How to Stop iOS Mail From Downloading Remote Images

Use less data on your iPhone by disabling Load Remote Images

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 is not only using up your data allotment and battery charge, but also might be notifying spam senders that you've opened their messages.

Remote images are not like images that arrive in your inbox as attachments to messages; instead, remote images are actually URLs that point to online pictures. When you open the email, those images are downloaded into the message.

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

The steps we outline below work for iOS 12, iOS 11, and iOS 10.

How to Stop Downloading Remote Images

Disable remote images on an iPhone or another iOS device through the Settings app.

  1. Open the Settings app.

  2. Tap Mail.

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

  3. Scroll down to the Messages section. Tap the slider next to Load Remote Images to the off position disable it.

    Mail, Load Remote Images toggle in iOS Settings

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

Load Images in a Single Email Message

When the loading of remote images is disabled, emails containing remote images will display the message "This message contains unloaded images" at the top. Display images contained in that email only by tapping Load All Images. This one-time bypass does not re-enabling automatic downloads for all emails.

Load All Images link in iOS Mail app