By default, ProtonMail does not load images in emails. This is because images often contain email tracking pixels that send information back to the sender. This can include when the email was read, your IP address, the type of software used to read the email, and the existence of any cookies previously stored on your device by the sender.
The classic “spy pixel” (properly known as a web beacon) is a transparent 1×1 pixel GIF image, although these email trackers can also be embedded in regular images and company logos. The use of image pixel tracking by commercial companies is almost ubiquitous, making them a serious threat to users’ privacy.
Although disabled by default for this reason, ProtonMail enables you to load the images in the messages you receive automatically or manually. Here you can learn about the difference between both settings and how to change them.
When receiving a message with an image in it, ProtonMail will prompt you by default to manually select Load to show the images. This is implemented to improve the security of your account by ensuring no code is executed on your system without your knowledge.
By selecting Load, ProtonMail will display all remote or embedded images through an external link.
Show images in the web app
You can make remote or embedded images display automatically from the web app in your Settings while logged in to your account at mail.protonmail.com. In the Account tab, under the Email Content section, you will find options for “Load remote content” and “Load embedded images”. Selecting Auto will cause all links to be executed automatically upon opening a message.
Show 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.
Show 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.