If you have a blank box shaped/sized like the graphic or image, you have Show picture placeholders enabled (a feature for slow Internet connections). 

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Check the Picture Placeholder setting in Outlook


Note that this dialog is accessible from a COMPOSE MESSAGE window, not the main Outlook window!


In Outlook 2010 or Outlook 2013 you need to follow these steps:

  1. Click the New Email button or press Ctrl+N while viewing the Inbox. 
  2. Go to the new message's File, Options dialog. 
  3. Click Mail, then Editor Options 
  4. Select Advanced and look near the bottom of the dialog for the option to Show Picture Placeholders
  5. Uncheck the box to Show picture placeholders 
  6. Close the dialog then close the message.

    After changing the settings, close the message. Do not sent it!
    This, like many other message settings (zoom, etc), will apply only to the current message if you send it.
    You need to close the message to change the global setting.