Disable Email Image Loading
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Today we will discuss how to disable email image loading to stop getting tracked, emails carry a lot of information which can be vital to many companies. Marketing emails keep flooding your inbox, these can be tracked using pixels to gather information when you open your email and your location.

Emails loaded with tracking pixels is common these days, these pixels can monitor your location and time when you opened your email. Tracking pixels are generally undetectable image files of around 1pixel x 1pixel hidden inside an email sent to you. These not only invade your privacy but are also a security risk.

How does Tracking pixel work?

Basically, the pixel contains a code that sends information back once the users open the email to the organization’s server. This allows the marketing companies to know the precise time when the email was read, how much time you spent reading the email, and even send the location you were while you were reading the email.

The fact that marketing companies are able to gather such information by users opening emails. Just imagine how it would be if bad actors happen to use the same technology. Though you don’t need to worry about your security getting hit by a malware attack.

All you need to do is stop your email from automatically loading images as images. Images are commonly used to place such tracking pixels.
We will explain to you how to disable email image loading Gmail, Apple’s Mail app, and Microsoft Outlook across both desktop and mobile. Likewise, we will also explain how to enable them if you like them to appear.

Disable Email Image Loading on Gmail Desktop AppDisable-Image-Auto-loading-Gmail-Desktop-App

  • Go to Settings from the drop-down menu gear icon
  • Go to General Tab
  • Next to Images, there will be two options “Always display external images” which is selected by default. The other option is “Ask before displaying external images” you can choose to block images.

This setting will block images when you open an email, a banner will notify you of images available for display. Click “Display images below” will allow you to view them. You can also whitelist certain contacts by choosing the “Always display images from [contact]” option.

Disable Email Image Loading on Gmail Android AppDisable-Email-Image-Loading-on-Gmail-Android-App

  • Open Gmail App on your phone
  • Tap the hamburger menu and scroll down to Settings
  • Choose the account you wish to manage and scroll to the bottom
  • Tap Images
  • Choose “Ask before displaying external images” to block them, and you’ll see a “Show pictures” when you go forward which can be used to white list that particular sender going forward

Disable Email Image Loading on Gmail iOS AppDisable-Email-Image-Loading-on-Gmail-iOS-App

  • On your iPhone or iPad open Gmail App
  • Go to Settings > Mail
  • Toggle the switch next to “Load Remote Images” to Off
  • When you view an email that includes images a “Download Images” banner will appear at the top, click it to view blocked images.

Disable Email Image Loading on Apple MailDisable-Email-Image-Loading-on-Apple-Mail

  • Open Apple Mail app on your Mac
  • Go to Mail > Preferences > Viewing
  • Uncheck the box next to “Load remote content in messages.”
  • When you view an email with images a “Load remote content” banner will appear at the top; click it to view blocked images

Disable Email Image Loading on Outlook Desktop AppDisable-Email-Image-Loading-on-Outlook-Desktop-App

  • Open Outlook
  • Go to File > Options > Trust Center > Trust Center Settings > Automatic Download
  • Check the option “Don’t download pictures automatically in standard HTML email messages or RSS items.
  • When you open an email with blocked images a banner will appear at the top notifying you that Outlook has blocked images from loading. Clicking it will give you options to change your settings or whitelist the sender or domain.

If you are using a Mac the options will appear a little differently.

  • Go to Microsoft Outlook > Preferences > Reading > Security and click “Never” to prevent image downloads.
  • You can choose to have images automatically download, but only from your contacts.

Disable Email Image Loading on Outlook Mobile AppDisable-Email-Image-Loading-Outlook-Mobile-App_TechnoidHost.jpg

  • Open Outlook on your phone.
  • Tap on the hamburger icon
  • Select the account you want to edit
  • Flip the switch to Go to Setting “Block external images.”
  • Download images” banner will then appear atop emails, tap it to load the images in that specific email only.