If you've ever accidentally or curiously clicked on a spam image when looking through your Gmail messages, it's a good possibility you've been tracked by spammers. Google addressed this years ago with a setting for Android that it recently added for iPhone, too. Turn it on and it stops attachments like images from automatically loading when you open an email. The setting also keeps unsolicited email from tracking you, which can help protect you from spammers. Plus, it'll help load your emails faster.
Here's how to disable images in Gmail from automatically opening on your phone.
Block external images on iPhone
1. On your iPhone or iPad ($200 at Best Buy), open the Gmail app.
2. In the top left, tap on the three-line hamburger menu.
3. Select Settings from the menu.
4. Tap your Gmail account at the top.
5. Select Images.
6. Choose Ask before displaying external images.
7. When you open an email that contains images, they'll be hidden. If you want to see them, tap Display images.
You can change this setting at any time by switching back to the Always display external images setting.
Block auto-loading images on Android
1. On your Android phone or tablet, open the Gmail app.
2. In the top left, tap the three-line hamburger menu.
3. Tap Settings and select your Gmail account.
4. Under the Data usage category, tap Images.
5. Tap Ask before showing.
6. When you open an email that contains images, they'll be hidden. If you want to see them, tap Show pictures.
You can change this setting at any time by switching back to the Always show setting.
Want more Google tips? Check out these five clever Gmail tricks to minimize regret, frustration and spam.
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Originally published earlier this week. Updated to include Android information.