Disable "Load Remote Images" on Your iOS Device to Speed Things Up

Use less data on your iPhone by disabling remote image downloads

A human hand over a smartphone with pixelized images floating between

Donald Ian Smith / Blend Images

If your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch is loading remote images in the Mail app, it not only is using excess data and therefore battery but also might notify spam senders that you've opened their message.

Remote images are not like regular image attachments that you might receive over email. Instead, they are actually URLs that point to online pictures. When you open the email, those photos are downloaded automatically within the message.

The option that controls this in the Mail app is called "Load Remote Images." It's enabled by default but when you disable it, emails will load faster, you'll use less data, your battery will last longer, and newsletter companies won't be able to track your location or other personal information.

How to Stop Downloading Remote Images

You can easily disable remote images on an iPhone or another iOS device through the Settings app. Here's how to find the "Load Remote Images" option on an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch:

  1. From the home screen, open the Settings app.

  2. Tap the Mail section.

    If you're using an older iOS version, this might instead be called Mail, Contacts, Calendar.

  3. Scroll down to the MESSAGES area and disable the Load Remote Images option.

    If this option is green, then loading remote images is enabled. Tap it once to disable remote images.

  4. That's it!

Once you've disabled loading remote images, emails with remote images will read "This message contains unloaded images." at the very top. You can tap Load All Images to download remote images for that one email only without re-enabling automatic downloads for all emails.