If you are trying to crack down on your online privacy and prevent as much information tracking as possible. This guide will show you how to block email tracking and also allow you to stop any emails you receive in Gmail from showing to the sender as read.


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You’ve probably never thought about it before but even emails can include tracking, that works in a very similar way to standard website tracking methods. Companies and website developers often include tracking in their newsletters and promotions to better track how their content is being consumed. This information is then used to better market products to and advertising to consumer needs, it is also sometimes passed on or sold to other entities. Which is the main concern of users.

Unfortunately, by default, in Gmail, just like almost all other email clients, you can’t view or block any email tracking content or prevent senders from seeing that you have in fact read an email. Thankfully though, if you do use Gmail and are on a quest to stop as many trackers as possible, there is a way to view and block email tracking. You also have the added benefit of blocking email read receipts.  

With a small, highly regarded Chrome extension called Ugly Email, you can reign in your privacy by blocking email tracking and read receipts for the mail you receive in your Gmail inbox. As well as blocking tracking, it also marks the emails with tracking elements, so you know who the track offenders are. Using this knowledge you can pick and choose which email subscriptions you don’t mind keeping and which you will unsubscribe from.

Download Ugly Email Extension.

How To Block Email Tracking in Gmail.

Once you have added Ugly Email to Chrome, a new icon will appear on the Chrome toolbar. The icon doesn’t actually offer anything besides a way to hide the icon itself. Which can be found by clicking Options. Before the extension takes effect, you will need to refresh or resign into your Gmail account.

Now, all the emails that arrive in your inbox with email tracking elements will be blocked and an Eyeball icon will be shown next to their subject. Ugly Email blocks the read receipt tracker and various other tracking elements, whilst still allowing emails to display normally. It would be nice to see some additional options added, a whitelist for example.

can you identify tracking emails in gmail

With almost 70,000 downloads and a ⅘ star rating, Ugly Email is worth a look if you are trying to block as much tracking as possible. Below is a list of all the current trackers that are being blocked by Ugly email. For more information about Ugly Email fee free to check out the official website below.

Ugly Email Homepage.

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