How to stop your emails from being tracked updated list for all devices

How to stop your emails from being tracked updated list for all devices

All of those annoying marketing emails in your inbox aren’t only trying to sell you something. They’re also tracking if you opened the email, when you opened it, and where you were at the time by embedding tracking software into the message via software like Mailchimp.

What is the mechanism behind it? The email contains a single tracking pixel, which is usually (but not always) buried within an image or a link. When the email is opened, the information is sent back to the company’s server via code included in the pixel.

Some attempts have been made to limit the quantity of data that can be communicated in this manner. Google, for example, has been serving all photos in Gmail through its own proxy servers since 2014, which could mask your location from at least certain monitoring software. On Chrome and Firefox, addons like Ugly Email and PixelBlock have been built to prevent trackers.

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Stopping your email from automatically loading images, which is where the majority of these pixels lie, is another simple, fundamental action you may take to avoid trackers. You won’t be able to prevent all trackers from hiding in your email this way, but you’ll be able to stop a lot of them.

The following instructions will show you how to prevent image autoloading in the most popular desktop and mobile email apps:


1 To access your options, click the gear symbol in the upper-right corner, then select “See all settings.”

2 Scroll down to “Images” on the “General” tab (the first one).

3 Choose “Ask before displaying external images” from the drop-down menu.

4 To save your changes, scroll to the bottom of the page and click “Save Changes.”

Note that turning off Gmail’s dynamic email function, which makes emails more interactive, will also turn it off.


While the browser-based version of Outlook does not allow you to block images from loading, you can force it to do so using its own service. To do so, you’ll need:

1 Select “Settings” from the drop-down menu (the gear symbol in the upper-right corner). Click “View all Outlook settings” at the bottom of the column that appears.

2 Choose “General” > “Privacy and data” from the drop-down menu.

3 Select “Always use the Outlook service to load images” from the “External images” drop-down menu.


1 Go to “File” > “Options.”

2 Select “Trust Center” from the “Outlook Options” menu.

3 Select “Trust Center Settings” from the drop-down menu.

4 Check the boxes labeled “Don’t automatically download photographs in regular HTML email messages or RSS items” and “Don’t automatically download pictures in encrypted or signed HTML email messages.” If you want, you can make a few exceptions to the first item by looking at the boxes underneath it.


1 To change your reading preferences, go to “File” > “Preferences” > “Reading.”

2 You can select to have photographs automatically downloaded exclusively from trustworthy contacts or to turn off all automatic image downloads.


1 Go to “Mail” > “Preferences.”

2 Select the “Viewing” tab.

3 Uncheck the box that says “Load external material in messages.”


1 Tap on the upper-left corner’s three lines.

2 Select “Settings” from the drop-down menu.

3 Select the email account you’d like to configure.

4 Select “Images” from the drop-down menu.

5 Select “Ask before displaying external images” from the drop-down menu.


1 Open Gmail for iOS and scroll down to settings by tapping the hamburger menu in the upper left corner.

2 Tap “Images” on the account you want to personalize.

3 Change the setting to “Ask before displaying external photos” from “Always display external images.”


1 Go to “Settings” > “Mail.”

2 Toggle off “Load Remote Images” in the “Messages” section.

Another solution is to use an email client like Thunderbird, which by default bans distant photos; the application allows you to download embedded content on an individual basis, or to allow pictures from contacts you trust to not include hidden code.

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