Pictures cannot be displayed and are shown as red X in Outlook

Original KB number:   2638687


When you open an email message that contains images in Microsoft Office Outlook, the image areas are blocked. These areas display a red X placeholder. Additionally, the images are sent or received as email attachments.


To resolve this problem, make sure that the Temporary Internet Files folder is valid.


This section, method, or task contains steps that tell you how to modify the registry. However, serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Therefore, make sure that you follow these steps carefully. For added protection, back up the registry before you modify it. Then, you can restore the registry if a problem occurs. For more information about how to back up and restore the registry, see How to back up and restore the registry in Windows.

  1. Select Start, select Run (Or press Windows Key and R on your keyboard at the same time), type regedit.exe, and then press Enter.

    (If you are prompted for an administrator password or for confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.)

    Screenshot of the Run window when you type regedit.exe.

  2. Locate the following registry subkey:

    Office 2010: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\14.0\Outlook\Security
    Office 2007: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\12.0\Outlook\Security
    Office 2003: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\11.0\Outlook\Security

    Screenshot of the Security subkey in the registry subkey list and its path in the bottom of the window.

  3. In the right side window, double-click OutlookSecureTempFolder. Verify whether the folder noted is valid. You can copy and paste the folder path in Windows Explorer to verify this.

    • If you do not see the OutlookSecureTempFolder entry, go to the next step.
    • If the folder does not exist on your computer, change the OutlookSecureTempFolder value to a valid folder path, for example **C:\temp0**.

    Screenshot of the value of OutlookSecureTempFolder registry key.

    Screenshot of the Windows Explorer.

  4. If the OutlookSecureTempFolder registry entry does not exist, you must create it manually. To do this, follow these steps:

    1. Right-click an empty area, point to New, and then select String Value.

      Screenshot of the String Value option of the New menu.

    2. Double-click OutlookSecureTempFolder, and then enter a valid folder path, for example C:\temp0\.

      Screenshot of the Edit String window for OutlookSecureTempFolder.

  5. Restart Outlook.

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