ProtonMail does not load images in your emails by default. Images often contain tracking pixels that send information back to its sender, including when the email was read, your IP address, the type of software used to read the email, and cookies previously stored on your device by the sender.
This classic “spy pixel”, as known as a web beacon, is a transparent 1×1 GIF image that can be embedded in regular images and company logos. The use of pixel tracking by commercial companies is widespread, making them a serious threat to our users’ privacy.
For this reason, ProtonMail enables you to load images in your emails automatically or manually. This article demonstrates the differences between both settings and how to change them.
Loading images manually
1. Log in to your ProtonMail account. Open the email with the images you wish to load. You should see a banner at the top of the email that says “This message contains remote content.”
2. Click on Load. You should now see remote or embedded images displayed in your email.
Loading images automatically
1. Go to Settings at the top right and click on Go to settings.
2. Select General in the left sidebar.
3. Under Messages, activate Auto-load remote content and Auto-load embedded images. All images in your emails should now be displayed automatically.
Loading images in Android
You can update your image settings in the Android app by going to Settings.
Select your account and scroll down to Mailbox -> Privacy.
Tap the toggle next to “Auto Show Remote Images” or “Auto Show Embedded Images” to configure your preferences.
Loading images in iOS
In the ProtonMail iOS app, embedded images are always displayed by default. You can change this by going to the app Settings.
In the Account Settings section, select Privacy and scroll down to Auto show images.
Please note: the show images feature only applies to images that are embedded in a message through an external link. If the image is stored in the message directly, it will be displayed as an attachment at the bottom of the message. If you are not seeing images in a message that you were expecting to see, please check the attachments of the message.
Images still not loading by default
If the images in your emails still do not load automatically, your browser’s settings might be preventing this. You can check the image settings in your browser by following these steps:
Open Firefox and type in about:preferences#privacy in the address bar. Under Enhanced Tracking Protection, select Standard.
Open Chrome and type in chrome://settings/content/images/ in the address bar. Under Default Behaviour, select Sites can show images.
Open Edge and type in edge://settings/content/images/ in the address bar. Under Images, activate the toggle to show all images by default.
Open Brave and type in brave://settings/content/images/ in the address bar. Under Images, activate the toggle to show all images by default.