to the email:

ReplyToAll-7

Step eight

That’s it! Now you can send your e-mail safe in the knowledge that the recipients who are blind copied into the message will not be able to Reply to All as the option is greyed out:

ReplyToAll-8

If you try to use the function from the Inbox you are presented with this error message:

ReplyToAll-9

Reply to All BCC

TIP: When you are disabling Reply to All it is quite a good idea to disable the Forward function at the same time.

For more information on using Outlook 2013 see our course outlines here

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *