Sometimes, the photos, images, pictures or graphics do not show or display in a website in Internet Explorer (“IE”) browser or an email in MS Outlook Express. Instead, where the pictures ought to be, there is a Red X or a placeholder.
Several factors could have caused this problem of images not being displayed in IE. In this Help guide, we'll look at these reasons and the solutions to show images in IE. Some of the possible causes may only be resolved by the webmaster. If you are an owner of a Blog or a webmaster, these tips might be useful to note when you are uploading images onto your Blog or webpage.
1. Image type not supported by IE
When you see a red X or placeholder, right-click on it to view the “Properties” of the image. Look at the image “Type” and “Address (URL”). IE supports images with .art, .avi, .bmp, .emf, .gif, .jpeg, .jpg, .mov, .mpeg, .mpg, .png, .wmf, and .xbm extensions. As a webmaster, if you have to put images on your website, try to stick to the usual image formats or have alternative images in these formats.
2. “Show Pictures” option in IE not selected
If you are using IE 7, under Tools -> Internet Options -> Advanced tab, there is an option called “Show pictures” under the “Multimedia” heading. Select this option and press OK to save the change. In other IE versions, the option may fall under a different heading.
3. Scripts disabled in IE
Webmasters may use Active scripts, Scriptlets, Java applet, ActiveX control, or cookies to display the images on their sites. If the security setting in IE browser is set to “High”, these features may be blocked. To enable them, go to Tools -> Internet Options -> Security tab. View the “Internet” zone and under “Security level for this zone” change it to “Medium” or “Medium-high”. You can also reset the zone to “Default” level. Likewise, under Tools -> Internet Options -> Privacy tab where you define the cookie settings, you may set it to “Default” level. Click OK to save.
4. Scripts disabled by Firewall
Other than IE, the configurations in your Firewall program (Norton Personal Firewall, Zonealarm, McAfee, BitDefender, etc.) may have disabled some of these scripts. View the help file of the program you are using and follow their instructions to enable some of these scripts. For this reason, webmasters should avoid using too many scripts for the main contents of the sites. Consider adding text using <noscript> tags to cater to those who have scripts disabled.
5. Web bugs
Be careful when you are configuring the above settings. The web pages you view or emails you receive may sometimes contain hidden web bugs. These are usually small little graphics 1px by 1px that track user statistics like location, usage, pages visited, or whether an email has been read. This is even used in organizations and companies to find out how many times a message is forwarded or read by the staff. They do not pose major threats, but there are those who do not like this infringement of privacy. Take a stand and configure your security and privacy settings accordingly.
6. Images blocked in Outlook Express
We touch briefly on the problem of images not displayed in Outlook Express email program. When you are in Outlook Express, go to Tools -> Options -> Security and you'll see a “Download Images” configuration. If you want to view images in your email, do not tick the “Block images and other external content in HTML e-mail” option. Click OK and save the change. You should now be able to view images in Outlook and not see the red X symbol.
7. Images not sent in Outlook Express
Also, if you are sending email with images, you could have disabled these images in the configuration. Those receiving your email will only see the red X or placeholders rather than the images. The solution to this is to go to your Outlook Express Tools -> Options -> Send tab. The “Mail Sending Format” should be “HTML” and not “Plain Text”. Click the “HTML Settings” button and check the box next to “Send pictures with messages.” Click OK to save.
8. Character Set not recognized by IE
This sounds rather technical. In layman terms, the browser interprets the code page or encoding of the web page. If your IE browser does not recognize this character set, or if a file in your browser software is corrupted or missing, the images may not be displayed when viewing the web page. For instance, the web page may be in a foreign language. If so, see that this language has been added to the browser settings. In IE, go to Tools -> Internet Options -> General. Under “Appearance” there is a “Languages” button. (In other versions of IE, the Language option may be under a different heading.) Add the languages that you would use to read the web page and click OK to save. If you are still unable to view the page, it is possible that a file or registry key is corrupted or missing. To resolve this, you may follow the Microsoft Help guide on your desktop to restore or repair your Windows software.
9. Image Server is down
Since free blogging platforms including Blogger.com have limits on the amount of storage space taken up by the Blog photos, images and graphics, it is worth considering hosting these images on an external server and linking to them from your Blog. We wrote about using free hosts like Google Page Creator and Google Groups. These too have limits on space and bandwidth. There is a comprehensive list of free Image Hosts and File Hosting Services in our article onManage Blogger Image Storage Space which may provide a bigger storage space. All servers, even Blogger.com, can have downtimes. When these image hosts are busy, undergoing maintenance, temporarily suspended, offline, or when the download bandwidth has been exceeded, the images linked to the Blog will not be displayed. The problem could be temporary, and should you need to see these images on a particular Blog, revisit the Blog an hour or so later.
10. Image links are broken or dead
Since the images are hosted on another platform and linked, there could be instances when the webmasters typed a wrong URL, placed the " at the wrong places or omitted the closing image tags. The image HTML code and attributes are discussed in Hyperlinks and Image Links. The image links could be broken or dead when webmasters delete the images from the server or switch image servers without updating the image links. It is also possible that the image is not hotlinked. By this we mean that when the image is stored on the image server, the link given is not a direct link to the image, but a page containing the image and other contents. Hotlinking takes up bandwidth and some image servers do not provide that service. If such URL is used in the image HTML code, the image will not show.
11. Cache not cleared