Why Won't My Email Display Pictures

Submitted by whizkid on Mon, 11/01/2010 - 15:17 in Computer Tips

There are many reasons that pictures will not show up in an e-mail message. One of the reasons that an e-mail may not display pictures includes the format the e-mail client is using at the time. E-mail formats include HTML Format, Rich Text Format, and Plain Text Format. HTML and Rich Text Formats allow for pictures to be displayed in the actual e-mail message. If your message is in Plain Text, you will not be able to see the picture in the body of the e-mail, because this format only permits messages to be included as message attachments.

If the e-mail sent to you was composed in HTML Format, and your e-mail client has not been set up to support HTML, you will not be able to see the images in the e-mail. If you are using an e-mail client that is not supported by Microsoft, you may not have access to Rich Text Format, and hence you will not be able to see any images that are embedded in the body of the message.

The location of the pictures may be an issue as well. HTML pages do not keep the image inside the page, for example, although it may look that way. Instead, the images are separate and called up by the HTML code. When using HTML e-mail, this structure may present a problem, because HTML mail is best viewed as a single entity. Pictures that are sent through HTML mail may not show up as pictures at all, as a result, and instead simply be linked to in the message in the same way that an HTML web page functions. This structure necessitates a process whereby the e-mail client has to contact the server that the pictures are stored on, find the pictures, and download them so they can be viewed in the e-mail. Anything that interferes with that process, whether the server is down or the pictures can’t be located, will prevent the images from showing up.

In order to make it so that you can view pictures in your e-mail, you should first become familiar with the kind of format you are using in your e-mail. Find out whether your e-mail client is set in Plain Text, Rich Text, or HTML. If it is in Plain Text, you may be able to change it to allow photographs to show up. Some programs, such as Outlook and Thunderbird, are set to protect the user from pictures that may be embedded in the text, and so their default settings don’t allow pictures. In Outlook, you may be able to change these settings by clicking on the Tools menu and specifying that you want to automatic download of the images. In Thunderbird, find “Display Attachments Inline” under the View menu and see what happens as a result. If these steps do not work, you should try adding the sender of these e-mails to a list of trusted senders in the event the program you are using thinks it is protecting you from spam. You will also be able to tell the e-mail program you always want to load the images included in e-mails from this sender.

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