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Free Email TutorialsHotmailShow hidden images / missing content in Hotmail messages

Show hidden images / missing content in Hotmail messages

By default, Hotmail will not display images in emails you receive from senders you have not added as contact, or marked as safe senders. This is a measure Hotmail uses to protect your privacy: images can be coded in emails in a way that loading the hidden image will inform the email sender that the email was opened. In the case of spammers, this feature can be used to detect valid email addresses that can be spammed to death. By automatically hiding images, Hotmail prevents spammers from knowing that their email was opened. This tutorial will show you how to display hidden images or missing content in Hotmail.

Hotmail blocked unsafe content and images

"Attachments, pictures, and links in this message have been blocked for your safety"

When Windows Live Hotmail displays the message above, it indicates that the email contains images and other content that may be used by spammers to determine if your email account is active. Next to the yellow information message, notice a link labeled "Show content". Clicking this link will display the hidden images and blocked content just once: next time you open the email, you will get the same message.

Showing once blocked content and images

Show hidden images in Hotmail Clicking Show content for occasional emails is not a problem; if, however, you receive regular emails from this sender, you may want to avoid having to manually tell Hotmail to show the blocked content. In this case, you can either click the Mark as safe link, or add the email sender to your contacts.

Permanently displaying hidden images and blocked content

Mark an email as safe in Hotmail Clicking the Mark as safe link tells Hotmail that you trust this email sender, and would like to see their email in their full glory in the future.  Alternatively, if the email is spam, simply click the Mark as junk link: this will report the sender as spammer to Hotmail's junk mail filtering system, and move the email inside your Junk folder. And this sender's emails will in the future automatically be flagged as junk and moved to the Junk folder instead of your inbox. (You can always block the sender to prevent their emails from reaching your Hotmail account altogether.)

Emails from any of your Hotmail contacts, or whose sender was previously marked as safe, will automatically display all images and content. A separate tutorial will explain in details how to handle spam and junk emails in Hotmail; but this concludes our tutorial or hidden images and blocked content!

Tip: the Windows Live team has added in 2011 a link that lets you to show once, or show always, blocked content from unknown senders. If you click on the "Always show content from [email address]", Hotmail will know that this particular type of email is a safe mailing list and/or safe sender.

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Tutorial last updated on February 19, 2012
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