I get a ton of spam every day and it makes me crazy that to mark it a spam or delete it I have to select the email, which opens it and loads all its images.

We all know spam emails contain distant images that are used for tracking, and opening the email is bad as it marks my email address "active" to spammers.

Many email clients have an option to prevent loading external images by default, is there a way to do that with Mail.app?

1 Answer 1


Mail.app > Preferences > Viewing > uncheck "Load remote content in messages"

Viewing Preferences

You will then have this banner at the top of each message that contains remote content (just in case you do want to see the images): load remote content button

Aside: I still see the occasional image in a message when looking through my spam folder. As best I can tell when I "view raw source" the spammers are including the image in the message text itself (there is a large block of text that looks like gibberish to me), but I'm not an expert on what is going on there. It might just be a bug in this feature.

  • 2
    Thank you, I feel stupid I didn't try that because I thought there wouldn't be a way to "Load images" when I wanted too :/ Your screenshot clearly shows the Load Remote Content button which is just what I wanted. Feb 13, 2015 at 0:00
  • 3
    Regarding your aside. It's not a bug—the image is not remote content. Instead of <img src="http://spam.com/tracker.png?id=123">, they write something like <img src="data:image/png;base64,[representation]">, where [representation] is the image contents encoded as base64. To display this image, your computer just has to decode the base64, and display it. It doesn't contact any servers, so there's no chance for tracking.
    – wchargin
    Feb 13, 2015 at 3:04
  • @WChargin thats what I was guessing, I just didn't know for certain that was possible. Thanks :D
    – dwightk
    Feb 13, 2015 at 14:05

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .