When you use email services like Gmail, advertisers and marketers may watch your email activity by utilizing a technique that invades your privacy called email tracking. Even while the vast majority of email providers provide protection against email tracking, this protection is not on by default and is not very user-friendly. In light of this fact, we will now proceed to explain how to disable email tracking in Gmail.
What is Email tracking?
Email tracking is a kind of lead creation that marketers use to study consumer behavior and display advertising that are more relevant to the individual. When an email has hidden tracking pixels embedded in pictures or links, the sender will be informed when the email is opened, the number of times it is seen, and they will even get alerts when you check your inbox.
If you feel that this is an invasion of your privacy and an unwanted intrusion into your life, you may stop Gmail from monitoring your emails by following the instructions below.
Stop Tracking Emails Through the Use of the Gmail Website
1. Open Gmail using your web browser, then in the top-right hand corner of the screen, click on the gear icon labeled Settings.
2. When the “Quick settings” box opens, click on the link that says “See full settings” to visit the page where you may configure your Gmail account.
3. Go to the tab labeled “General,” scroll down until you locate the section labeled “Photos,” and then click the radio option labeled “Ask before displaying external images.”
4. Confirm the changes by scrolling all the way to the bottom of the page and clicking the “Save changes” button. Moving forward, Gmail will not automatically show the graphics, protecting you against malicious tracking pixels that may be included in commercial communications.
Turn off Email Tracking in the Apple Mail App on the Mac
1. To make changes to your Apple Mail settings, launch Apple Mail and go to the “Mail -> Preferences” menu (for macOS versions older than macOS 12 Monterey). In macOS 13 Ventura and later versions, you will need to go to the “Mail -> Settings” menu option.
2. Next, from the top navigation bar, choose the “Privacy” tab, and then deactivate the “Protect Mail Activity” option by unchecking the box next to it.
3. Following that, you will have to activate the option to “Block All Remote Content.” And, congratulations, you have successfully blocked Apple Mail from accessing the contents of your Gmail account!
4. In order to illustrate how this feature would prevent photos from being loaded in emails, we have created an engaging demonstration that you can see here. Take a look at this animation in GIF format:
Turn off Email Tracking in the Mobile App for Google’s Gmail (Android and iOS)
Both the Android and iOS versions of the Gmail app follow the same steps to stop tracking inside the app. We have shown the process using the Gmail applications for Android; however, you can do the same thing using your iPhone. So let’s see how it works:
1. In the Gmail mobile app, hit the hamburger menu located in the top-left corner of the screen, and then choose “Settings.” This will prevent email tracking.
2. Select the email account for which you would want to block tracking pixels, scroll down until you locate the “Images” area, and then tap on the section’s name.
3. Select the radio option labeled “Ask before showing external photos,” and you are finished configuring this setting. In order to protect you from covert email trackers, the web-based version of Gmail and its mobile app equivalent will no longer show photos by default.
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