Outlook 2010: Download Images Automatically

Posted November 14, 2009 by Rob Rogers in Microsoft Outlook

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.


About Rob Rogers

Once a prolific author here on Tech-Recipes, Rob has moved on to greener pastures.
View more articles by Rob Rogers

The Conversation

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  • http://www.facebook.com/llZyRiXll Shawn Shirey

    Very cool tip…

    • Lila

      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?

      • kevin

        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 ?

  • Anonymous

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

  • Anonymous

    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.

    • Rmbrighton

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

      • Chris

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

      • Anonymous

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

    • bjohn913

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

      • Robert Harford

        > 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

        • BrianK

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

          • Damon

            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!!

  • http://www.bestbuys4business.com Michelle

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

  • http://www.youravon.com/rdsmith Mrs. Smith

    Worked like a charm! Thanks bunches! 😀

  • Gozer

    doesn’t work schmucko

    • Clem

      @gozer did you restart Outlook?

  • Laura

    Thank you sooooo much.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sam-Iyer/1784331161 Sam Iyer

    Great tip…Thanks a lot

  • Aa

    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.

    • Guest

      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!

    • FC

      >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?


  • Cosa

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

    • fred

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

  • Jboyer

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

  • Reddog

    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…

  • http://twitter.com/Lassadt Tiss Lassad

    Very useful, thanks!

  • Donna DJ

    Thanks, great help on here!

  • Christine

    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.

  • Tina

    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.

  • jeanius

    didn’t work for me.

  • 10111993

    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.

  • http://netspaceads.com les reen

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

  • Larry617

    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!

  • Wendy

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

  • latinmotion

    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.

  • Gramps

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

  • Martin

    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.

  • Morvi

    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)

  • Nancy

    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!!!

  • Garnett


  • Xz Guite

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

  • Turgor Osmosson

    Just whant to join the “Thank You” crowd

  • KEM

    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.

    • Joe

      > 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.

  • Dispin

    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!

  • John Pearson

    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.)

  • Joseph

    Very cool tip. Tks.

  • David

    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.

  • Nancy Dawson

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

  • http://creativewishes.blogspot.com Nancy Dawson

    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?

  • Stephen Pate

    Thanks for fixing that annoyance.

  • Truthbtold

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

  • Lila Davis

    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.

  • Heather

    Thank you worked good!

  • Michael

    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?

  • cr

    great tip, thanks for posting!

  • For Petra

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

  • Pepe

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

  • Kathi

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

  • christine

    Thank you. That was quick and painless!

  • Yssachar Elburg

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

  • Hoang

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

  • Francine Epstein

    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,

  • YusufG

    Thank you so very very much!!

    You’re a lifesaver!!


  • James Wendell Holland

    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.

  • Ken D

    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?

  • Jacki0110

    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 ?

  • Doug Clements

    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.

  • Ken D

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

  • Susan

    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.

  • Ashwin

    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.

  • Ahmed Ibrahim

    thanks a lot 😀

  • Robert Taylor

    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?

  • Texas Chris

    Excellent fix. Thank you.

  • Bob


    Thank you very much!

  • BrianK

    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.

  • Rob

    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.!

  • Faizan Salim

    Do it! But Still not working!!!

  • Roberta

    The setting were already as described above. Still red X problem