disable image loading in email

Advertisers and spammers enjoy sending emails with images on them. In doing so, they can detect when the email is opened and potentially collect other information. To protect your devices from snoopers, you can disable image loading in your favorite mail app on both your computer and mobile device.

How to disable image loading in Gmail

In Gmail, you have the choice of always having email images load or having the system ask you before doing so.

To always show images:

  1. On your computer, log into your Gmail account.
  2. Click on the Settings wheel at the top right.
  3. Select Settings.

    gmail settings

  4. Under the Images section, click the Always display external images toggle.
  5. Click Save Changes at the bottom of the screen.

    Gmail always display

To get asked before showing attached images in Gmail:

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  1. On your computer, log into your Gmail account.
  2. Click on the Settings wheel at the top right.
  3. Select Settings.

    gmail settings

  4. Under the Images section, click the Ask before displaying external images toggle.
  5. Click Save Changes at the bottom of the screen.

    gmail turn off automatic image downloading

When Ask before displaying external images is selected, Gmail disables dynamic email. When activated, at least through the web, you can complete specific tasks without leaving a message, such as filling out surveys or responding to comments.

To see images on these emails:

  1. Click on an email with remote images.
  2. Select Display Images Below.
  3. Click Always Display Images From to enable pictures to display automatically on future messages from this contact.

    gmail display images manually

What about in the Gmail iOS app?

According to a Google support document, "Images will always appear in the Gmail app on your iPhone or iPad."

How to disable image loading in Apple Mail on Mac

Regardless of your email provider, you can disable image loading in the Mail app on your Mac:

  1. Open the Mail app on your computer.
  2. Click Mail on the Mac Toolbar.
  3. Select Preferences under Mail.

    Mac mail preferences

  4. Click the Viewing tab at the top of the screen.
  5. Uncheck Load remote content in messages.

    Mac load remote images

You can check the box to enable image loading once again.

On an email-to-email basis, you can still load remote content in the Mail app on Mac:

  1. On those emails, click Load remote content at the top of the screen.

    mail load remote content

You can now see the remote content on the email.

How to disable image loading in Mail on iOS

To disable image loading on iOS, follow these steps:

  1. Tap the Settings app on your mobile device.
  2. Scroll down and select Mail.
  3. Toggle off Load Remote Images under Messages.

    iOS load remote image

To see images on these emails:

  1. Tap on the email in the iOS Mail app.
  2. Select Load All Images at the top of the email.

    iOS see images

How to disable image loading in Outlook

Much like you can do on the native Apple Mail app on Mac, you can also disable image loading on the official Outlook app.

By default, images aren't loaded on emails in Outlook. To change this:

  1. Go into the Outlook for Mac app.
  2. Click on Microsoft Outlook on the Toolbar.
  3. Select Preferences.

    outlook preferences

  4. Click Reading under Email.
  5. Under Security, click Never so pictures aren't automatically downloaded from the internet. You can also select In all messages and In messages from my contacts, depend on your preference.

    outlook images

To see images on these emails:

  1. Tap on the email in the Outlook app for Mac
  2. Select Load All Images at the top of the email.
  3. Choose Download pictures.

    outlook for Mac download images manually

What about in the Outlook iOS app?

To view images on the official Outlook iOS app:

  1. Tap on an email in the app.
  2. Tap Download Images at the top of an email.

    outlook app download image

How to disable image loading in other email programs

If you're using another email system on Mac or through the web, you can disable image loading by looking into the settings for that service. Most likely, this is listed as Settings or Preferences. For a more straightforward approach, use the Apple Mail app for Mac for all of your email accounts.

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