How to prevent email trackers from tracking your emails

Do you wish to prevent email trackers from tracking your emails? Maybe you should. There is one thing about those marketing emails (those that’d be always advertising to you) that many do not know. These emails actually do track your activities on them. They track whether you’ve opened the email, the time you opened, and where you opened (location data).

They are just emails, so how do they do all that? It’s simple. They use email marketing software like MailChimp, which hide trackers in them. These trackers are usually hidden in an image or a link.

So when you open the mail, the data is sent back to the company that sent the email. It doesn’t sit well with you, right? Google and others have made attempts to block these unseen yet annoying trackers.

Well, there are a few ways to tighten up your security aside from the ones Google and others have implemented. One such step to prevent email trackers is to stop your email from automatically loading images. This is a good step since these trackers called “pixels” are usually hidden in images.

This is not a final and complete solution to the problem but it will at least help avoid most of them. This piece is going to show you how to prevent email trackers from tracking your emails in major desktop and mobile email services.

How to prevent emails trackers by disabling automatic loading of images

Disable image auto-loading in Gmail

  • Open Gmail and click on the gear icon in the upper right corner to open the settings page.
  • The first tab should be the “General” tab. Inside of it, scroll down to “Images”
  • Select “Ask before displaying external images”
  • Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on “Save Changes”.

prevent email trackers on gmail

Disable image auto-loading in Microsoft Outlook (Office 365)

  • Launch the service and click on “File” > “Options”
  • In “Outlook Options” window, select “Trust Center”
  • Click on the “Trust Center Settings” button.
  • Check the very first and last boxes labelled:
    • Don’t download pictures automatically in standard HTML messages or RSS items
    • Don’t download pictures in encrypted or signed HTML email messages

prevent email trackers on Microsoft outlook

Disable image auto-loading in Microsoft Mail:

  • Click on the gear icon on the bottom left.
  • Select “Reading pane” from the “Settings” menu on the right.
  • At the bottom of that pane, toggle off the two options labelled:
    • Automatically download external images and style formats except S/MIME Mail” and
    • Automatically download external images and style formats for S/MIME Mail”.
  • Make sure you check the “Apply to accounts” options if you are using Microsoft Mail with more than one email account

prevent email trackers on Microsoft mail

Disable image auto-loading in Apple Mail

  • Select “Mail” > “Preferences”.
  • Click on the “Viewing” tab.
  • Uncheck “Load remote content in messages”.

prevent email trackers on Apple Mail

Disable image auto-loading on an iPhone

  • Open Settings app and go to “Mail”
  • Find the “Messages” section and toggle off “Load Remote Images”

prevent email trackers on iOS iPhone

Disable image auto-loading in Android Gmail

  • Tap on the three lines in the upper left corner.
  • Scroll down to and select “Settings”.
  • Tap on the email account that you want to work with.
  • Scroll down to and select “Images”.
  • Tap on “Ask before displaying external images”.

prevent email trackers on android

Disable image auto-loading in iOS Gmail

  • Open Gmail for iOS, tap the hamburger menu in the upper left
  • Scroll down to settings and tap the account you want to personalize
  • Tap “Images”
  • Switch from “Always display external images” to “Ask before displaying external images

prevent email trackers on Gmail on iPhone

Alternatively, you can use third-party email clients to prevent email trackers from tracking your activities. These software block images by default. They also allow you to download email content on an individual basis. Simply, they allow embedded contents downloads from contacts that you trust.

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