Outlook, Microsoft's free webmail service, has been around for more than two decades, providing email addresses for millions of users around the World.
Formerly known as Hotmail and Windows Live, Outlook remains as one of the most popular email providers, and that's because it's fast, it's easy to use, and has a slick interface.
But emailing is only one part of what your Outlook account can do. Microsoft has added features such as Calendars, Address Books and integration with Office applications. But what you may not know is that you can also send faxes directly from your Outlook email address.
This new way of faxing has proven to be an essential tool for businesses that fax on a regular basis, Letting them save the time and money they'd be spending with a traditional fax solution.
What Do You Need to Get Started?
In order to fax from Outlook we need two things:
- An Outlook.com email address
- An online fax service.
To get a free email address, just head over to Outlook.com and click on "Create a free account", then follow the steps to complete your registration. We suggest you create a new email address just for dealing with faxes. It will prevent clutter and lost faxes in the long run.
Now, since Outlook doesn't have a built-in faxing feature, we need a third-party provider that is able to convert emails into fax and vice versa. That's why we need an online fax service. Today, these services let you do more than just basic faxing. You can schedule faxes, access faxes on the go, integrate faxing with cloud-based services and even turn your cell phone into a virtual fax machine.
As you may have guessed, these services are paid via a monthly subscription. But as you'll see below, there are ways you can get started for free!
Selecting an online Fax Service
The first thing you'll need to do is create an account with a service of your choice. Usually, these services are paid through a monthly subscription that lets you send and receive an allotted number of pages per month. This affordable subscription also includes a local or toll-free fax numbers to receive fax on Outlook as well.
But don't start paying for a plan just yet! Reputable online fax providers like eFax, RingCentral or MyFax, just to name some, let you create a free account, which is basically a basic plan totally free for 30 days.
Sending a Fax, Step by Step
Step 1: Create a new email message
Log in to your Outlook account and click on "+ New Message" to start composing your email fax.
Step 2: Enter the Recipient's Number
Now you need to type in the "To:" field the number of the recipient, including an exit code and an international code if you are sending a fax internationally. Then add "@yourfaxservice.com" next to it.
Keep in mind that you'll need to replace @yourfaxservice with the actual domain of your provider. If you don't know the domain of your provider, refer back to your welcome email or FAQ section.
As an example, if you use MyFax's domain, it would look like this:
Step 3: Cover Page
If you need to precede your fax with a cover page, you can type its contents on the Subject field and/or the Body of the message, depending on the service you are using.
The design used for your cover page has to be configured on your online fax account. You can choose between multiple templates.
Step 4: Attach Your Fax Contents
Click on the "Attach" link (its icon is the paperclip), and then click on "Browse this computer" or "Browse cloud locations", depending on where your file is located.
Online fax services are able to convert hundreds of different file types, including popular ones such as PDF, TXT, DOC, XLS, JPG or HTML, just to name a few. Once you've found the file, click Open and wait a moment until it's attached to the email.
Step 5: Check Information & Click Send
Now your fax is configured and ready to be sent. Proofread the message, especially the number and if everything's OK, just click on Send.
Your online fax service will send you a confirmation email once your fax has been successfully transmitted. In case the fax number is busy, the service will try sending the fax again.
Faxing via email with Outlook is the easiest way to speed up your communications. The free email service integrates perfectly with online faxing and it gives you free space to store your documents in the cloud, with One Drive.
If you want to replace your fax machine with an easier and more cost effective process, just give these services a try. It is free and you can cancel at any time.