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Google is Killing the “Display Images Below” Button in Gmail, Coming to Android in 2014

How many times in your life have you clicked that link? You know, the one that says “Display images below” in almost all of your Gmail messages. Hundreds of times? Thousands? It’s a safety measure, but man, how long have we wished Google would find a better way to handle images in emails. Turns out, they have as of today.ย 

In a post to the official Gmail blog, Google has announced that starting today on desktop, you will no longer have to press that pesky “Display images below” link. Thanks to “new improvements in how Gmail handles images,” images will now be displayed automatically. Instead of serving images in emails directly from external servers, Gmail now serves images through Google’s own secure proxy servers, eliminating the need for you to press that link each and every day.

Google will check them for viruses or malware, making your Gmail experience “safer, faster and more beautiful than ever.”

gmail images

For the anal control freaks security aficionados, you can still choose to authorize image display by choosing a “Ask before displaying external images” option in settings.

As far as Gmail for Android goes, the announcement says that we should see this featured rolled out in early 2014. Sorry, folks, no Gmail .apk sideloading to be had today.

Via: ย Gmail Blog
  • amirhosein


  • Danish Rafiq

    Yes this is so good now, you don’t need to click view images all the time. They got all the images scanned on their own servers now. That’s cool.

  • Trueblue711

    I hope they keep this feature in the mobile app for one reason — to save Data and Battery. I don’t need to see UPS’ logo and other crap when I just want to see when my package will be delivered. It’s a waste of battery and my data.

    • Chris

      The images are only kbs in size.

  • Smity

    So, now there goes my phone memory. Phone will slow down or stop working. No, please keep the button.

    • Chris

      and you know this for sure? unless you have a 5 year old phone or downloading 4k images, it will be fine.

    • Conrad Dunkerson

      So turn off image display and stop whining. Sheesh.

    • fran farrell

      Your device is too puny to display thumbnails. That’s what you get if the pic has no virus. Google has taken the worry and the work out of scanning your attachment for what you want to open. Why not complain about a sunny day?

  • Brandon Golway

    Thank god they finally allow this! One of the most annoying features of gmail!

    • symbolset

      They always allowed this. And they always allowed you to not have it. All they changed is the default setting.

      • Brandon Golway

        I’ve never seen an option that said “automatically display all images” on the web based Gmail. I’ve looked all over for it and even looked for answers, all of which said that there’s no way to always allow it.

  • hoosiercub88

    Thank goodness. I mean finally.

  • Blue Sun

    Thank goodness. The approved senders list would always get reset after a factory reset.

  • redbar0n11

    Praise Eight Pound, Six Ounce, Newborn Baby Jesus!

    • Fresh360

      Well I like to picture Jesus in a tuxedo T-Shirt because it says I want to be formal, but I’m here to party…

  • sirmeili

    I thought one of the reasons to no load images is because of trackers, not just malware. So for instance, I send spam to 1,000,000 users with an image. If people open it and it has an image, I can use that image (with a unique image name) to say “I know these 500,000 email addresses are valid!”.

    I’m not a fan of this new “feature”. Granted, spam filtering has gotten a lot better, so I suppose it would still be better, so perhaps I should just chill out ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Cory_S

      Now every email a spammers sends out will show as active because google will cache them all. So in the end the spammers have even less information than they did before.

      • Alexander H

        Assuming they also cache emails to invalid gmail addresses….

        • Cory_S

          Those would be bounced back as undeliverable anyway. But assuming they were sending them from an invalid address and had no way of knowing what was being bounced back, then that may matter. But, I don’t think most successful spam is truly randomly generated email addresses anyway. I think the vast majority of it is from compromising peoples address books. The images are primarily for telling if the address is active more so if it is valid.

    • onDroid

      Yeah, This may cause me a whole lot of problems. As a data analyst for a major US company we use images in our emails to track who opened the email. With Google hosting the images on their own server I am afraid this will break our tracking making my job a lot harder.

      • Cory_S

        The point of this is to thankfully make your job harder.

        • michael arazan

          Sounds like job security to me

      • Alexander H

        There is but one solution to everything according to Google: Google+

    • Blue Sun

      The article states: “Instead of serving images in emails directly from external servers, Gmail now serves images through Googleโ€™s own secure proxy servers…”
      I read on another site more detailed info on how images will be processed.

  • Russell Bridges

    It wouldn’t be a problem currently but after you choose “always display images from this user” it doesn’t seem to sync on multiple devices. If they would just fix that I would be happy.

    • Andy Stetson

      Exactly. Including not only phones and tablets, but the web version as well.


    Whenever I try to share a Web page from my phone, with Chrome, it only gives me the option to share with hangouts, so annoying. Same thing with the Play Store. Yes I cleared my defaults. Anybody else experiencing this?

  • EvanTheGamer

    A billion times. Pretty much.

  • j

    I liked it because it really was a nice security feature. But, running them through their own server to check for vulnerabilities is a much better solution, so Cheers!

  • Alexander H

    There was always the option to always show images from a sender…now one of the following will be true: Tracking images will automatically be loaded into google’s servers, therefore every advertising image-based stat/tracker will assume that the email has been opened and images seen because your unique image has been loaded – or mass email groups will devise new ways to measure email engagement…

  • I very much like this feature! This keeps spammers from having validation that your email address is legitimate. Google’s new way, pre-loading the images on their proxy servers, essentially circumvents the entire reason for this feature! This feature was never there to protect you from viruses – it was to protect your privacy. At least there will still be a hidden checkbox to keep this around.

    • Alexander H

      Here’s hoping they don’t still auto fetch the images, but just not display them automatically to users with this setting enabled.

    • Cory_S

      Now every email a spammers sends out will show as active because google will cache them all. So in the end the spammers have even less information than they did before…

      • sirmeili

        Will they, or will it only cache images for active email addresses. I would think that Google’s programmers are more than smart enough to NOT cache images for emails sent to email addresses that don’t have accounts.

        So in fact, they get more information, not less since now, someone could verify the existence of any gmail address if they so chose to.

        Now, it could very well be that they only cache when you view it, which would be a lot better since I don’t normally open spam just to “check it out”.

        • Cory_S

          You realize emails to invalid addresses are bounced back?

    • p4

      this logic only works if their servers download images for fake email addresses as well

  • BiggiePhat

    So I can send pictures of my junk and be sure they are seen by the receiving party? I welcome these changes.

    • Stevedub40

      As long as you have the macro shot ๐Ÿ™‚
      j/k ๐Ÿ˜›

  • a3uge

    I didn’t even realized I was annoyed at this until just now. What took them so long?

  • NickA

    Finally! This time of year especially, with all the stuff I get from BestBuy and Amazon, I want to see the images. It’s not a big deal to click Always Display, but this will be a nice improvement.

    • sirmeili

      That is why I’ve always clicked “always show images from this sender” for people like Amazon and Best buy.

  • Cory_S

    Thank God.