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IE8 Not Display Gmail Inline Image

Enforce Gmail session to always use HTTPS is no doubt for security concern. However, there are some annoying drawbacks that you might want to tolerate with. To me, these problems are not big deal as compare to security.

Besides the two concerns outlined in official Gmail Help, you might also NOT able to view inline images appears in the emails. Precisely, when you use IE8 to access Gmail over HTTPS connection, most of the emails do not show inline images that are sourced from external sites over non-HTTPS protocol.

The inline image, in this context, refers to image that appears right inside the email body. The inline image can be either
  1. An attachment of email,
  2. Or, a hyperlink / URL referring to image hosted elsewhere. Most of the pictures in newsletters or email subscriptions are of this type (such as Walker News email feed), i.e. the images are supposed to be sourced from external sites with reference to the image URLs.

When you open an email containing inline images of 2nd type (URL of image rather than attachment), IE8 might display a security warning dialog box as follow, if the image URL is not of HTTPS protocol:

IE8 show security warning prompt when browsing a webpage containing both secure and insecure elements over a HTTPS connection.

By simply hit ENTER key or click Yes button in response to that security warning prompt, IE8 honour the acknowledgment of only showing webpage content that is delivered securely.

That is why you only see the image placeholders instead of the images that should be sourced from external sites over the insecure HTTP protocol.

How to get IE8 to display insecure inline image when Gmail session is secured by HTTPS protocol?

Apparently, you can click No button when the mix-content security warning prompt pops up, which in effect telling Internet Explorer proceed to retrieve and render the images from external sources, regardless over HTTP or HTTPS protocol.

Alternatively, you can configure IE8 security settings to always allow mixed-content automatically without asking you to acknowledge it. For reference, refer to an earlier post on how to how to disable IE8 security warning when browsing web page with mixed content.

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