Problems seeing embedded pictures in Outlook 2003

Posted on 2007-03-20
Last Modified: 2012-08-14
A user in my organization is having a problem with his Outlook 2003.  When someone sends him an embedded picture, like a JPG it will not show in the body of the message.  Instead he sees the red X.  If he forwards/replies, the picture shows properly in the body of the reply.  This is his work-around to see the picture...he clicks Forward and boom!  There's the picture.

A few things I've noticed:

- This doesn't appear to be an Automatic Picture Downloads problem.  I've set his settings to the same as mine by unchecking the box "Don't download pictures or other content automatically in HTML e-mail"
- His Outlook security Zones are defaulted to Restricted Zones but I tried changing to Internet Zone as well.
- I’ve defaulted his Security TAB and Advanced TAB in IE6.
- I sent him a couple different picture types and a GIF I sent worked, but a JPG and BMP did not.  I also tried different JPG files and one worked while another did not.

Has anyone run across this?  Thank you in advance.
Question by:mfishco
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LVL 27

Expert Comment

ID: 18759402
This article from MS gives some more detailed information regarding the Automatic PIcture Download.

And another link with information from MS regarding automatic picture downloads:

Author Comment

ID: 18781281
Thanks for your response.  The problem doesn't appear to be an Automatic Download problem as I mentioned.  All settings are correct and I double-checked the settings using your links.

Has anyone seen this issue?
LVL 27

Expert Comment

ID: 18808530
You stated you changed the Outlook security settings to Internet Zone.  What are the security settings in the Internet Zone?  If they're set to High, they may be interferring with the picture downloads.
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Author Comment

ID: 18809028
Yeah I thought about that but the settings for the Internet Zone (as well as all the other zones) were set back to its default state during my troubleshooting.  The Internet Zone is set to Medium and the Restricted Zone to high.

During my troubleshooting I tried swapping to the Internet Zone to see if that would solve the issue, but it did not (I've since reverted back to the Restricted Zone).

Remember, some JPG's will show up and others will not.  95% of the time, Outlook blocks the pictures but in some rare cases, they will show up.  It's quite aggravating!
LVL 27

Expert Comment

ID: 18811107
What antivirus?  Try disabling your AV (Temporarily) and see if it makes a difference.

Author Comment

ID: 18865900
Sorry it took so long to get back to you, but this end-user is a bit hard to get a hold of.  

I verified it's not an anti-virus issue.

My next steps are to try logging in as a different user, creating an outlook account and seeing if this problem is based on his user vs. the laptop.  I'm also getting a chance to go through that machine with a fine tooth comb to see if any external programs are causing this.

After that, I guess I'll need to uninstall/reinstall Outlook.  Though that's not my ideal solution, his OST 5 GB in size.  Ugh!
LVL 27

Accepted Solution

michko earned 250 total points
ID: 18875432
That ost is too big.  It may be contributing to this issue.  See link below re large ost/pst files:

Try opening outlook with a cleanprofile command:
click Start -> Run.  Type in:  outlook.exe /cleanprofile
Here's a link to some useful command line switches for Outlook 2003.


Author Comment

ID: 18875933
Thanks michko, I'll take a look through your links and let you know what happens.

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