How to fix Outlook not displaying web-linked images

Including wed-linked images to an email is an incredibly effective way to encourage the email recipient to visit your website (or the website that the image is linked to). This is because people tend to be a lot more drawn to images and pictures than they would be if you were to simply insert a web link within the email. This is due to the visual aspect it brings to the email and people tend to go more towards things that seem visually pleasing to them. Therefore, whether you are on the sending or the receiving end of a web-linked image, it is vital for all web linked images to work properly. This blog post will outline with detailed screenshots how you can adjust your settings if these web-linked images are not being displayed. To do this, you need to make sure that your settings are changed to allow images to automatically download. 

Changing settings to allow automatic image download:

  1. Go to Outlook and sign in using your credentials
  2. Go to ‘File’
  3. Select ‘Options’
  4. Click on ‘Trust Center’
  5. Select ‘Trust Center Settings’
  6. Uncheck the option for ‘Don’t download pictures automatically in standard HTML email messages or RSS items’
  7. Click ‘OK’

Why doesn’t Outlook automatically download images by default?

In Outlook’s default settings, images and web-linked images will not be automatically downloaded from emails that are received from an external sender. You may also see a small message in the header saying “Click here to download pictures. To help protect your privacy, Outlook prevented automatic download of some pictures in this message”. When this message appears, you have to click on the message to manually download the image which can be quite an inconvenience, especially if you have multiple images to download.

Outlook does this by default as a security feature, therefore it prevents images and some HTML features that are sent from an external user from being downloaded until you change the settings to allow it. One of the methods that spammers often use to check if an email is valid, is by sending images from their server. If the receiver opens the email and downloads the images, it confirms that the email is valid. This default feature prevents spammers from doing this. However it also means that images and web-linked images are not always displayed.

Despite this fact, Microsoft has implemented this security feature for a number of other reasons as well, such as:

  • It uses less bandwidth when downloading emails as the images are not automatically downloaded until you allow it.
  • User’s mailbox storage is smaller as it won’t be storing images that are not needed
  • User’s won’t be exposed to potentially harmful or insensitive images.

Although there are many valid reasons why this security feature is set as the default, it can become quite a tedious task to manually download every image. Therefore, outlined below is an easy to follow step by step guide on how you can change the settings in Outlook to allow automatic image download.

Step by step process to allow automatic image download:

  1. Go to Outlook and sign in using your credentials

For the purpose of this tutorial, i will be signing in to Outlook using an example account

  1. Go to ‘File’

At the top left hand corner of the the screen, select ‘File’

  1. Select ‘Options’

Then a window with the Account information will appear. From the bottom left hand corner, select ‘Options’

  1. Click on ‘Trust Center’

Another smaller window will appear. From the left hand side panel, click on ‘Trust Centre’

  1. Select ‘Trust Center Settings’

Then from within the window, click on the ‘Trust Centre Settings’ button.

  1. Uncheck the option for ‘Don’t download pictures automatically in standard HTML email messages or RSS items’

A list of options/ permissions will appear. Click in the box for ‘Don’t download pictures automatically in standard HTML email messages or RSS items’ to uncheck it.

  1. Click ‘OK’

Once you click on ‘OK’ the settings will change to allow automatic image download and allow you to see  a working web-linked image.

Thank you for reading this blog post! We hope it was useful in helping you to allow automatic image downloads. If you have any further questions feel free to leave a comment and we’ll be sure to get back to you, or read another one of our blog posts to learn more about how you can use Outlook:

Due to errors, there may be times when Outlooks personal information manager doesn’t work as well as expected and keeps asking for a password. This blog post looks at the possible reasons behind why Outlook keeps asking for your password and ways to fix this issue.

This blog post outlines how to create a new rule for your inbox to allow you to automatically BCC or CC yourself into emails that you send. This is a great way to stay on top of your emails and ensure that you remember to respond and follow up on certain emails. 

When adding a delegate to your inbox, rather than giving them complete access over your inbox, it is a better option to consider why they are being added as a delegate and then choose the permissions they need to allow them to carry out their tasks. This blog post demonstrates how to do this. 

John Gleave

John Gleave has been a researcher, content writer, and senior editor at Business Tech Planet since 2022. John was formerly a data analyst and web designer with expertise in several programming languages, such as JavaScript, JQuery, PHP, CSS, SQL, and more! With a passion for writing and technology, he has now focused his skills on crafting tech guides for BTP. You can connect with John on LinkedIn.

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