Why do I get a little red x in my email?

From time to time I get emails asking me 'Why am I getting little red x in my email instead of pictures?"  I also see posts on Yahoo Groups asking the same thing.

There is more than one answer for this, but if you are using Outlook Express, your security settings may be preventing you from seeing them. Microsoft seems to think image files are harmful, why I don't know!

To check your security settings in Outlook Express, open Outlook Express and go to Tools. Select Options then click on the Security Tab. If you have SP2 installed the first section is 'Virus Protection'. The second heading is titled 'Download Images'.  Un-tick this box. A check mark here will cause you to have red X's in your email. Don't forget to click Apply.

However, there can be other reasons why you see a red x instead of a picture.

If the email you are viewing contains a picture that is linked to a file on a website and the site is having a problem or offline, then you will get the red x. If you are reading email offline you will get the red x.

Your firewall settings or ad-blocking software may be causing the file to be blocked. I had this problem with animated gif files until I figured out how to fix it. My firewall seemed to think all animated files were ad files!

Whoever sent you the email with the picture may not have inserted the file properly. If this happens with only emails sent by certain senders, this is probably the problem. Send them to this page, Sending pictures in email, to learn how to send pictures!

If you are seeing that' little red x' in all emails instead of pictures, delete your Temporary Internet files!

Other email programs may also have settings that need to be changed.

Why did you send me a little red x?  red x