Red X sometimes appears in Outlook Express and Internet Explorer?

Dennis Faas's picture

Infopackets Reader Sherrie R. writes:

" Hi Dennis,

I am currently using Windows 2000 and Outlook Express. Sometimes when I receive an email, I see a lightly outlined small box with a red X in the center where a picture should appear. The red X also appears (but less frequently) with some web sites I visit. Why does this happen? Many of my friends report this has happened to them too, but they don't know why either. I would appreciate any and all help/advice you can give. "

My response:

There are a number of reasons why a red X may appear on your screen, and is not necessarily a problem with Outlook Express or Internet Explorer.

Here are a few possibilities:

  1. The page or email you are viewing contains text (which is often cached or saved to your hard drive); however, the picture file(s) contained in the page is/are probably referenced via a web site (which requires an Internet connection). If you are offline, the red X will appear.
  2. The page (or email) you are viewing contains a picture which is in fact hosted on a secondary web site, and that web site is offline. If picture cannot be referenced, the red X will appear.
  3. There may be a temporary problem connecting to the web site which hosts the picture.
  4. The web site hosting the picture file may have been blocked by your firewall, ad-blocking software, or Hosts file.
  5. The reference to the picture is no longer valid, producing a red X, because the picture has been moved or deleted from the remote host (web site).
  6. Your Internet Explorer security settings are not permitting you to access the web site which hosts the picture file. Try changing your settings to default (Tools -> Internet Options -> Security -> Default).

If on the other hand, you have problems sending pictures using Outlook Express (an entirely different problem, although related to the "red X"), please refer to this article:

The box with a Red X -- Missing pictures in Outlook Express, Part 2

Hope that helps!

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