Google's documentation says:

Images will always appear in the Gmail app on your iPhone or iPad.

(This is different from opening Gmail in a browser on a computer, where I see settings that provide a choice: either "Always show images" or "Ask before showing images".)

How can I read Gmail messages on my iOS devices if I want to ensure that my opens can't be tracked?

P.S. The page linked above interestingly does not say:

"Sometimes, senders may know whether you've opened an email that has an image."

even though the "Computer" tab on that page does. I can't tell whether this implies that Gmail opens are NOT trackable in iOS.


As of Sep 3, 2019, version: 6.0.190811, you can Choose to be asked before external images are displayed automatically.

To enable this for new incoming messages, go to Settings > specific account > Images and select Ask before displaying external images.

Gmail - Email by Google - Version History

Gmail App - Account Settings - General

Gmail Settings


I suggest Outlook for iPhone. This mail client is mature, polished and has a key feature: a setting for users to toggle default image loading behavior:

enter image description here

Example of the control to load a message's images:

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with Microsoft or the Outlook engineering team in any way.


UPDATE: you can now prevent opening images automatically! See @vincentlee's answer.

The documentation linked, says:

Images will always appear in the Gmail app on your iPhone or iPad.

Meaning there is no way to block showing images when opening a new email in Gmail on iOS - therefore you can't prevent tracking.

Here are some workarounds that I use:

  1. Send the message to spam (using the checkbox), where images aren't loaded, view the email there, and then move it back to inbox (if desired) and archive/delete from there.
  2. Use the built-in Mail app to specifically view the message which you don't want tracked and turn off "Load Remote Images" in "Settings" - "Mail".

Issue with Mail: If you're concerned about tracking and want to leave remote image loading on, Gmail is better as you may archive/delete an email in Mail and automatically be taken to the next email - resulting in the images being loaded. Obviously you can always take actions from the inbox view in Mail, to remedy this issue.

You must log in to answer this question.

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