How To Disable External Images In Gmail Apps


As you may recall, at the beginning of December, Google announced that it would automatically start showing images in received emails. The company has promised to find out how to maintain the same level of security by processing images through their proxy servers. At the same time, Google announced that the feature would finally reach its mobile Gmail apps.

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How To Disable External Images In Gmail Apps

Images are sent via e-mail in two ways; as attachments or as inline images that are part of the email body. The image itself can be linked-to websites. Indeed, newsletters and promotional e-mails will often have images linked to them. Not only do they consume a little more bandwidth, but the message also tends to load more slowly. On a mobile device, the message may not look good, which makes it difficult to read. Below you can find how you can disable external images in Gmail apps.

This feature is available in Gmail for iOS and Android. It is enabled per account, which means that if you have multiple email accounts added to the Gmail app, you can disable the loading of external images for some accounts but upload them automatically for others.

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Disable external images in Gmail

  1. Make sure you are running the latest version of the Gmail app.
  2. Open the app and tap the hamburger icon in the upper left corner. This will open the navigation drawer.
  3. Scroll to the end and tap Settings. On the Settings screen, select the account for which you want to disable external images.
  4. In the selected account settings screen, scroll down until you see the “Images” option.
  5. Tap it and set Images to the option “Ask before displaying external images”.

This applies to all messages that arrive after enabling this setting. Messages that have already been downloaded to your device will have already downloaded the images on them, so nothing can be done about it.

When you receive an email with images on the body, you will instead see a photo icon, a box or an alternative text. It really depends on the email, but these are the three ways they can appear. To view the images in that particular email, tap the “Display images” option just below the “to” field.

This feature can also, in some cases, help with an email with trackers. These trackers tell the sender if the email they sent has been opened or not. Often, the tracker is just a pixel-sized image, so you’ll never see it, even if not all trackers are images. On desktops, it is easy to disable trackers with an extension, but on mobile devices, it is much more difficult since it is not possible to change the operation of an app beyond what allows you to change.

If you travel and have poor internet access while traveling, this is definitely a setting that is worth enabling.

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