[Update]: This blog post was updated on March 30, 2020.
In contrast to webmail clients like Gmail or OWA, Microsoft Outlook’s default behavior is to embed images in email signatures instead of only linking to images hosted on the Internet.
While linked images have several downsides (discussed in this article), they can be used in cases where reducing the size of the email is a priority. Below you will find the steps necessary to override Outlook’s default behavior and force it to use a linked/internet image.
Outlook 2019, 2016, 2013
To insert a linked image to your email signature in a newer version of Outlook (Outlook 2019, 2016, or 2013), follow the steps blow:
- In Outlook, edit your email signature.
- In the Signatures and Stationery window in the Edit signature section, position the cursor where you want to insert the image in the signature template and click the Insert Picture button.
- In the Insert Picture window, go to the File name section and enter or paste a full URL of the image hosted on the Internet. Then, click the arrow next to the Insert button and select Link to File from the drop-down menu.
Outlook 2010 and 2007
In order to add linked images to email signatures in Outlook 2010 or 2007, a minor registry tweak is necessary.
- Open the Registry editor, and find the following key (the version no. is 12.0 for Outlook 2007 and 14.0 for Outlook 2010):
- Change the Send Pictures With Document value to 0.
The rest of the procedure is identical as in the case of newer versions of Outlook described above:
- In the signature editor in Outlook, position the cursor where you want to insert the picture in your email signature.
- Click the Insert Picture button and provide the full URL of the image hosted online.
- Select the Link to File option from drop-down menu next to the Insert button.
To insert linked images to email signatures in Outlook 2003, you need to:
- In Outlook, go to Tools > Options > Mail Format > Internet Format and uncheck the When an HTML message contains pictures located on the Internet, send a copy of the pictures instead of the reference to their location option:
- Click OK to save the changes.
- Now, open the email signature editor, position the cursor where you want to insert the image, click the right mouse button and select Insert Image.
- In the resulting window, provide the full URL of your image in the Picture Source box and click OK.