Why Are Pictures not Showing in Email?

Why are pictures not showing in email? All I get is the broken image icon.

This is, unfortunately, an extremely common question.

In fact, it happens to me from time to time as well. Someone forwards me an email with some humorous pictures (or better yet, pictures of Corgis), and some or all of them simply don’t display. It’s both frustrating and puzzling when it happens.

Email has evolved over the years, and as a result things aren’t always as compatible as we’d like them to be.

Let’s look at where the incompatibilities are most common, some of the ways that pictures can get lost, and one or two work-arounds that might help you view those all-important Corgi pictures that someone just sent you.

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If it’s All Digital, Won’t You Lose it Anyway?

I had a thought about everything being digital: is there a chance that important information can be lost? From important and historical information to irreplaceable pictures, etc. I was holding a picture of me from 1980 (yes, genuine film). Had there been digital scanners and fast enough computers back then, the 5¼-inch disk would be unreadable by today’s drives. The disk would probably have errors, if you could find a used hard drive to even read it for your precious memories. Never mind historians, scholars, and the young storing all of their Facebook information in the Cloud only. I use external media and more than one type. I don’t know anyone who backs up a single thing, no matter how many speeches I give them.

Yes, it’s true. In fact, I hear about it pretty much every day: digital information can be lost quite easily.

But that’s not an indictment of digital technology at all. In fact, digital data opens up more possibilities for data retention than it closes.

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Why did my pictures disappear?

About six months ago, I converted to Windows 8. I had approximately 2000 photos in Picasa and I now have about 50. I opened my library and found all the folders that were there were now empty. It appears that I’ve permanently lost a lifetime’s worth of photos.

I’m very sorry to hear this.

From your description, I’m not exactly sure what happened. I don’t necessarily have a specific solution to help you recover what you’ve lost, but I have a variety of thoughts on this kind of situation.

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Why Can’t I Forward an Image in Email?

When I attempt to forward an email that has a picture, an error message pops up that says, “One or more pictures could not be found and will not be sent. Do you still want to send the email?” If I say yes, the email will go without the picture. Without the picture, the email loses its effect, the impact, or its humor. I’ve asked many people, searched everything I can think of, and cannot solve this problem.

Images in email are one of the most common sources of problems and frustrating aspects of email. Having problems with sending images is not at all unusual. In fact, there are so many different things that can go wrong  that I’m surprised sending images works at all.

Unfortunately I don’t have a specific answer for you, but let’s take a look at some of the things that can possibly happen here.

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Is Geotagging My Photos a Bad Thing?

At the start of a public gathering event for my child’s school today, the principal surprised me by requesting that parents who took photos of the event with their mobile phones should switch off the geotagging function because it can expose the children to risks associated with privacy. I later took her aside and she explained to me about having recently learned that hackers are able to steal an image uploaded to one of the many image sharing sites or the iCloud as she described it, merely by using the geodetic coordinates of the location where the picture was taken. Is this true or yet another contemporary urban myth?

Urban myth or true fact? Well, it’s somewhere in-between.

Let’s begin by talking about what the principal said. Then, I’ll explain where she might be getting confused about geotagging.

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