How to Fix a Red X in a Photo Email

When a computer user sees a Red X instead of an image when viewing a photo in an e-mail, Outlook or Outlook Express is blocking the image from downloading and displaying. Microsoft first included this feature with Windows XP Service Pack 2 in an attempt to protect the user's privacy and reduce spam. (Some spammers verify e-mail accounts by including a blank image file in probing e-mails.) Many users find automatic image blocking to be inconvenient, however, and want to reinstate automatic downloading and viewing of images.


  1. Microsoft Outlook 2003

    • 1

      Open Outlook 2003.

    • 2

      Click on "Tools" in the menu bar. Select "Options."

    • 3

      Select the "Security" tab.

    • 4

      Choose "Change Automatic Download Settings" under "Download Pictures."

    • 5

      Uncheck the check box next to "Don't download pictures or other content automatically in HTML e-mail" by clicking on the box.

    • 6

      Click "OK."

    Microsoft Outlook 2007

    • 7

      Open Outlook 2007.

    • 8

      Click on "Tools" in the menu bar. Select "Trust Center." Click "Automatic Download."

    • 9

      Uncheck the "Don't download pictures automatically in HTML e-mail messages or RSS items" box by clicking once on the check box.

    • 10

      Click "OK."

    Outlook Express or Windows Mail

    • 11

      Open Outlook Express or Windows Mail.

    • 12

      Click on "Tools" in the menu bar. Select "Options."

    • 13

      Navigate to the "Security" tab.

    • 14

      Click the check box next to "Block images and other external content in HTML e-mail" to uncheck it.

    • 15

      Click "OK."

Tips & Warnings

  • Microsoft automatically turns off image display in Outlook Express after a computer user upgrades to Service Pack 2.
  • You can display images on a per e-mail basis by clicking on the "Info Bar" and selecting "Download Pictures."
  • Do not open unknown links or attachments.
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  • Photo Credit Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images

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