I got a spam message on the iPhone and I accidentally opened it. It loaded an image and now I guess the spammer knows this is a valid address since they are sending more spam.

I'd like to prevent this problem in the future with my other email accounts. I know that I can disable Load Remote Images in the settings. The problem is that I believe this will not allow any images to load, even those from people in my address book.

Is there any way to get functionality similar to Gmail where it will only load the images from safe senders? Or is it an all or nothing deal?

Also, what's the significance of the word "Remote" in the setting name? Are there images that will load which aren't remote?

2 Answers 2


Doubtful without a custom email app of some kind.

Certainly the default iPhone mail app won't selectively (or conditionally on click) block images by default.

Have you tried the official GMail iPhone webapp?


Not a native app, but... there's surprisingly almost zero native iPhone apps that do Gmail.


"Remote" messages are on a server somewhere on the internet. When disabled, you can still see attached images and some HTML generated images. Images are often linked, rather than sent to avoid bloating email inboxes (especially in large advertisements).

Turning off remote images will block web bugs. Frequently these are 1x1 pixel dots with a unique address which will alert the sender that the recipient at a specific address viewed the image.

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