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What Is E-mail Tracking and How to Prevent It

It can be unpleasant to realize how much information about our online activities can be tracked, like for example, our e-mails. The sender or even third parties can be aware of when, where, and how many times you’ve opened a message in your inbox.

5-Minute Crafts made this article to help you to keep your e-mails private.

How does e-mail tracking work

Senders can know if you opened the e-mail or even forwarded it to someone by tracking pixels. Tracking pixels is a common method. The images that are included in e-mails usually contain tiny bits of hidden code. Once the e-mail is opened, these codes are alarmed and they send back the information (that the e-mail has been opened and when) to the sender.

Apple Mail on iPhone

If you are an iPhone user, you can do the following:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Go to Mail.
  3. Click on Privacy Protection.
  4. Enable the button Protect Mail Activity.

Gmail account


  1. Click the gear icon that is located in the upper right corner.
  2. Choose the General tab.
  3. Scroll down and find the Images category.
  4. Select Ask Before Displaying External Images and click Save Changes on the bottom.

Gmail app for iPhone and Android

Open the Gmail app on your device and follow these steps:

  1. Click on the 3 horizontal lines in the upper left corner.
  2. Tap on the Settings and select the account you want to change.
  3. Scroll down and click on the option Images.
  4. Click on the Ask Before Displaying External Images (Also Disables Dynamic Email).

Yahoo account

Open the Yahoo account on your web browser and then:

  1. Click on the Settings icon, which is shaped like a gear.
  2. Choose More settings.
  3. Select the Viewing mail option.
  4. Click on the Ask before showing external images that are under Show images in messages.

Microsoft Outlook account

Although you can’t stop the loading of images in the web browser version of Outlook, you can set it in a way that it loads images through its own service:

  1. Click on the gear icon in the upper right corner.
  2. Select View all Outlook settings at the bottom of the page.
  3. Choose option General and then Privacy and data.
  4. Click on the Always use the Outlook service to load images that is under External images title and then Save.
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