The most common culprits that block HTTP_REFERER are:

  1. Norton Firewall/Security
  2. Windows XP Firewall
  3. ZoneAlarm Firewall
  4. Ad-Blocking Software

Norton Security Personal Firewall

The numeral uno bandit. There are obviously several versions out, so checking the Symantec website for documentation specific to your version is recommended, but here's the common solution for the last few incarnations:

  1. On the left side of the NIS window, click "Privacy Control".
  2. Click the "Settings For" arrow & select the account you want to change. (If needed)
  3. Click "Custom Level".
  4. In the "Customize Privacy Settings" dialog box, uncheck "Enable Browser Privacy"

Again, if this doesn't fit your version, please check for more information. You're looking for things that will block referer requests, or strip header/url info.

Windows XP Firewall

WinXP has its own built-in firewall that can be enabled or disabled. More in depth info can be found by searching Microsoft's website or visiting

To enable or disable Internet Connection Firewall:

  1. Open Network Connections (Click Start, click Control Panel, and then doubleclick Network Connections.)
  2. Click the Dialup, LAN or HighSpeed Internet connection that you want to protect, and then, under Network Tasks, click "Change settings of this connection".
  3. On the Advanced tab, under Internet Connection Firewall, select one of the following:


Zone Alarm

Again, there are a few versions, and your's may differ, so please check the website or documentation of the manufacturer. Here's the most common solution (known to work in ZoneAlarm Pro 3):

  1. Select "Privacy"->"3rd Party Cookies"
  2. Uncheck "Remove Private Header Info"
  3. Apply

Ad-Blocking Software.

There's quite a few pieces of software being used to stop all the annoying 'pop-ups'. Some ISP's now include this type of software in their connection bundle; Some browsers now have built-in pop-up suppression. The problem is, some of these do this my stripping header/url info. So, if you are using something like this, try disabling it & see if that enables you to get pictures again. If so, you can then check the software for any advanced configuration options, or check the website of the manufacturer for more info...