How to load images by default

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:

Firefox

Open Firefox and type in about:preferences#privacy in the address bar. Under Enhanced Tracking Protection, select Standard.

Chrome

Open Chrome and type in chrome://settings/content/images/ in the address bar. Under Default Behaviour, select Sites can show images.

Edge

Open Edge and type in edge://settings/content/images/ in the address bar. Under Images, activate the toggle to show all images by default.

Brave

Open Brave and type in brave://settings/content/images/ in the address bar. Under Images, activate the toggle to show all images by default.

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39 comments

  1. Anonymous

    ok I get it, but we are not able to see the accepted images

  2. ProtonMail Support

    Are this images sent in attachments or copy and pasted in the body of the message. Can you please contact us at contact@protonmail.com?

  3. Virgile

    Hi, it could be great we can see the image in attachment too… Thanks.

  4. Paul McDonald

    Am I accepted?

  5. ProtonMail Support

    Can you please contact us here: contact@protonmail.com so we can be more of an assistance?

  6. Alexander

    Thanks for all your hard work. It’s a great service!

    Could you add an option to always show images from the same sender?

  7. William

    I was expecting something like that too!

  8. mo

    i’m wondering if there’s a way to change the download destination…?

  9. ProtonMail Support

    If you are referring to the web app, you will need to change your browser settings for downloads.

  10. Etienne

    It would be great to have another option: Auto for whitelist.

  11. Scott

    Yes, having a white list of safe senders would be nice.

  12. David Buckley

    This is also supposed to explain “learn more” about remote content, not just images. Also, searching for “remote content” returns zero results.

    Also, I am logged in, click settings > account > come here to leave a comment and I am still asked to log in and if I do so it reloads my inbox??

    Please fix and thanks for your hard work!

  13. Anonymous

    I think by setting load embedded images and load remote content e-mail trackers will be stopped.

  14. Anon

    Loading an image is sometimes necessary and a security risk at the same time.

    It would be great to have something like this: https://gmail.googleblog.com/2013/12/images-now-showing.html

  15. Ring

    Lol….I can’t help but note the incongruence of your commenting on security risks and then posting a link to a Google blog. No offense.

    :D

  16. Bill

    I have a business which I would like to send and receive images (digital photographs) but I keep getting messages about the danger (security wise) of opening them.

    I once read somewhere that they need to be down loaded in a different program.

    Can you please direct me to where, who or how I am to do that please. I really don’t want to keep using Gmail for the ease of doing that image swapping.

  17. ProtonMail Support

    Please contact our support team at contact@protonmail.com or using the support form at https://protonmail.com/support-form with more details.

  18. ProtonMail user/lover

    i love your service. however today my emails are loading remote content even though it is set to ‘manual’.
    has something been changed?

    thank you

  19. ProtonMail Support

    If you are still experiencing this issue, please contact our support team at contact@protonmail.ch, via the report bug button or using the support form at https://protonmail.com/support-form.

  20. Scott

    Hi, I’m having an issue where I just get spinning donuts where images should be when I click “load” to load remote content. Makes it difficult to scroll through the messages, and also is a resource hog on my laptop when it’s doing this. Any reason images in some emails (from email lists by different companies for example) will load, but most others don’t?

  21. ProtonMail Support

    Can you please contact our support team at contact@protonmail.ch, via the report bug button or using the support form at https://protonmail.com/support-form for more information?

  22. Jo

    Great security feature, but the ability to enable it is useless. It’s a binary switch, when it should have a little more granularity. There are certain email I just want to set it to auto for so it autodisplays the image, and others I don’t trust as much.

  23. Anonymous

    There should really be an ‘add sender to trusted-senders list’ button….

  24. Chris

    Times 10 to that and an Amen…. what a pita. At least let me narrow down the list a bit with some ‘safe senders’

  25. Paul

    What would be useful is to enable an auto option for all emails except those in the Spam folder. If it’s in Spam we need to be more careful, so picking up the same settings as an email which passed spam checking doesn’t seem right.

  26. gillis

    I have tried all but I can not see pictures in the mail

  27. ProtonMail Support

    Please contact our support team: https://protonmail.com/support-form.

  28. Gasparini

    Se puede recuperar correos eliminados? Gracias

  29. ProtonMail Support

    If you have moved messages to the Trash folder, you can move them back to the Inbox. If you have deleted the messages from the Trash folder permanently, they cannot be recovered.

  30. -B

    So, in the past, only a few times, it seems like my account delivered an email later than it was sent. For example, twice before, ive gone back to an existing email to check some info and discovered an email that i never read, even though i had 2 or 3 with later recieved dates. I havnt recieved a reply to several sent emails and its now been over a week. I understand that some people go on vaca randomly, or even disappear altogether… But is there a way to double check that my account is working properly? Maybe a test email from support? Thank you for all that you do.
    -B

  31. ProtonMail Support

    Sometimes an email may get delayed due to various network issues. The displayed time will be the one from when the email was sent, not received, which may cause it to show up in your Mailbox below other messages that were received on time.

    If you need further assistance, please contact our support team: https://protonmail.com/support-form.

  32. Rick

    Can’t see the pics in the email.

  33. ProtonMail Support

    Click the Load button if you have loading set to manual. If you’re still having issues, please contact our support team: https://protonmail.com/support-form.

  34. Martin

    Although I see images (company logos, Twitter, facebook etc logo’s, email signatures etc) in the body of the email, they are also attached as files at the bottom, which means when I reply attaching a new file there are a lot of confusing choices. Can I just show the images in the email but not as attachments?

  35. ProtonMail Support

    Sorry, all embedded images appear as attachments and this cannot be disabled right now. We’ll consider changing this in the future.

  36. Janice

    firefox is telling me that my email is not secure because of mixed media. what is this and how can I stop the mixed media?

  37. ProtonMail Support
  38. Wim

    Settings are set to load remote content and images automatically. Yet, embedded images do NOT show, nor as attachments.

  39. ProtonMail Support

    Remote and Embedded images are separate settings. If this is not working as expected, please contact our support team: https://protonmail.com/support-form.

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