How to Receive Fax on your Gmail Account

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 Despite often being ​referred to as “outdated tech”, faxing is still an important part of millions of businesses around the World.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 send and ​​receive faxes to a Gmail account 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.​

What Do You Need to Receive Fax on Gmail?

  • 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.
  • 2
    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 without a phone line. 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 without 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 ​gadget. Providers like eFax ​let you ​create a 30-day ​test drive account if you want to ​receive fax to Gmail free.

​Setting Up ​Your Gmail Fax ​Account

Step 1: Sign Up for an Online Fax ​Service

​Most fax providers out there can be integrated easily with your Gmail address.  However it is important you pick one that is reliable and lets you create a test drive account.  This will save you from ​issues later on.

Step 2: Pick a Fax Number

The first thing you'll need to do when creating a Gmail fax account is to pick between a local or a toll-free fax numbers.  Both alternatives come free of cost with your account.  Plus, some services also have the option of adding a "vanity" fax number for marketing purposes.

Step 3: Link ​the Fax Number to Gmail

​During the sign up process, your fax service will ask which email address you want to use to receive faxes.  Here just add your Gmail email address.  You can add up to 5 different emails to get your faxes.

​Step 4 (Optional): Change Your Gmail Address

​Head to ​your online fax service 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 ​with your own Google fax number.

For those that don't have a number yet, ​your email fax provider ​give ​you 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 ​faxes sent from a 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.

​Why Receive Faxes on YOur Gmail Account?

Fax Anytime. Anywhere.

​You only need an Internet connection to receive faxes ​via email​ and your fax number is active at all times, which means you will be able to check your faxes from ​your mobile phone or device. The best fax services out there have mobile fax apps, and can also be accessed through your phone's web browser.

​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.

​Send and Receive Faxes in an Organized Fashion

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. It's also possible to send fax using Gmail, this means you can enjoy the benefits of using Gmail on both ways.

​Re-sending Faxes.

When ​you receive fax in your ​Gmail account, 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 ​faxing solution. You will save time, money and energy once you get used to this more modern approach when you receive or send a fax.

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!

​Frequently Asked Questions

​1. In what format do I receive incoming fax?

Faxes arrive as PDF files.  The reason behind this is that PDF files are very good at integrating text and graphics. They can also be freely viewed with any PDF reader available for desktop computers or mobile devices. Here you can learn more about converting pdf to fax.

2. Can I use other email providers to receive faxes?

Yes, all online fax services work with all the most -used email providers on the Web, if you own a web domain you can even use your custom email address for the same purpose.  The reason we prefer Gmail for the job it's because it's free, easy to use and it's backed by Google.

3. Is it possible to also receive faxes on my phone?

Yes.  As a matter of fact, the top-rated providers have useful apps developed for this purpose.  Just go to Google Play or the iStore and connect your fax account to your phone.  A copy of your Gmail faxes will arrive to your phone, from where you can read it, re-send it and even sign it.​​​