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Red “X” Remedies

Q: Why are some of my images showing up as a red x when I try to view them? It’s so frustrating!


A: Good golly, I sure do get a lot of questions about this! I’m glad that I finally get to set the record straight about the mysterious (and annoying) red X, once and for all! Here’s a list of the top reasons for the red X and some potentially potent solutions!

Reason 1 – Your anti-virus or firewall might be set to disable web bugs. What is a web bug, you ask? Nothing important; just a teeny, tiny image used for statistic tracking on websites. Sometimes this setting prevents other images from being shown.

How you fix it: Go into your anti-virus settings and look for a setting called “Disable Web Bugs” and uncheck it. Not all anti-virus programs have it, mind you, so you might have to explore a bit!!

Reason 2 – You Internet Explorer security settings are set too high.

How you fix it: In Internet Explorer go to Tools>Internet Options and then click on the Security Tab. From there, take a look and see what your security level is at. I keep mine at Medium-High, which allows for most of what I want, and little of what I don’t. Gauge how you use the Internet and where you go to adjust this accordingly.

Reason 3 – Windows XP Service Pack 2 introduced a feature called “Block images and other external content in HTML e-mail” This is a big one, and since it’s automatically turned on in programs like Outlook Express, it’s probably the most common.

How you fix it: For Outlook and Outlook Express you can fix this by clicking the info bar at the top of the message body. This is just a per-message thing, however. If you want a more permanent solution, click on Tools>Options>Security, and then uncheck the “Block images and other external content” check box. Click OK, and revel in visual amazement!