How to Prevent Outlook From Downloading Images Automatically

Stop those images from downloading automatically

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Images that download automatically when you preview or open an email message can be a threat to your privacy. Some content can even put your computer's security at risk. Given the proliferation of viruses, scams, and other online threats, set Outlook up to download images only from trusted senders. Better yet, retrieve remote images manually.

Instructions in this article apply to Outlook 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010, 2007, 2003; Outlook for Office 365, and Outlook for Mac.

How to Stop Outlook From Downloading Images Automatically

Emails with images are a nice thing to see in Outlook — as long as they're sent from legitimate sources. Newsletters that look like websites are not only more attractive but also easier to read than their plain-text counterparts. But these emails may contain unwanted content that may cause harm to your computer or may be too large for your computer to handle.

Protect your privacy and your computer with just a few simple steps.

For Outlook 2019, 2016, 2013, and 2010

To prevent images from downloading in Outlook 2019, 2016, 2013, and 2010:

  1. Select File > Options.

    Outlook file options menu.
  2. In the Outlook Options dialog box, select Trust Center.

    Outlook Trust Center options menu.
  3. In the Microsoft Outlook Trust Center section, select Trust Center Settings.

  4. In the Trust Center dialog box, select Automatic Download.

    Outlook automatic download settings.
  5. Select the Don't download pictures automatically in HTML email or RSS items check box.

  6. Optionally, select the Permit downloads in email messages from senders and to recipients defined in the Safe Senders and Safe Recipients Lists used by the Junk Email filter check box.

    The sender is not verified. If somebody uses an email address that is not their own and is on your Safe Senders List, images are downloaded automatically.

  7. Optionally, select the Permit downloads from Web sites in this security zone: Trusted Zone check box.

  8. Select OK to close the Trust Center dialog box.

  9. Select OK to close the Outlook Options dialog box.

For Outlook for Mac 2016

The process is slightly different for Outlook for Mac:

  1. Select Outlook > Preferences.

    Outlook for Mac menu displaying Outlook options.
  2. In the Email section, select Reading.

    Outlook preferences in Outlook for Mac.
  3. In the Security section, select Never. Or select In messages from my contacts to have Outlook for Mac download images in emails from senders whose addresses are in your address book.

    Spoofing an email address is easy. A sender uses your email address (which is in your address book) in place of the sender's email address to fool Outlook for Mac into downloading a dangerous file.

    Reading preferences within Outlook for Mac.
  4. Close the Reading preferences window.

For Outlook 2007 in Windows

If you use Outlook 2007, follow these steps to prevent Outlook from downloading images:

  1. Select Tools > Trust Center.

  2. Go to Automatic Download.

  3. Select the Don't download pictures automatically in HTML e-mail or RSS items check box.

  4. Click OK.

For Outlook 2003 in Windows

Here's how to prevent images from downloading in Outlook 2003:

  1. Select Tools > Options.

  2. Go to Security.

  3. Click Change Automatic Download Settings.

  4. Select the Don't download pictures or other content automatically in HTML e-mail check box.

  5. Optionally, select the Permit downloads in e-mail messages from senders and to recipients defined in the Safe Senders and Safe Recipients Lists used by the Junk E-mail filter check box.

  6. Select the Permit downloads from Web sites in this security zone: Trusted Zone check box.

  7. Click OK twice.