Having trouble with your video's animated preview in Outlook?

Vaam recommends that you share your video with an animated preview for email. Depending on your receivers' Outlook version, some of them might experience one of three problems.

  1. The preview does not show

  2. The preview does not play

  3. The preview does not open the link to your vaam

Read on for more information and suggested solutions.

The preview does not show

Are your recipients telling you that they can't see the preview at all? This is usually due to the security level of their organization's email setup. Images are often used to track email engagement by marketing platforms, social media, etc. To avoid this, some organizations have opted to block images from loading automatically. When this happens, your recipient will see only a box that says that the image is blocked.

The preview does not play

If the animated preview doesn't play in Outlook, you'll want to check that:

  • The version of Outlook supports animated media like .gifs

  • Animation settings are enabled for Outlook

Version of Outlook that support animated images

Microsoft only supports animated gifs with their Office 365 versions of Outlook β€” either the web-based Outlook Live (outlook.live.com) or the Outlook desktop app (for Mac and Windows).

Outlook version


GIF support

Outlook 2013-2019



Outlook for Office 365



Outlook Live



Are animations enabled in Outlook for Office 365?

If you are using Outlook for Office 365, but the animated images aren't animated, you may not have the setting for animations enabled in either Outlook or on Windows.

Outlook version < 2008

Outlook version > 2008

  1. Open your Outlook client

  2. Select File > Options > Advanced from the Outlook menu

  3. Check the Play animated GIFs box in the Display section.

Display section in the Outlook desktop program's Settings, showing how to enable GIFs
  1. Select the Start menu from your Windows desktop.

  2. Search Show animations, and select the first result.

  3. Enable Show animations in Windows, under the Display section.

What to do about the animated preview not playing for your recipients?

While you can fix the problem for yourself, it will of course be hard to teach your recipients to do the same. But if you follow the advice from the section about The preview does not show they will have a way forward even without the animation.

The animated preview does not open the link to my video page

Outlook's desktop apps (for Windows and Mac) have their own rules for how animated images play in emails.

Outlook adds its own button to play and pause the animation in the preview. This behavior applies to all animated images, including vaam previews.

Since the play button that we add to the animated preview is centered on the image, it will often be covered by the play button added by outlook. Still, outside of the play button, the rest of the video thumbnail is still a clickable hyperlink that opens to your sharing page, but the play button will only play/pause the preview itself.

Potential workarounds

Use a static preview instead

Most of these problems are related to the fact that animated images are more often blocked, and are treated more strictly by email clients. That means that one way to try to work around this problem is to share a static preview instead of an animated one.

πŸ‘‰ Read more: Share with a static preview

Include a quick primer before the preview

Make sure that you include a quick primer for the video in the text body of your email. One way to do this is to write something like

Watch my video below by clicking the preview or the link.

Add a text title

You should also include a text title when sharing via email. That ensures that your recipient will have at least one clickable element that looks good.

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