How to Send Fax from Gmail

fax from Gmail

​Online fax service providers allow you to send ​and receive faxes using your Gmail account by converting digital documents into analog fax signals, which can be received by any fax machine on the planet.

​Instead of using ​a fax machine, ​you take advantage of powerful fax servers ​capable ​of converting ​your files and send it to the desired fax number in just a few seconds.

It's a method that not only saves time, but ​also money. It doesn't require a phone line ​or other expenses, and the best of all is that easy to learn. As a matter of fact, after reading this tutorial, you'll be able to send your first fax online.

​How to Send 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 fax through your Gmail account:

  • 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 recipient 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. Don't forget to add the country code or area code if needed.
  • 3
    Add the cover page ​text using the Subject ​line. ​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 button. ​​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.

​Get Started with Gmail Fax for Free

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 ​online fax services charge per month.

​These services, although they deliver your faxes online, 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. This number ​supresses the need of a dedicated land line.

Preparing Documents for Faxing

Faxing documents through Gmail involves a few essential steps to ensure smooth and successful transmission. From selecting the right file formats to handling sensitive information, this section outlines crucial considerations when preparing documents for faxing.

​Supported File Formats for Faxing

Before sending a fax, it is crucial to ensure that the document is in a compatible file format. While online fax services are versatile and support a variety of formats, adhering to specific file types can optimize the transmission process.

The most common and widely supported file formats for faxing include:

  1. PDF (Portable Document Format): PDF files are highly recommended for faxing due to their compatibility and ability to preserve document formatting across different devices and platforms.
  2. TIFF (Tagged Image File Format): TIFF files are often used for transmitting scanned documents, especially in scenarios where image quality is critical.
  3. DOC or DOCX (Microsoft Word): Word documents can be faxed directly, but it's essential to check for formatting issues, as differences between software versions may affect document appearance.
  4. TXT (Plain Text): Simple text files are compatible with most fax services and are suitable for sending straightforward, unformatted content.
  5. JPG or JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group): JPEG images can be faxed, but they may not be ideal for text-heavy documents due to potential loss of clarity.

It is recommended to avoid file formats like PNG, BMP, and GIF, as they may not be as universally supported by online fax services.

​Formatting Considerations for Email Fax

While preparing documents for faxing, it is crucial to optimize the content for transmission. Unlike email attachments, faxes are sent as images, which means that certain formatting elements may not translate as expected. Here are some important considerations:

  1. Font and Size: Use standard fonts like Arial or Times New Roman and avoid intricate or decorative fonts that may not be readable when converted to an image.
  2. Font Size: Keep the font size legible (typically 10-12 pt) to ensure clarity during transmission.
  3. Images and Graphics: Limit the use of images and graphics, as they may result in larger file sizes and affect the transmission speed.
  4. Orientation: Ensure that the document is in portrait orientation, as most fax services do not support landscape orientation.
  5. Margins: Leave sufficient margins around the content to prevent important information from being cut off during faxing.
  6. Use Black and White: Opt for black and white documents to keep the file size manageable and minimize transmission errors.
  7. Test Fax: Before sending an important document, send a test fax to yourself or a colleague to verify formatting and readability.

​Dealing with Sensitive Information and Privacy

Faxing, like any form of communication, requires attention to privacy and the handling of sensitive information. While online fax services are generally secure, extra precautions should be taken when sending confidential or private documents.

Consider the following measures:

  1. Encryption: If your online fax service offers encryption options, enable them to add an extra layer of security to your transmitted documents.
  2. Password Protection: If the document contains sensitive information, consider protecting it with a password that is shared separately with the recipient.
  3. Double-Check Recipient Details: Verify the recipient's fax number before sending the document to ensure it reaches the intended party.
  4. Secure Fax Lines: Some online fax services offer secure fax lines to enhance confidentiality during transmission. Consider using this feature for sensitive documents.
  5. Secure Disposal: Once the fax has been sent and received, ensure that any paper copies or digital files are securely disposed of to prevent unauthorized access.

Alternatives to Gmail for Faxing

While Gmail offers a convenient and integrated way to send faxes, there are various alternative options available that cater to different user preferences and business needs. In this section, we will explore alternative avenues for fax communication, including other email clients and platforms, standalone fax apps, and services. We will also conduct a comparative analysis of the pros and cons of each alternative to help users make an informed decision.

​Exploring Other Email Clients and Platforms

Microsoft Outlook: As one of the most widely used email clients, Microsoft Outlook provides users with the ability to send faxes through various integrations and third-party plugins. While not as seamless as Gmail's faxing capabilities, ​users can still access Outlook fax services directly from their inbox.

Yahoo Mail: Yahoo Mail users can leverage third-party fax services to send and receive faxes. Similar to other email clients, ​faxing from Yahoo requires the installation of additional plugins or apps.

Zoho Mail: Zoho Mail, a popular email platform for businesses, offers fax integration through select third-party providers. This option caters to organizations that prefer an all-in-one suite of tools.

​Standalone Fax Apps and Services

eFax: eFax is a prominent standalone online fax service that provides users with a dedicated fax number and the ability to send and receive faxes directly from their devices. The service offers a user-friendly interface and additional features like electronic signatures.

MyFax: MyFax is another reputable standalone fax service that allows users to fax from their computers, smartphones, or tablets. It offers various plans tailored to different faxing needs.

Advanced Features and Tips

While sending a fax from Gmail is relatively straightforward, modern online fax services offer a range of advanced features and time-saving tips that can significantly enhance your faxing experience. In this section, we'll explore three key aspects of advanced faxing: scheduling faxes for later delivery, faxing to multiple recipients simultaneously, and utilizing fax templates for frequent use cases.

​Scheduling Faxes for Later Delivery

One of the most valuable features of online fax services is the ability to schedule faxes for later delivery. This functionality allows users to compose and prepare their faxes in advance, selecting the exact date and time for transmission. ​Scheduling faxes offers numerous advantages in different situations. Firstly, when dealing with recipients in different time zones, scheduling the fax for their business hours ensures timely delivery and avoids inconvenient interruptions. Additionally, taking advantage of off-peak hours for fax transmission can lead to faster delivery and potential cost savings, particularly if the fax service provider offers discounted rates during these periods. ​

​Faxing to Multiple Recipients Simultaneously

For businesses or individuals who need to send the same fax to multiple recipients, the option to fax to multiple recipients simultaneously is a time-saving feature. Instead of composing and sending separate faxes for each recipient, this function allows you to include multiple fax numbers and transmit the same document to all of them at once.

​Utilizing Fax Templates for Frequent Use Cases

Many businesses often encounter the need to send repetitive or standardized faxes, such as invoices, purchase orders, or quotes. In such cases, utilizing fax templates can save valuable time and effort. Fax templates allow you to create pre-designed fax formats that can be easily filled in with specific details for each use.

Security and Privacy Considerations

One of the primary concerns in faxing is the potential interception of data during transmission. To safeguard against this risk, online fax services employ secure communication protocols, such as SSL/TLS encryption, which encrypts data during transit. This encryption ensures that the content of the fax remains protected from eavesdropping and unauthorized interception by malicious actors.

Moreover, reputable fax service providers implement secure and redundant data centers, safeguarding your faxes against physical breaches and data loss. Regular security audits and compliance checks help maintain a high level of security and give users peace of mind when transmitting confidential information.

​Encrypting Sensitive Fax Content

For highly sensitive information that demands an additional layer of protection, encrypting the fax content itself is an essential practice. End-to-end encryption ensures that only the intended recipient can decrypt and access the fax, providing an extra level of confidentiality.

Before choosing an online fax service, it is crucial to verify whether the service offers encryption options for fax content. Encrypting sensitive faxes provides an added sense of security, particularly when dealing with financial data, medical records, or any information that requires stringent protection.

​Compliance with Data Protection Regulations

In an increasingly regulated digital landscape, businesses and individuals alike must comply with data protection regulations to avoid legal consequences and maintain trust with their customers. Compliance requirements, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) in the United States, often involve strict guidelines for handling and transmitting sensitive data, including faxes.

Choosing an online fax service that adheres to these regulations and offers tools to support compliance is vital. Many fax providers offer features like audit logs, secure storage, and data retention policies to assist users in maintaining compliance with various data protection standards.

Final Words

​Learning how to send fax from Gmail will give you an edge over other companies that use traditional faxing methods, and will let you enjoy the benefits of having a Gmail email account. 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.

Your email to fax number allows you to receive faxes as well, and enjoy additional integration with Google Drive and Google docs.

​In the end, Gmail faxing will help you save money that used to be spent in equipment, supplies and additional fax lines. ​​