Outlook 2010: Download Images Automatically

Outlook prevents the automatic download of pictures in email messages as a security measure to help prevent possible spamming. It permits images from sites in your Trusted Zone to show but blocks all others. You can override this feature by following this tech recipe:

1. Open Outlook 2010.

2. Go to the Ribbon and select File.

3. Click Options.

4. In the left pane, select Trust Center.

5. Click the Trust Center Settings button.

6. Select Automatic Download from the left pane.

7. Uncheck the Don’t download pictures automatically in HTML e-mail messages or RSS items checkbox.

8. Click OK.

9. Click OK to close the Outlook Options window.


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78 Responses to “Outlook 2010: Download Images Automatically”

  1. November 20, 2009 at 10:50 am, Shawn Shirey said:

    Very cool tip…


    • November 28, 2012 at 4:35 pm, Lila said:

      I am getting pictures from new emails, but the ones that were already in my box do not show up. Can this be fixed too?


      • July 13, 2013 at 4:52 pm, kevin said:

        I got it fixed for the new emails , but how about for the old emails before the change in file>options>trust settings ? Is there a way to download the pictures for the old emails as well ?


  2. November 30, 2009 at 12:43 am, Anonymous said:

    You fixed it! Changing default settings in this larger Outlook is not always intuitive.


  3. January 03, 2010 at 5:19 am, Anonymous said:

    I have unlocked the “Don’t download pictures automatically in HTML e-mail messages or RSS items”. I am still not receiving images in my e-mails.
    This did not fix my condition.


    • July 21, 2010 at 4:49 am, Rmbrighton said:

      Hey Bruce,
      did you ever resolve the issue, I am having the same experience.


      • July 26, 2010 at 2:47 am, Chris said:

        All I get is an image placeholder with the red X. Even in outlook 07 this was thecase.


      • July 26, 2010 at 3:33 am, Anonymous said:

        I am not sure about the fix, but yes it is fixed. I believe Regcure was the fix.


    • June 21, 2012 at 12:05 pm, bjohn913 said:

      > I have the same problem in 2012. It appeared after some MS updates. I hate MS updates.


      • August 20, 2012 at 5:48 pm, Robert Harford said:

        > I have had our help desk involved in this, but even after running the Outlook 2010 repair and rebooting, I still have the same issue.

        I believe I have found the root cause. When creating emails, I found a work around by changing the Wrap Text = “In line with text” to = “Top and Bottom”.

        This doesn’t resolve the incoming mail that was probably created with the Wrap Text set to “In Line with Text”.

        An update from Ms must have caused this issue, because it worked fine before I went on vacation on 07/26/2012 and was not working when I returned, 08/10/2012


        • January 14, 2014 at 11:37 am, BrianK said:

          > open a new email, select file/options/editor options/advanced/display email content section/un-check “show picture placeholders”


          • April 08, 2014 at 7:36 am, Damon said:

            Open a new email, select file/options/editor options/advanced/display email content section/un-check “show picture placeholders” worked PERFECTLY!! Thank you very much!!

  4. November 09, 2010 at 11:40 pm, Michelle said:

    Great tip, thanks for sharing, couldn’t find the answer on the help menu for Outlook 2010.


  5. December 01, 2010 at 12:25 pm, Mrs. Smith said:

    Worked like a charm! Thanks bunches! :D


  6. December 19, 2010 at 9:42 pm, Gozer said:

    doesn’t work schmucko


    • January 06, 2011 at 3:17 pm, Clem said:

      @gozer did you restart Outlook?


  7. March 15, 2011 at 4:58 pm, Laura said:

    Thank you sooooo much.


  8. March 21, 2011 at 3:24 am, Sam Iyer said:

    Great tip…Thanks a lot


  9. June 07, 2011 at 5:30 pm, Aa said:

    Doesn’t work for me, I can receive images from others but when I send them they arrive as attachments no matter what my settings are, and no matter what the recipient’s settings are.  This did not happen in the previous version of Outlook.


    • June 22, 2011 at 1:45 am, Guest said:

      Mine is all glitched up too.  Errr… MS is killing me with Outlook & Media Center issues…. all worked just fine a year ago, now I can’t see images in email and when sending emails back & forth to clients text turns into 72pt fonts here and there and Media Center can’t see my tv tuner, altho other programs can…. MS needs  better support for Outlook 2010 & Media Center!


    • June 22, 2012 at 2:17 am, FC said:

      >I have the same problem as you posted.( Doesn’t work for me, I can receive images from others but when I send them they arrive as attachments no matter what my settings are, and no matter what the recipient’s settings are. This did not happen in the previous version of Outlook.)

      Did you ever find a fix for this problem?



  10. June 11, 2011 at 5:05 pm, Cosa said:

    Such simple instructions, THANK YOU! it took me less than a minute.


    • July 21, 2012 at 5:09 pm, fred said:

      For, once, clear simple instructions that just work.
      Nice job man!
      - Stephen


  11. July 07, 2011 at 11:11 pm, Jboyer said:

    That is a relief. I wish they just put that option somewhere in the “Mail” section of the file menu.


  12. July 28, 2011 at 6:30 am, Reddog said:

    Doesn’t work for everyone – Outlook 2010 has a flaw that means some people cannot resolve the problem using standard fixes.

    I tried every option, including every suggestion from Microsoft, and the images refused to display – I only get the red X placeholder.

    This will take a fix from Microsoft, but don’t hold your breath as they can take an age to fix non-threatening security issues.

    I’m now asking each email sender to switch me to plain text versions of emails where available so I don’t miss out on information – so much for Windows 7 and Office 2010 being the best you can get… and don’t get me started on the botched Bluetooth implementation in Win7…


  13. July 31, 2011 at 10:12 am, Tiss Lassad said:

    Very useful, thanks!


  14. September 25, 2011 at 1:59 pm, Donna DJ said:

    Thanks, great help on here!


  15. September 25, 2011 at 5:00 pm, Christine said:

    This fix did not work for me, either. Not sure why. Last week I had to uninstall & reinstall Outlook 2010. Ever since the reinstall, I get the red X for pics.

    I hope there is another solution.


  16. September 25, 2011 at 5:51 pm, Tina said:

    These settings worked for me initially. But now, at least once a day, the images in emails stop showing up and appear as red x’s instead. And the only way to fix it is to restart the freaking computer. THAT is annoying. I was using Windows Live since it came with W7, but I was having the same issues with that–which is why I decided to purchase Outlook, thinking I just needed a “better” email program. HA. Now Outlook does the exact same thing, and I’ve spent a lot of money to buy the same stupid problem. Wonderful.


  17. October 06, 2011 at 3:48 pm, jeanius said:

    didn’t work for me.


  18. October 11, 2011 at 6:52 pm, 10111993 said:

    There is definitely a flaw somewhere else. My work machine and laptop are configured to download pics with these instructions fine. Office 2010 on my home machine will not display images, even using these fixes. I uninstalled and reinstalled, but it still will not download pics with these settings. Something else is causing the images to be blocked, but I can’t find the answer.


  19. November 28, 2011 at 8:09 am, les reen said:

    the check box is not checked and images will still not show up. Could it be security essentials?


  20. December 18, 2011 at 11:45 am, Larry617 said:

    thanks for the great posting.. a logical explaination with step by step guide…why microsoft has to keep assuming we want all this and not even asking if we want to turn on or off is beyond me.

    great post!


  21. January 30, 2012 at 4:06 pm, Wendy said:

    Yay! This seems to fix yet another annoying 2010 problem. Thanks!


  22. March 10, 2012 at 7:49 pm, latinmotion said:

    Thank you very much for the directions within the Outlook 2010 options to download images automatically vs right-click on the mouse to download pictures.


  23. March 12, 2012 at 11:36 pm, Gramps said:

    did not work for me either. Think an update might have screwed it up as it was working prior


  24. March 27, 2012 at 3:40 pm, Martin said:

    If you are using other than IE browser as default than you should set IE as default, open up Outlook 2o1o then you should be working. You can always switch default back at any time and it will still work like it should. P.S. Make sure Trust Center Settings are set as needed! Good Luck.


  25. April 03, 2012 at 3:54 am, Morvi said:

    It took me ages playjng with all the settings, re-cheking the email files – reducing the file size – (deleting a lot of emails) and nothing work.

    and finally the solution was the one Martin found >>set IE browser as default.

    Thanks Martin (and big Booo to MS for hiding the option and settng it as default and then it does not always work as expected)


  26. April 10, 2012 at 8:44 pm, Nancy said:

    Thank you SO much for this!! I jsut had my computer reinstalled and I couldn’t for the life of me remember how to fix this. Thanks for posting it!!!


  27. April 24, 2012 at 10:37 pm, Garnett said:



  28. May 02, 2012 at 8:01 pm, Xz Guite said:

    Just what i was searching for. Simple yet was hard to find .. thanks ..


  29. May 10, 2012 at 12:04 pm, Turgor Osmosson said:

    Just whant to join the “Thank You” crowd


  30. May 15, 2012 at 7:43 am, KEM said:

    I opened IE to find a message saying I was working offline and to work online I should uncheck Work Offline in the Tools menu.
    I did this and all my images reappeared in Outlook.


    • March 22, 2013 at 6:09 am, Joe said:

      > From these suggestions I turned OFF Pop Up Blocker in IE (which I don’t use) and it seems to have solved the problem although the images seem to come up a little slower than before.


  31. July 03, 2012 at 8:41 pm, Dispin said:

    Why would you do this? If you get spam email with image download tracking they will confirm your email address!

    But hey! it’s your inbox I guess!


  32. September 17, 2012 at 6:46 pm, John Pearson said:

    Yes, this was a great solutiont, but why does Outlook, and the rest of Office for that matter, seem to get more complicated as time goes by? I understand that they are adding functionality. But jeez, I shouldn’t have to dig so far onto the settings to do this. I’m semi-Office literate, but what about someone new to MS Office 2010? I know where to look for the answers at least (and it’s not in Office 2010 Help.)


  33. October 10, 2012 at 2:29 am, Joseph said:

    Very cool tip. Tks.


  34. November 30, 2012 at 5:24 am, David said:

    For me the problem was Outlook depends on IE being in online, as opposed to offline mode. Stupid Microsoft for not realizing that some people prefer using another browser.


  35. December 02, 2012 at 1:44 pm, Nancy Dawson said:

    Thank you so much I searched Microsoft for hours and yours was the quick and easy way thank you again.


  36. December 02, 2012 at 1:46 pm, Nancy Dawson said:

    BTW I am having a very difficult time importing my contacts, calendar, etc into 2010 from 2007 (Outlook). Can’t find the solution. Can you help?


  37. December 15, 2012 at 1:01 am, Stephen Pate said:

    Thanks for fixing that annoyance.


  38. December 18, 2012 at 2:34 pm, Truthbtold said:

    finally, this is what i’ve been looking for.


  39. December 21, 2012 at 10:03 pm, Lila Davis said:

    My picture problem is fixed. Thanks for posting this fix. I had to do this once before a long time ago but forgot this fix. I think I had another problem from running System Mechanic and had turned off some start up programs that also affected this. I’m not sure which one because I turned off then back on many programs in the startup menu.

    I also bought and ran Tune Up Maestro to make my PC run faster and better. It fixed problems with Real Player and Windows Media Player. I had lost total functionality of both these programs about the time I lost my pictures in outlook. Everything is working great again.


  40. January 09, 2013 at 3:28 pm, Heather said:

    Thank you worked good!


  41. January 18, 2013 at 6:14 pm, Michael said:

    why does outlook not give me the option to download pictures in an email anymore. I must have click a box removing this option. I don’t remember even looking at option boxes. so just to be clear.

    Pictures are not automatically downloaded. In the past, in the email (at the top) you could click on several options, one of them was “download pictures” That and all options are not showing up any more. Do you know why? and how to restore that opption each time you open an email?


  42. February 05, 2013 at 11:09 am, cr said:

    great tip, thanks for posting!


  43. February 08, 2013 at 12:46 pm, For Petra said:

    I think this is the answer to your not seeing any pictures…show Richard maybe? Hope this helps!


  44. February 20, 2013 at 3:46 pm, Pepe said:

    Awesome, just loaded Outlook 2013 and Microsoft’s web site is to confusing you fixed ASAP. thanks


  45. February 25, 2013 at 2:16 pm, Kathi said:

    This does NOT WORK; there has got to something else. I have research and completed these directions several many times. any ideas?


  46. March 03, 2013 at 7:22 am, christine said:

    Thank you. That was quick and painless!


  47. March 21, 2013 at 3:05 pm, Yssachar Elburg said:

    Few clear steps and …. it works!
    Thanks a lot


  48. March 26, 2013 at 8:19 pm, Hoang said:

    Thanks. Very good tips. I save time with this tips.


  49. April 09, 2013 at 4:30 pm, Francine Epstein said:

    I have tried everything you have stipulated, and I’m still not getting my images to appear in Outlook 2010. Do you know of any other solution? This problem just started a few weeks ago…

    Thank you,


  50. May 03, 2013 at 3:12 pm, YusufG said:

    Thank you so very very much!!

    You’re a lifesaver!!



  51. June 27, 2013 at 11:30 am, James Wendell Holland said:

    Bob I have tried both ways to no avail
    6. Select Automatic Download from the left pane.

    7. Uncheck the Don’t download pictures automatically in HTML e-mail messages or RSS items checkbox.


  52. July 23, 2013 at 9:27 am, Ken D said:

    I am still after searching every where on the internet and paying for support still not receiving my incoming images. I just get a small box with a red x in it.

    Did anyone come up with a solution?


  53. August 05, 2013 at 10:10 am, Jacki0110 said:

    I have unchecked the box as directed however the pictures on the email still do not download. I have even added the sender to the safe sender list and still the pictures are not downloading. What is going on ?


  54. August 14, 2013 at 6:43 pm, Doug Clements said:

    Mine just started not showing graphics after Microsoft’s update from last night (8/14/13), but the box was till unchecked. When I forward the documents to my wife, her Outlook 2010 displays the embedded graphics no problem.


  55. August 16, 2013 at 11:02 am, Ken D said:

    Still does not automatically down load. It does on my exchange serve account but not on my gmail account.


  56. October 04, 2013 at 1:09 pm, Susan said:

    I don’t get pictures in most of my emails in Microsoft Outlook. I’ve followed the instructions above several times, tried rebooting before and after, etc. Nothing works. I simply cannot get pictures in my emails. This program is a POS.


  57. October 08, 2013 at 6:18 pm, Ashwin said:

    Thanks Heaps for resloving the picture downloading issue. the help details are not user friendly and could not find the solution in it, but you showed the right simple straight way. A BIG THUMBS UP.


  58. November 11, 2013 at 2:41 am, Ahmed Ibrahim said:

    thanks a lot :D


  59. November 20, 2013 at 7:38 pm, Robert Taylor said:

    This does not work on outlook 2010. Seems to have quit working as of the last MS update as of November 19 2013. Of course the “Don’t download pictures automatically in HTML e-mail messages or RSS items” is unchecked! ????? Is everyone too busy working on Windows 8 to fix some of these thing?


  60. November 26, 2013 at 6:56 am, Texas Chris said:

    Excellent fix. Thank you.


  61. November 30, 2013 at 8:10 am, Bob said:


    Thank you very much!


  62. January 14, 2014 at 11:35 am, BrianK said:

    For those experiencing the problem still, there is another option to “uncheck” for this problem – OPEN A NEW EMAIL, then go to: file/options/editor options/advanced/”Display Email Content” section UNCHECK the “show picture placeholders” I had a fresh install of Outlook 2010 and this was checked by default and wouldn’t display any pictures in an email, even if I had pasted one in myself…I could only see it while resizing the picture. It MUST be from the “file” menu from within a new email…not from the higher-level outlook settings for the overall mailbox.


  63. February 21, 2014 at 6:00 pm, Rob said:

    This website probably gets tons of hits because this is one of the most unintuitive places to find such a simple setting. Glad I found it, though. Thanks.!


  64. March 13, 2014 at 4:42 am, Faizan Salim said:

    Do it! But Still not working!!!


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