All I can ever see is that red X. It’s in my e-mail, in my Web browser, it’s everywhere. Why can’t I see any pictures?

Several people have problems with the dreaded “red X,” so you are definitely not alone when you ask this question. All of us here in the office get multiple e-mails about this subject every day, so even though we’ve run a tip on this before, here’s a little more explanation that will hopefully help you determine the exact cause of your red X problem.

One of the main areas that people see the red X is in their e-mail. If you use Outlook Express and are having trouble seeing pictures in your e-mail, open it up and go to Tools, Options and choose the Security tab. Make sure the “Block images and other external content in HTML e-mail” box is unchecked. Now, if you are sending an e-mail and people have been complaining to you about the pictures not showing up, try this: open up OE and go to Tools, Options, Send tab. Under the “Mail Sending Format,” make sure HTML is selected and then click on the HTML Settings button. In there, make sure the “Send pictures with messages” box is checked. That should solve your e-mail issues.

If you are having trouble seeing images in Internet Explorer, go to Tools, Internet Options and click on the Advanced tab. Look for the Multimedia section and make sure the box that says “Show Pictures” is checked. For Firefox, go to Tools, Options and click on the Web Features icon. Make sure the “Load Images” box is checked as well.

Another cause may be that your browser security settings are set too high, which prevents you from accessing the Web site that handles the images. In IE, go to Tools, Internet Options, Security tab and click on the Default Level button. Make sure your settings are somewhere around the medium level.

Another cause could be your antivirus or firewall settings. Look for a setting that says “Disable Web bugs” and make sure it is turned off. This should allow all the images to pass through so you can see them.

There are also a couple of other more simple reasons why your images may be blocked. One is that you’re looking at a Web site that is busy or temporarily shut down or offline. A Web host could also be working on certain things on the site, causing the images to be down. If everything else we’ve discussed above is set correctly and you’re still not seeing the images, this might just be your problem. Just try the site again later, that’s all you can really do. Also, when you’re trying to view images on a Web site or in your e-mail, make sure you are actually connected to the Internet, because they will not show up if you’re not online.

If you’ve been having trouble with the red X, hopefully one of these solutions will help you in fixing this awful predicament!

~ Erin