Hotmail "Gray Box" Issue

image For users of Windows Live Hotmail you may have noticed that for some (but not all) forwarded e-mails and newsletters that contain images show these images as nothing but little gray boxes.

In particular, this gray box:

This is a relatively new issue that seems to have sprouted up with Hotmail. There is no issue otherwise with it.

Is this a setting you can turn off?


Why can’t I just click "Show content?"

In this specific issue the yellow bar at the top which prompts you to click "Show content" isn’t there so you’re forced to deal with it.

Is there a workaround?

Not in the web-based version. However you can alternatively use the Windows Live Mail client to access your Hotmail and it will show all inline images for forwarded e-mails and newsletters (when you tell it to by allowing it to show content).

Why does this happen in the first place?

Unknown, but were I to hazard a guess it would be that Hotmail’s safety filters are working a little too well. 🙂


  1. I think that they reason they crippled the web-based Hotmail is that it forces you to use Windows-based software (i.e., Windows Live Mail client). If it were a security issue they could have a button to click to show the images. Also, you’d expect the WL Mail client to have the same level of security. No, this limitation is simply to increase the use of Windows.

    What MS has done has effectively prevented you from using a public terminal to look at your e-mail. Not only does the WL Mail client have to be installed on the public computer, ALL YOUR HOTMAIL FOLDERS and MESSAGES get downloaded to the public computer! Not a a good thing.

  2. Thank you thank you thank you. At long last I now know why i cannot see half of my email pictures. This problem has been bugging me for months and at least now I hve a way of viewing them. Bad marks for Windows Hotmail adn top marks to you for giving us all the solution.

  3. this is an issue with someone else pc that is not using hotmail. But also with AT&T email as well. We have not yet to find any help for it.

  4. It actually seems like a security issue. Something related with automated image spam filters. I sent different photos but somehow it always blocked one photo. I change the color of the photo, change the size, change the weight, change everything, and it always blocked the photo. It’s a technology similar to face detection or something like that. It’s obviously malfunctioning.

  5. Several years ago, I was reading about activity from a group, to steal informatiom with a picture – inside the picture is a virus. Therefore I guess its malware being changed to blank. One person who was sending this email, it was sent to, was told it was malware. If there is other reasons I am not awre of it.

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