What is that red "X"?

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Here’s a question that I get fairly often:

Someone sent me an email with some pictures, but instead of seeing the pictures in the email, all I see is a red “X”. What is going wrong?

Actually there are a few potential fixes for this problem. Here are some things to try:

1. You might just be offline. In many cases, you can read your email without being connected to the internet (such as with Outlook or Outlook Express) but the images won’t show up. Solution: check your internet connection and make sure you are online.

2. Outlook Express may be “protecting” you by blocking images from downloading. Solution: In Outlook Express, click on Tools – Options and then click the Security tab. UNcheck the box that says “Block images and other external content in HTML email”. Click OK. Close Outlook Express and open it again.

3. The image that is not displaying may be hosted on a website that is down at the moment. Solution: not much you can do here except wait for the website to come back up.

4. “Show pictures” may be turned off in Internet Explorer. Solution: Click Start – Control Panel and double click on Internet Options. Choose the Advanced tab, then scroll down to the Multimedia section. Check the box that says “Show pictures”.

5. Your firewall may be blocking the images. Solution: Turn off or disable the firewall and see if the pictures appear (the steps for disabling the firewall are different for different firewalls). Note: if you use a router for your network, that has a hardware firewall built in. You don’t really need a software firewall such as ZoneAlarm or Norton.

6. The website where the image is hosted is up, but your internet security settings are set too high for that website to get through. Solution: Click Start – Control Panel and double click on Internet Options. Click on the Security tab, and click the button that says “Default level”.

7. One more potential cause is that the sender is not sending the images correctly (the email has to be sent in HTML format, not plain text). Solution: tell the sender to change his or her email sending mode to HTML.

This week’s video falls into one of my favorite categories – the prank. This guy named Scott (not me though) has a boss that is overweight. The boss keeps breaking one desk chair after another, and he thinks it is because he’s fat. There’s actually another reason…

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