Can I Send a Fax from Gmail?

fax from Gmail

[UPDATED: ​June 2019]

​With the help of Gmail, businesses and people all around the World can communicate ​easily and ​in mere seconds. Google's email service has continued evolving since it first started, adding useful features and integrating with other big G's services like Google Drive, Calendars or Google Docs.

Not so long ago, you could only send emails from a computer.  But it was pretty limited: accounts had only a handful of features and the small amount of storage meant that you had to delete emails regularly to have space for new ones! That was until Google launched Gmail in 2004, and since then things have never been the same.

​But despite all the additions to the service, Gmail ​doesn't have a way to send fax ​online, and they have made it clear on a support article in their website.  They have invested in other technology, such as Google Voice, but this service can only be implemented for calls, not for fax transmissions. ​

Luckily, we can ​​send fax from Gmail with a technology that has been around for some years now: email faxing.  ​Using one of these services, instead of using your fax machine, you use a virtual number that converts outgoing files​ to fax, and incoming fax ​to digital documents you can read on your screen. It's a method that not only saves time, but it also reduces your fax expenses.

​This way of ​sending fax online is extremely easy to integrate in your office because it doesn't require physical installations or faxing hardware.  ​​

​First Steps

Gmail fax

For this tutorial you'll need a Gmail account which will act as your fax email and account with a​n online fax service​. These services are able to convert ​fax from email by linking a virtual number to your email address. We recommend starting off with an email fax service provider ​​with free accounts, ​like RingCentral ​or eFax​ which let you create an account to ​​send fax online free for 30 days.  It's the perfect way to ​follow this guide.

​There's also the alternative to send a fax through a website at zero cost, but it is limited to  couple of pages per day, and they don't provide a way to ​fax from Gmail accounts. Instead, you have to ​send it using a web ​form.  If you need to send more pages, you have to actually start paying a fee per page, which can end up being more costly than the nominal fee email fax services charge per month.  These services, although they deliver your fax, are not recommended for sensitive information for ​three reasons: they don't guarantee your fax has been ​sent, they don't have advanced security measures and they include their own branding on your faxes for promotional purposes.

An online fax service will also give you your own Google fax number to receive ​documents online and provide apps to integrate faxing on mobile devices.

​​Sending a Fax ​From Gmail

If you know how to send a simple email from Gmail, you've already got 90% of the process down. There are only a few minor differences that you have to keep in mind when you send faxes:

  • ​The recipient's fax number goes on the TO field, where it will be followed by your provider's domain.
  • ​The contents of the fax need to be uploaded as an attachment for conversion into fax.
  • ​The cover page contents are added using the Subject field on Gmail.
  • ​The Body of the message must be completely empty.

​Keeping this into account, here are the steps to send Gmail fax:

  • 1
    Create a new email message​ by clicking on COMPOSE ​both in Gmail's desktop site or ​when using their mobile app.
  • 2
    Enter the recipients' 10-digit fax number (​with area code) in the TO field. ​​ You'll need turn this number into an email address by adding at the end.  For example, if you use RingCentral with a sample number (1-222-333-3333) ​you need to enter this:  You can add up to 50 recipients at the same time separated by commas, like a common email.
  • 3
    Add the cover page ​text using the Subject field. ​The layout of the cover page will depend on the settings on your fax service account.  You can also attach a customized cover page​​​ to the email. In that case just leave the field empty.
  • 4
    Attach ​the files you want to fax. For this step, just click on the paperclip icon (lower area of the composing screen in the desktop version) and pick a file from your computer.  ​You can ​attach formats like PDF, JPG, TXT or DOC. For a full list of compatible formats refer to your service's support page.  It's also possible to attach multiple files in a single fax transmission, but there's a limit on the size of files.
  • 5
    Press Send. ​​It doesn’t take more than ​a few ​minutes to ​fully ​transmit the document. Once it's done, you'll receive a confirmation ​message on your Gmail account with the transmission ​details on your inbox, including the date/time, sender's phone number and extension, name of the recipient and the result of the ​transmission.

​If there's a error while ​sending ​a fax, ​your service will try re-sending it until it is successful.  It's very unusual to get an error message, but if you do get one it will detail what went wrong during the process so you can fix it or contact the customer support  if you fax area.

Final Words

​Learning ​to send a fax online through websites like this one or more specialized like will give you an edge over other companies that use traditional faxing methods. You’ll cut the time you spend faxing, while breaking ​away from all the issues that plagued fax machines, like paper jams and poor document quality.

At the same time Gmail fax will help you save money that used to be spent in equipment, supplies and additional fax lines. ​​