How To Disable Remote Images In Mac Mail

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Emails in HTML format may look great and are easy to read on the Mail application built into Macs. However, they can put your privacy and security at risk because they tend to initiate the downloading of remote images or other files while you are reading them.

Fortunately, Mac Mails have a built-in feature that may prove rather handy for those who are concerned about their security and privacy. This feature disables downloading mail images and other content from the web. Don’t worry about missing something, though. If you know and trust the sender of the mail, you can set your Mac Mail app to download the Mac Mail image on emails sent by recognized senders. But that’s no biggie. What’s important here is you know how to disable downloading remote content within an email message on your Mac Mail app.

Disabling Remote Loading of Images in Mac Mail

Disabling the loading of remote images in your Mac Mail means you have to manually approve the loading of these contents on an email-to-email basis. To disable remote images in your Mac Mail, here’s what you should do:

  • Launch the Mac Mail app.
  • Go to the Mail menu and select Preferences.
  • Navigate to the Viewing tab.
  • Untick the box beside the option, Load remote content in messages.
  • Close the Mail Preferences window.

After that, all new email messages that contain remote images, content, rich email HTML files, and other tracking details will not load automatically. They have to be approved first one-by-one.

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Why You Need to Disable Remote Loading of Images in Mac Mail

Although it can be tiring to manually approve the loading of remote images on every email message, it has advantages. One is that it prevents a sender from being notified if you opened an email or not. It is handy against spammers because they usually use these read notifications to confirm that a specific email address is still being used.

Moreover, some email HTML signatures have read trackers. If you have blocked the loading of remote content, you won’t just see annoying email signatures. You can also prevent the sending of the read receipt.

For enhanced privacy and security measures, you might consider third-party tools like Outbyte macAries, in addition to disabling remotely loaded images and content in your email. Make sure this tool aligns with your specific cybersecurity needs.


With the loading of remote images disabled on your Mac Mail app, you will only see empty boxes in place of images. Along with the email, there is a message saying, “This message contains remote content.” If you wish to load the photos right away, click the Load Remote Content button at the top of the email.

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