Blocking images from automatically downloading in your email client is an important part of security. Both for your computer and your online identity. There are several reasons why you should prevent images in an email from automatically downloading. Using images that contain malicious code is one of the methods scammers and spammers use to infect your computer and/or network. The sender is able to track whether or not you opened a message.
A lot of data is sent back to the sender as well. Once your device contacts the web server to download the images, several things are revealed including your email address is valid, your email client name and version, your IP address, your ISP, your location, and more. All this data can be accumulated by the sender and help set up phishing schemes. Phishing scams use images to link you to corrupt sites that appear to be legit — from your bank or PayPal, for example. They can trick you into entering your login credentials or other personal data.
Preventing images from automatically downloading can also improve performance if you’re on a slow device or network connection. It is also a good way to prevent offensive images from popping up. There are several valid reasons to not allow images to download automatically and here’s how to do it in the Windows 10 Mail app.
Stop Images from Automatic Download in Windows 10 Mail
- Open the mail app and head to Settings button (gear icon) on the lower-left corner of the app.
- Then from the Settings option click on Reading Pane.
- Now, when the Reading Pane options open, scroll down and under the External Content section, turn off the switch next to the “Automatically download external images and style formats except S/MIME Mail” option.
- That’s it. Now when you open messages that contain images, you should see something similar to the image below. There will be image placeholders, but the actual image won’t display. If you want to download the images, you can click the link at the bottom of the message that will also let you know how large the images will be.
Of course, this isn’t going to block photos or other files that are attached with a message, just what is displayed in the actual email. Whether you want better security or just don’t want to see obnoxious images in your email, it’s a good idea to block them for all messages. If you really need to see the images from trusted sources, they are just a click away.