Office 365 - Manage Automatic Image Loading in Messages

It is very important that you understand how online hackers can embed malicious code to run in image backgrounds. When images are automatically downloaded in email messages, this gives hackers an opportunity to automatically run malicious code in the background. It is highly recommended that you do not load images automatically for emails you receive and only load images from senders you recognize/trust.

The advantages of blocking automatic picture downloads include the following

  • Helps you avoid viewing potentially offensive material (when external content is linked to the message).
  • Helps to keep malicious code from damaging the data on your computer.
  • If you are on a low-bandwidth connection, blocking allows you to decide whether a particular image warrants the time and bandwidth that are required for downloading it.

Pictures in email messages that are actually linked and downloaded from the Internet can also be used as a way to confirm that you opened the message. This is known as a web beacon. For example, a junk email sender can confirm that they have reached an active email address when the picture/image in the message is downloaded.

Configure Outlook/Outlook on the web

  •  Outlook on the web
    • In Outlook on the web, there is not a global setting to always download images/pictures for every message. You will need to manage this at the message level or add the message sender to your safe sender's list.

      When viewing a message that contains images either within your preview window or its own window, you will have the option to either load the message content or add the sender to your safe sender's list.

      load message content view

      To help protect your privacy, some content in this message has been blocked. To re-enable the blocked features, click here.
      If you activate this setting, the image content will be downloaded and all the content will be visible for this message always.
      To always show content from this sender, click here.
      If you activate this setting, the image content will be downloaded and all the content will be visible for this message always. In addition, for any messages you receive from this sender in the future, all images/pictures will be downloaded. Learn more.

  •  Outlook 2016 for Windows
    • In Outlook 2016 for Windows, you can set it to always download images/pictures in all messages you receive. As stated above, this is not recommended. Instead, we recommend you manage this at the message or sender level.

      When viewing a message that contains images/pictures either within your preview window or its own window, you will have the option to either load the message content or add the sender to your safe sender's list. By clicking on the information banner underneath the "To" field, the following options will be displayed.

      load message content view

      Download Pictures.
      If you activate this setting, the image content will be downloaded and all the content will be visible for this message always.
      Add Sender to Safe Senders List.
      If you activate this setting, the image content will be downloaded and all the content will be visible for this message always. In addition, for any messages you receive from this sender in the future, all images/pictures will be downloaded. Learn more.

  •  Outlook 2016 for Mac
    • In Outlook 2016 for Mac, you can set up to always download images/pictures in all messages you receive. As stated above, this is not recommended. Instead, we recommend you manage this at the message or sender level.

      When viewing a message that contains images/pictures either within your preview window or its own window, you will have the option to load the message content.

      load message content view

      Download Pictures.
      If you activate this setting, the image content will be downloaded and all the content will be visible for this message always.
      Important: If you want always load images/pictures from a particular safe sender, you can add them to your safe sender's list by following these instructions.

See Also:




Keywords:microsoft ms office365 o365 outlook owa on the web 2016 2013 mac windows client desktop phishing spam cybersecurity protect data virus malicious code background run embedded images attacker steal damage compromised privacy automatically downloaded safety emails hacker spammer web contained configured settings configuring stay secure   Doc ID:67394
Owner:Rhianna C.Group:Office 365
Created:2016-09-30 12:04 CSTUpdated:2016-10-04 13:59 CST
Sites:DoIT Help Desk, DoIT Tech Store, Office 365
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