Red X appears instead of image?

Category: Email

Sometimes in my emails or websites, the images do not appear, but a little red X shows up. Can you tell me please how to correct this?

Ah yes, another case of software saving us from ourselves... There are a bunch of reasons why you might see the dreaded "Red X" instead of an image while viewing a web page with Internet Explorer or an email with Outlook.

Here are some possible reasons why the Red X may appear, and suggested fixes for each:

Problem: The "Show Pictures" setting has been turned off in Internet Explorer.
Solution: In Internet Explorer's Tools menu, click Internet Options, then click the Advanced tab. Make sure the Show Pictures check box is selected under Multimedia, and click OK.

Problem: Your anti-virus or firewall is a little too uppity. Check to see if your anti-virus or firewall software has a privacy setting to "disable web bugs".
Solution: Uncheck or turn it off. (The term "web bug" is a misnomer. They are really just harmless tiny images on a web page or email, sometimes used for tracking purposes.)

Problem: Your Internet Explorer security settings are set too high, preventing you from accessing the web site which hosts the image.
Solution: Reset to the default security settings. In Internet Explorer, click on Tools -> Internet Options -> Security -> Default Level.

Problem: You've installed the Windows XP/SP2 updates and you're being bitten by the "Block images and other external content in HTML e-mail" security option. This is automatically turned ON in Outlook Express after you install Windows XP/SP2.
Solution: Click on Tools -> Options -> Security. Then UNCHECK the "Block images and other external content" check box, and click OK.

Problem: You are the SENDER and others are complaining that they can't see images in emails you sent,
Solution: In Outlook Express, Click Tools -> Options -> Send. Under Mail Sending Format, select HTML, then press the HTML Settings button. Make sure the "Send pictures with messages" box is checked.

Problem: The image is hosted on a website that's busy, temporarily offline or defunct. Or the image file on the website might have been renamed or deleted.
Solution: Try again later or ask the sender to send it as an attachment instead of an inline image.

Problem: The image is hosted on a website, and you're not online.
Solution: Make sure your internet connection is active and try again.

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Most recent comments on "Red X appears instead of image?"

(See all 71 comments for this article.)

Posted by:

23 Apr 2009

I don't understand why my website, my pictures on my website, and my video work when i pull them up in Internet explorer and Firefox, but when I send my files as an attachment to my school my professor says my menu links and my photos don't show, the pictures have red X's and the menu links don't work when clicked, but my video shows.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Did you tell your prof to read "Red X appears instead of image?"

Posted by:

Shell Judkiins
27 Apr 2009

I did the Regedit and removed the temp as shown by John Bryntze comments. I checked to allow pictures to show automatically and I checked in IE advance, multimedia to allow pictures..Still has red X on one of our computers.

Posted by:

06 May 2009

The solution posted by John solved my problem.

The solution can be found out in

Posted by:

Mike E
09 May 2009

I have a similar problem but mine is not with e-mail / web. I own a copy of PaperPort Professional 11. Every time I load it a "How to" box appears om screen. Whenever I try to view the items within this section I can read the words but all the pictures are replaced by the dreaded Red X. Nuance have been unable to rectify this. Can you please off some hope? I run Vista Home Premium (with SP1) and Kaspersky Internet Security. The latter was turned off during the installation of Paperport.

Posted by:

Michael Z
15 Jul 2009

My issue is not in Outlook but after I save an email as a HTML file. I can see the images in embedded in the email, but after I save it I get the red X. Will the above solutions work for me as well?

EDITOR'S NOTE: Open up the HTML file, and see if the IMG tag contains the full URL to the image.

Posted by:

Jon E
24 Jul 2009

It has to do with the Outlook Temporary Items folder. Close Outlook before preceding to the steps below.

1. Locate the Outlook Temporary Items folder by opening the Registry and finding HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\11.0\Outlook\Security. Double click on the OutlookSecureTempFolder key.
2. Right click the Value Data field and select Copy. It should be in the form of %USERPROFILE%\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files\OLK6 where OLK6 is some randomly generated string that always starts with OLK.
3. Open Windows Explorer, paste in the Address field and press Enter (or select GO). You will be navigated to this folder.
4. Select All the files in this folder and Delete.
5. Launch Outlook. The images should now appear in the Email.

Once these temp files were deleted his images showed up.

Posted by:

30 Jul 2009

I send email from various providers (AOL, Yahoo, - using a 3rd party program (not Outlook Express). Most of the time the embedded images are received on the other end just fine. Every once in a while, some will say all they are seeing are the red x's, while others can see them just fine (in the same email). These problems are usually arising when mail is going through an email group (where images/attachments *are* allowed). I have checked all my settings to be sure that it's not removing them on my end - and I have pointed them to links on red x's (including your article). Different browsers are being used on the receiving end... so any other additional suggestions on what could be causing it, or ideas on what else we can try to stop this from happening - on top of what you have mentioned in your article?

Thank you.

Posted by:

19 Aug 2009

Hi. I have a red x problem, but it isn't when trying to view a picture. I am trying to write an email using Microsoft Outlook Web Access. The screen to add an address and subject pops up just fine, but the area where I am supposed to write the message (also in the pop up window) has the dreaded red x.

Do you have any ideas?


Posted by:

07 Dec 2009

I had the same red x problem.I had hijackers which caused me alot of grief for a week and I deleted a few add ons and browser bars that were adware.To make a long story short ,some of my active x and plug ins were also deleted.All you have to do is install a new browser.I installed Google chrom and my red x problem is solved.....Make sure you dont have any malware first

Posted by:

22 Jan 2010

This is so odd. I put some videos (embedded them from the code I got from and youtube) and they looked fine on my computer until today.

Today all three videos have red "x" instead of video. Only if I check using Firefox, they are okay.

Another computer in this house using I/E same version I have on my computer, they show up fine.

Am I going crazy? I tried to follow every step you described in this article, and still no joy. I don't know what changed since yesterday when they were fine, and today when they are x.

Posted by:

11 Dec 2010

Well, I have a computer, a laptop, that doesn't have view, tools or menu bar; the red "X" still appears. I am the sender. What should I do?

Posted by:

04 Jan 2011

What to do with the red X in EUDORA 7 ??

Posted by:

26 Apr 2011

This Red X thing has been going on for so long I had just about given up ever being able to see pics that people send me but, being stubborn, I decided to try again....But sadly, have tried most of these possible solutions to no avail. I don't use Outlook - never have - so I don't know if using Bobs's link to solve it within Outlook would be a good thing or a bad thing, since it's specific to Outlook, so I haven't tried it. Should I???? Also, there is no option in my antivirus (Norton) to uncheck the "disable web bugs" so I couldn't try this solution either. My IE security is already set too low (they keep warning me every time I leave AOL for a web site (AOL, by default, uses IE) so I did not reset this to the "default" setting as this would increase the security and cause some of my web sites to block me.
Anyone have any other ideas? Any help will be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

Posted by:

April Twentyfifth
28 Jun 2011

I had the dreaded red X on my website and opened a Help ticket - the response I received from the web tech is this:

It looks like your file is not in the correct format. It is a .jpg which is good, but it was probably saved in Photoshop or whichever graphic program it was created in with a CYMK color palette as opposed to RGB. Internet Explorer is not able to handle image files that use the CYMK color coding so you need to make sure to always save your images as RGB. Try saving your image as RGB and reimporting it. I think you will be pleased with the results.

Hope this helps! I sure wouldn't have thought of this.

Posted by:

11 Jul 2011

I have windows 7...I have the red X problem which I solved with my old computer but can't with this new one...PLZ help

Posted by:

04 Mar 2012

I have the EXACT same problem as Jane.

Posted by:

19 Apr 2012

Hi i have been having this X problem for a while
i have been trying to get maps and all i see is the red X my google icon is not showing and no serch icons or boxes are showing, i have tried just about every thing, PLEASE help

Posted by:

06 May 2012

i have this same problems on some of my sites i go to i have a red x and then some of my pages i have everthing to left and then sometime i try to download something and it says i have no internet connection and this does it on 3 diffrent computers and ones a lap top so can u help me

Posted by:

31 Jan 2014

Red x's show up in my gmail yet if I forward that same email to my AOL account all images appear. If I send it back to gmail the x's appear again.
Something in gmail?

Posted by:

14 Feb 2014

This problem is still a nightmard for thousands. When got foisted on the users, the community went wild and still is. Do a search on the Microsoft Community about pictures failing to show in with "active view" turned on. There's numerous requests for help, but no solution to this has still been forthcoming. It appears that Internet Explorer 9 and up, don't play well with Sometimes I use Chrome to send an email where I copy and pasted the picture in and my recipients do see it. However, when you get a cute, funny cartoon email you'd like to pass on as new, rather than forward, forward, forward, you can't copy and paste like you could with Hotmail. So, most people now just do the Forward and delete the other recipients to keep spammers from harvesting emails. The bottom lin though is this, despite the pages and pages on the forum seeking help for this issue, there is still no answer. You either get a red"X" or a blue "circle". Guess that's the way it's going to be.

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