Turn off blocked photos in Outlook

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Joe writes, How do I eliminate the statement "some pictures have been blocked to prevent the sender from identifying your computer" It's really irritating to have to "cross it out" on most of my messages. I have active virus protection and a firewall. I would like to see the pictures like I did for several years on my old computer.

Microsoft enabled that option by default on recent versions of both Outlook and Outlook Express specifically because some spammers use a blank image file to identify valid email addresses. In very unscientific tests of my own email accounts, I haven't found having the feature turned on or off does anything to reduce the junk in my inbox. I do find it annoying that the warning makes some messages unreadable and generally turn it off because the cure is more annoying than any potential disease in this case. Depending on whether you use Outlook Express or Outlook, the steps for disabling picture blocking will vary slightly.

In Outlook Express, choose Tools > Options from the menu and click the Security tab. In the Download Images section of the tab, uncheck the box next to Block images and other external content in HTML e-mail. Click OK and all future mails will display pictures properly.

Outlook requires an extra step to change its version of picture blocking. First choose Tools > Options from the menu and click the Security tab.

Next click the Change Automatic Download Settings button. Uncheck the box next to Don't download pictures or other content automatically in HTML e-mail. Click OK on both windows to apply the setting to all future emails.