I did a Web search on the phrase “turn off images in outlook preview” and the answer was not plainly obvious or widely available. So I’m creating this page to help my fellow online neighbors.
To give attribution, I did find the answer over in the CNet Forums – but I had to reverse their proposed solution backwards, because I don’t want to automatically display images in my emails::
Here is how to turn off picture blocking for all the messages you receive in Microsoft Outlook:
* select Tools–> Options–> Security
* Click Change Automatic Download Settings
* Check “Don’t download pictures or other content automatically in HTML e-mail”
* In the Automatic Picture Download Setting dialog box, select Warn me before downloading content when editing, forwarding, or replying to e-mail
In this age of spam emails, I think it is very likely that a spam email that has HTML can have a web beacon (a small, or large, image that would have the capability to track whether an email address is valid or not) embedded. So, when your Outlook preview reading pane has images automatically displayed, it can send a signal back to the spam robot to say, hey, this is a valid email address. Add it to the keep-on-spamming list, and sell their email address to a bunch of other solicitors, and make some easy cash. Ugh.