I've recently become aware of a snoopy little Chrome extension called Yesware. Yesware brands itself as an email productivity service for salespeople. It enables those who use it to know when, where, and from what device someone has opened an email.

It does this by embedding an invisible pixel in each email, and notifying the email sender when, where, and how that pixel has been served. Simple enough technology. Simply creepy, maybe.

Nick Tommarello writes on his blog about one way to keep Yesware users from tracking you: disable images. But that's like killing a fly with a bazooka. He also says blocking Yesware can be done with Microsoft Exchange, combining server-side and client-side rules.

There has to be a simpler way to protect my privacy from those who are using Yesware. Any help?

4 Answers 4


Email image bugs like this are nothing new. People have been trying to use them for years. That's why Gmail by default doesn't display images in email until you explicitly tell it to (usually by marking the sender as trusted).

I don't allow images to display in any message except from a very few select senders. Sure, it requires an extra click if I decide I want to see images, but that's not that burdensome and the vast majority of the time I don't need to see the images anyway.

I disagree with your assessment that turning off images is a bazooka for killing a fly. I suggest that rather it is an effective anti-fly technology for a number of different types of very annoying flies.

  • +1 especially since you can always enable images for a given sender May 22, 2013 at 21:57
  • I think that one concern raised by OP (and at least highlighted in Nick Tommarello's blog post) is the use of yesware by "ordinary" people in your relationship. Thus, blocking images except from a few select senders might not be relevant. (quoting Tommarello: “Dude! I saw you opened my email yesterday! When the hell are you going to respond?! And what were you doing in New York?!”) Jun 24, 2013 at 11:34

You can tell your browser to skip images from that host, without altering the hosts file.

If you use Chrome:

  • Open the Settings
  • Choose "Content settings..."
  • Click on "Manage Exceptions" under Images
  • Enter a Regular Expression pattern that matches the host. In this case, the RegEx equivalent of *.yesware.com would be [*.]yesware.com.
  • Choose "Block" in "Behaviour" next to the pattern.

If you use Firefox:

  • Open the Settings
  • Click the "Content" tab
  • Right next to "Load images automatically", click on "Exceptions..."
  • Type in *yesware.com and click "Block".
  • Do the same with *.yesware.com and yesware.com, just in case.

Now images from yesware.com or any subdomain served by it will be blocked by your browser, regardless of where they appear.


I'm not sure about the exact working of YesApp but it can be mislead using editing your hosts file for sure...

find your hosts file at %SystemRoot%\system32\drivers\etc\hosts (Windows of course)...

Add this line to it : http://*.yesware.com and https://*.yesware.com to it.Now Restart...scripts will now report to localhost instead of YesWare....

ALSO: you might need to 'Take Ownership' of the hosts file

Further Info : Wikipedia of Hosts File

  • 1
    You might want to mention that some AV software will trigger warnings, or block, attempts to alter the hosts file, as this is something malware likes to do. May 23, 2013 at 13:58
  • yes...this is something malwares & hacktools do...can't say about Avast, but McAfee & Kaspersky have no problems with this
    – Ayush
    May 23, 2013 at 14:12
  • 1
    Comment take from a NAA by Beau: You mean "https://" (note the "S")
    – bummi
    May 14, 2015 at 20:17
  • sure...might add that as a new line entry
    – Ayush
    May 15, 2015 at 0:26
  • This will not do anything! Windows' HOSTS file [does not support wildcards (stackoverflow.com/questions/138162/…)
    – seagull
    Dec 1, 2021 at 10:09

The ad/content blocking extensions, uBlock Origin or AdBlock Plus can block YesWare trackers if they are subscribed to the EasyPrivacy or the Fanboy Ultimate filter list (includes EasyPrivacy). If you only want the filter to block YesWare, add this filter to uBO or ABP: ||app.yesware.com/t/$third-party.

Also, the tracker blocking browser extension, Ghostery can block YesWare.

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