How to Receive Faxes on Your Computer Using Gmail

How to Receive Fax on Gmail

​These days we can ​communicate in ​many ways. Messages and documents of all types can travel miles in the blink of an eye thanks to online technology. But what about faxes? Despite often being ​referred to as “outdated tech”, faxing is still an important part of millions of businesses around the World. Even if you don’t fax regularly, you may need to ​get a fax once in a while.

Luckily, there’s no need to ​keep using a fax machine anymore. ​Instead, you can ​​receive fax on Gmail and forget about having to​ pay for additional phone lines​! This article explains how you can do it, walking you through the necessary steps to help you ​receiving faxes via email just minutes from now.

Thanks to the information we share here, you’ll be cutting the time you spend faxing by basically automating the whole process.​

  • 1
    Open a Gmail account. Even if you already have a ​an account we suggest creating a ​new one ​for ​incoming faxes, it's free and it'll only take about a minute. ​Having a separate account for faxing is a good idea to organize and sort your faxes and avoid mixing incoming faxes with personal emails.
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    Sign up for an online fax service. ​A service ​acts as a "middle-man" between a fax machine and your computer, providing you with an online fax number that will let you receive Gmail fax. This virtual number is immediately ​to convert incoming faxes into digital files that will be then sent to your Gmail inbox. This process is automatic, ​the service takes care of it entirely in the background wihtout the need of additional software or configurations.

​Fax services charge you an affordable monthly fee to use them, but right now they provide the only way to transform and deliver faxes to Gmail, turning your computer into a virtual fax machine. Providers like RingCentral or eFax ​let you ​create a 30-day ​test drive account if you want to ​receive fax to Gmail free.

​Making Your Virtual Fax Number Work With Gmail

​Head to ​your online fax account's members area​, you should get this information on the welcome email once you sign up for a service.   ​​Below is an example of how this looks ​when using RingCentral Fax.  

In their Settings area, under the Notifications tab, you’ll find the Email field.  ​Make sure have the “Include attachment with email” option activated, which means the fax contents will be forwarded to email.

Now, where it says “Send notifications to:” > “Email”, simply enter your ​email address.  Double check that it has been typed correctly before continuing​.

Email fax settings

​You can also opt to receive an immediate SMS notification to your mobile phone whenever a new fax arrives. The amount of options to receive faxes and notifications makes it a breeze to read new faxes on your Gmail inbox.

This way of receiving faxes doesn't need any type of special set-up in Google or programs to work. The fax-to-email process is handled entirely by the provider of your choice. It's important to choose the right service for your needs, so don't create a paid account if you are not sure.  In this case, it's better to create a free trial account to check how well the service works.  Free trials are safe, you won't be charged anything unless you decide to continue using the service after 30 days, and you can cancel your account at any time.

The only way to receive fax online is through a virtual fax number. If you already have a number, but through a landline, you can move it to a ​virtual line.  Fax services are more than happy to assist you transferring your existing number to their digital platform. You get a temporary number while your current number is propagated online. This way you'll enjoy the advantages of Gmail faxing without having to change your number.

For those that don't have a number yet, services provide a free one with every new account. Typically, you can choose between toll-free and local numbers in your country, but if you are planning to use it for branding you can request a vanity fax number with different prefixes.

If you've finished creating your account, you just have to wait a few minutes to have a working fax number. This means that you'll be able to receive any fax sent from a fax machine. There's no difference for people sending you the fax, but you will be able to read ​it directly on Gmail and print only what is needed.  The incoming fax transmission is quickly converted into a PDF file and then forwarded to your preferred Gmail address.

​What's So Great About ​Email Faxing?

  • Fax Anytime. Anywhere. ​You only need an Internet connection to fax ​via email​, which means you will be able to check your faxes from any device ​where you can access ​your account.
  • No More Running Out Of Paper. You might as well forget about this notification, as you will be able to use cloud printing or any other printer to get your faxes.
  • Waiting In Line? No more waiting in line for the fax machine at your office. Everything happens whenever and wherever you want it to.
  • Easy Organizing. Your incoming faxes can be all moved into a separate label in your inbox, making it easy for you to organize them and access them at any time.
  • Re-sending Faxes. When receiving faxes in your inbox, you will be able to forward them (as an email) to any of your colleagues in a matter of seconds.

​There are literally no downsides to substituting your fax machine with ​an online alternative. You will save time, money and energy once you get used to this more modern approach to ​faxing.

In order to stay ahead of your competition, you need to adapt to new technologies and what better way to do ​it than to combine the best of both worlds – emails and faxes. ​Learning how to ​deliver incoming fax to Gmail will surely save you precious time and resources and make your workplace a far more organized environment. Within a few minutes your time you can set up this feature and enjoy the paperless fax life!