Blocking remote images

When using your web browser to look at emails, you have the option to block any images that weren't sent as attachments with the email.

Companies often keep images and files on their web servers rather than sending them as attachments with the email. They can do this for two reasons:

  1. It keeps the email itself small as the image isn't being sent to your inbox, but just as a web link.
  2. Every time you load the image from their server, they are notified that someone is viewing it. They use this information to tailor their content and to track how successful their email campaigns are.

Note: If you do choose to load the remote images, our servers load the images on your behalf, so the image host still doesn't know your internet address or your browser.

If you'd like, you can block remote images. Though some people prefer seeing images in their email, you may choose to block remote images, whether it's so your mail will load faster, or for any other reason.

You can customize how we block the remote content in your Settings → Preferences screen, in the Privacy section.

  • Show remote images - All images are always shown.
  • Show remote images from senders in my contacts, otherwise ask - Always show images from your contacts, but otherwise ask.
  • Always ask before loading remote images - We'll always ask you to click load the remote content.

Tracking pixels

A tracking pixel, sometimes called a spy pixel, is a remotely-hosted image included in an email. It can be as small as a single pixel in size, making it invisible to you, the reader. Senders include tracking pixels so they can see that you've read their email as well as information about your email client, operating system, screen resolution, and IP address. 

Because our servers always proxy the images, the sender can only ever know details about our hosts, and nothing about you.

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