The Windows 10 email client automatically loads all images in emails. This is bad as it can be used for spammers to verify that they've reached a valid email address. Is there any way to turn this off? There was in the Windows 8.x email client.


Unfortunately Microsoft at every update seems to change how their programs work modifying settings, UI, and adding confusion...

I still had the same issue (April 2019, Windows 10 1809) 'till I finally found a "hidden" setting to enable/disable the automatic image downloading in Mail:

Settings (gear icon) > Reading pane > External content > Automatically download external images and style formats except S/MIME Mail = OFF

N.B.: of course you can still manually download the full message and images clicking at the bottom of every mail on the small placeholder "Download message and pictures"

  • "Download message and pictures" seems missing now :( I want to download the images specifically for some messages only – Binod Kalathil May 2 '20 at 8:38
  • The above path description to disable "Automatically download external images and style formats except S/MIME Mail" is still there for me, April 2020 Win 10 2020. – hexaae May 2 '20 at 13:47
  • I was referring to download manually part bro – Binod Kalathil May 2 '20 at 18:28
  • It's still there that too for me. – hexaae May 3 '20 at 12:23
  • A screenshot and the version of Mail will be more helpful bro – Binod Kalathil May 3 '20 at 12:25

Yes there is a way to do this in the email app on Windows 10

go to Settings> Account> Change mailbox Sync Settings> Uncheck " Always download full message and Internet images"

  • 2
    Unfortunately disabling "Always download full message and Internet images" has no effect for me (app version 17.6769.40791.0). Images still load. A bug? Who knows. – Heinrich Ulbricht Apr 11 '16 at 15:04
  • Update: somehow it's now working partially (same version). It doesn't display the whole mail and shows a link "Download message and pictures". But some images are loaded. Seems like the mail is downloaded partially, including some external content. – Heinrich Ulbricht Apr 15 '16 at 19:34
  • It's 2018 and the situation has not changed. Sad. – Heinrich Ulbricht Jun 20 '18 at 20:07

To say the least, you can't.

I just tried like my life depended on it to figure out how it could be possible but I think this statement sums up the Windows 10 mail app:

... (the) Windows 10 Mail has bugs and features that should be included but aren’t. Frustratingly, some basic but useful parts of Windows 8.1 Mail were stripped out in this new version.

Windows 10 Mail: Beautiful but bug-ridden

However, in the event you switch to something like Outlook 2010 or 2013 you can still do it there.

Outlook File menu

Options then Trust Center

Trust Center Settings

Automatic Download: mark the box that says “Don’t download pictures automatically in HTML e-mail messages or RSS items”:

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