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Images not showing, In most HTML e-mails all images just show as a strange grey placeholder

I recently downloaded the trial version of The Bat and I am liking it very much, however almost all HTML e-mail render images as strange grey placeholders. This is what it looks like:

I have tried clicking on the little "image download" icon but that's not doing anything. I have tried every option from the drop-down menu next to it ("Download images for current message", "Download all images", "Re-download images", "Allow all images from", etc.) but none of them appear to be doing anything.

The "Image Download Manager" is completely empty, I'm not sure if that is normal or what's supposed to show up in there. This is what it looks like:

In the preferences under "Viewer/Editor" -> "HTML Viewer" -> "Download external media", the option "Automatically for all sources" is selected. I also do not use any anti-virus software on my computer that blocks network traffic or anything like that.

I even opened the Chromium developer tools from the right-click context menu and looked at the HTML source of the mail messages and they contain completely normal IMG tags with proper SRC attributes that point to valid image files (I can copy the link and open it in my web browser and they will display fine).

Is this a known problem or can anyone tell me what the problem is? My operating system is Windows 7 SP2 and my version of The Bat is the latest v9.5.1 (64-bit).
It seems you've already looked at all possible causes that I can think of, so, if nobody else offers any further suggestions, you should probably submit the problem to Ritlabs' technical support (see Support in the top menu).
I volunteer as a moderator to help keep the forum tidy. I do not work for Ritlabs SRL.
Thanks for your reply Daniel, I will do this then.

I've done some more testing in the meanwhile and I can't re-produce the problem in a Windows 10 VM. Well maybe that can help Ritlabs pinpoint the issue.

Best regards,
I already have a ticket for this issue. However, on my system, almost all emails DO show images. It's only some specific emails, like from Costco, that don't. Support has told me the "message includes potentially unsafe code, so the external images are not  downloaded. We went ahead and tried to view it in several other email  programs and noticed they all proceed the same way blocking all the  external content."

Same messages work in v9.3.4 no problem, so I have no idea why this is happening.
I received an answer from Ritlabs and while the issue is known, sadly they don't have a fix for it. Here is the full answer that I received:


Thank you for your message and your interest towards The Bat!

Indeed, there is an issue with external image download in Windows 7, the same emails however are displayed properly in Windows 10.
Unfortunately, we could not find the source of the issue till now, it is apparently related to certain system settings, most probably to IE settings, which control external image download.

We are sorry, we cannot offer any solution for Windows 7 at this point.
This page discusses some possible causes (pertaining to Outlook, but if IE is the cause, maybe they can also affect The Bat?):

Another (far-fetched) solution might be to check the policy settings for Outlook, in case that IE enforces them for other mail clients too:

Also, maybe you could try to update or reinstall IE?
I volunteer as a moderator to help keep the forum tidy. I do not work for Ritlabs SRL.
Hello Daniel,

thank your for the suggestions, but I've already managed to fix the problem in the meanwhile. I had the suspicion that it could have something to do with SSL/TLS so I went into "Internet Options" in the Windows "Control Panel" and under the "Advanced" Tab I found that the options "Use SSL 3.0" and "Use TLS 1.0" were enabled, while the option for TLS 1.2 was not enabled. So I disabled the old SSL/TLS options and enabled the "Use TLS 1.2" checkbox, like on this screenshot:

After doing this, all images in HTML e-mails now display fine in The Bat! I've also passed on this information to the Ritlabs staff, maybe it helps them to fix the issue in a future update or they can publish it as a workaround for Windows 7 users.

Best regards,
Edited: Richard Berwegen - 12 March 2022 00:30:25
Wow, I would never have thought to look there. Great work! It does make sense now, but you'd expect Windows to throw up an error when it can't connect to a server because the encryption method isn't supported.
I volunteer as a moderator to help keep the forum tidy. I do not work for Ritlabs SRL.
Richard, do you know if your solution is only for Windows 7? In any case, I looked at the various Internet Explorer options on my Windows 10 system, and they all seem to be set to the correct options to allow images to be downloaded. Plus (I thought) the v10 The Bat uses its own Chromium browser code, so I would assume IE settings don't affect it. v9, on the other hand, depends on IE if I remember right, and that works.

Finally, as I said, Ritlabs support told me "message includes potentially unsafe code, so the external images are not   downloaded. We went ahead and tried to view it in several other email   programs and noticed they all proceed the same way blocking all the   external content"

I'm trying to think what other email programs I can try to verify it. I tried to add my Gmail account to Outlook, but it won't let me. Can anyone point me at something else to try?

Hi Warner Y,

I couldn't re-produce my problem on Windows 10. All images of e-mails that wouldn't display on my Windows 7 box, would display fine when I installed the same version of The Bat on a Windows 10 machine.

Also, all of these e-mails displayed just fine in other e-mail clients such as Thunderbird or Google Mail in the web browser, so I don't think it had anything to do with potentially unsafe code or anything like that.

Sorry that I can't be of any help...I think your problem might be a different and unrelated issue altogether.

Best regards,
I forgot about Thunderbird. I'll give that a try.
Interesting. On Thunderbird, the images are initially blocked with a "To protect your privacy, Thunderbird has blocked remote content in this message". I then have the option to allow images from any of the 4 images sources, or from all 4 at the same time. Allowing those will display the images.

I'd guess The Bat v10 is doing something similar, except the options to allow images from the source doesn't work for some emails. That still sounds like a bug to me.
Thank you very much, Richard! Enabling "Use TLS 1.2" checkbox solved my problem under Windows 10. I couldn't download images in any version of TheBat newer than 9.3 before that.
Unfortunately even when selecting SSL3 and TLS 1.2 (and deleting or leaving TLS 1.00 & 1.10) in Internet Options I'm still seeing the Greyed out Panels.

I don't think it's every email but certainly all those from TUI/First Choice for previous holidays. Even when set to Automatic one email sender, NOT TUI/FC still needs to be prompted to Download Images for Current Message.

How can I tell if a message has HTML images etc?  Obviously I can tell the ones which have greyed out panels but NOT the successful ones, if any.


The Bat! vers 10
Windows 10

I know I shouldn't have upgraded on Friday the 13th!
David, that sounds like the problem I was having. I opened ticket 94249 a while back, and was told this was because some messages contain potentially unsafe code, so they don't download the images. Thunderbird warns you and lets you proceed anyway. I really think The Bat! should have a similar option, but the only answer I've gotten is that they "will evaluate the risks associated with downloading such external content into The Bat!" The same email is perfectly fine in v9 and the web-based Gmail.

I don't know for sure if that's what you're seeing, but it sounds like it. I don't know if you can view my ticket and add comments, or if you need to open your own, but this is definitely a problem that prevents me from upgrading right now.
Warner Y wrote:
Thanks Warner, the problem you have is exactly the same as mine with the greyed out panels reported by Richard! Unfortunately no amount of fiddling with TLS/SSL, restoring Windows using Macrium Reflect immediately after installing TB vers10 etc changes anything.

Surely if other FREE email clients (Thunderbird) offer the choice to view HTML images such a factility should be included in a paid for version of The Bat!?

Unforunately I'm NOT able to view your ticket 94249.

It's unlikely that Ritlabs will reimburse me with GBP 27.+ and allow me to reviert to my previous version!

One thing I've noticed with Macrium Reflect is that when a bug/fault etc is identified on one its forums the problem is almost immediately addressed and a patch/upgrade issued.  That doesn't seem to be the case with TB. Perhaps they think that if they keep quiet the issue will go away?

Thanks again
Hi David,
I do know that since the HTML engine was changed, ALL email that have any links from , ALL images are greyed out. They worked fine with old HTML engine that was in previous versions. I think last version was 9.4.1 not sure as don't use it.
David: That's why I'm not upgradine to v10 yet. And I may just stay on v9 until I'm literally forced to upgrade to something else. I've commented as such in my ticket.

Sally: In my case, the images are coming from I'm not sure what specifically they mean about potentially unsafe code.
Hi Warner,

Maybe you could install version 9.4.1 to test it and see if that is the problem. May be worth a try to check..
Richard, Warner: Could it be that the affected images have to be fetched over unsafe connections, and that this is why the Chromium browser component is blocking them? For discussion of this issue see:

If I understand correctly, the 'http' server that was linked to as the images resource redirected to a different server over https but that server refused safe connections, which caused Chromium to block the images.
I volunteer as a moderator to help keep the forum tidy. I do not work for Ritlabs SRL.
Daniel, that sounds like the problem, but the fact remains that email client like Thunderbird warns first, then allows the images if you confirm. I doubt I can get Costco (and any other sites that do this) to change their emails, so my current choice is to stay on v9.3.4 or move to another email client. But I'd rather not change the client. I guess I'll just keep going until v9 stops working, then see what's available.
Other mail clients have no relevance here. If TB has a shortcoming, it would be helpful if we can figure out under which circumstances it occurs, so that Ritlabs can reproduce and fix it (or get the Chromium devs to fix it). At this point, I feel it would be most helpful -productive- if you and David export some of the affected emails to *.msg or *.EML files, and add them to your support ticket(s), along with a link to this forum topic.
I volunteer as a moderator to help keep the forum tidy. I do not work for Ritlabs SRL.
Thanks Daniel.  I have opened a Ticket and uploaded 4 eml files.  Support have replied saying that they can open/see three of them (I think they were all from TUI but NOT the one from Jet2 Holidays).  Additionally they have asked me to upload screen shots of the Internet Options Advanced tab which I have done.  Furthermore they asked me to disable Anti Virus software and try to view them again something which I had done well before I raised the ticket. That didn't work

Thanks again
Thanks David! Nice to hear that the developers responded so quickly. Hopefully they'll be able to reproduce the problem now that they have some of the troublesome messages. The cause might still be somewhere in the Chromium html component or even deep down in the operating system, but even then they may have suggestions for settings or workarounds that solve the problem. Please keep us posted if you hear back from them.
I volunteer as a moderator to help keep the forum tidy. I do not work for Ritlabs SRL.
I provided a sample EML to support when I first opened a ticket. That's how they determined what the problem is. The question is, if this is in Chromium, I don't know if RitLabs will be willing to make changes to that code. So far, it doesn't sound like they're willing to do anything about the issue.

David: what's your ticket number? I'll add it to my ticket to tie them together, so hopefully support will realize more than one person has this problem.
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