How to Make Outlook Automatically Download Pictures in Email Messages

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By default, images contained in email messages are not automatically downloaded in Microsoft Outlook. In most cases, you can view the frame of images in e-mail messages, but the images are not displayed. Here are the methods for manually downloading images in an e-mail message and automatically downloading images for all e-mail messages you receive.

The main reason is that spammers cannot verify the existence of your e-mail address. They do this by including unique images in their spam message that would otherwise be automatically retrieved when the message is opened. This is also known as a “web bug”.

However, images continue to be downloaded automatically for messages to and from the addresses you specified in the spam filter’s safe senders and recipients lists.

This privacy feature can also be turned off to allow or block the download of all images online, regardless of the address you use. Of course, all blocked images can always be downloaded via the Infobar.

Allow downloading of images for all messages from a specific email address or domain

In an open message sent from a specific e-mail address or domain, right-click a blocked item.

Do one of the following:

  • Click Add Sender to Safe Sender List.
  • Click Add Domain @Domain to Safe Senders list.

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To automatically download images of all incoming messages

In Outlook 2019, 2016, 2013 and 2010, simply go to File > Options > Trust Center > Trust Center Settings > Automatic Download and uncheck the box “Do not automatically download images in HTML emails or RSS feeds”.

If you are using Outlook 2007, go to Tools > Trust Center > Auto-Download and uncheck the box “Do not automatically download images in HTML emails or RSS feeds”.

In Outlook 2003, go to Tools > Options > Security tab > Change Auto-Download Settings > then uncheck the options “Do not automatically download images or other content in HTML emails” and “Warn me before downloading content when editing, forwarding, or replying to emails”.

If you disable this setting, all future email messages you receive will automatically download images. Before disabling this feature, you should probably read the following to find out what the risks are and why this security feature is enabled by default.

To allow automatic downloading of emails you trust

You can set the automatic image download function only for e-mails you know. This is probably the best way to avoid downloading images from unknown sources. With these steps, you can make exceptions for e-mails :

  1. Open Outlook.
  2. Open a trusted e-mail and right-click on the message header.
  3. Click Add sender to the list of allowed senders or Add domain to the list of allowed senders.


We do not recommend automatic image uploads to Microsoft Outlook, but if you feel the need to do so, please continue. We have now found that some users of the popular email client have had problems downloading images automatically. What we wanted to do here today is to go into more detail about this little trick, and then a few more.

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