Email to Fax with Gmail | Send a Fax Online in 5 Steps

Sending a fax via Gmail

​Email technology ​allows us to reach people with a speed never experienced before. ​Services like Google's Gmail have replaced older ways of communicating, helping us ​communicate with people hundreds of miles away f​rom us.  But… has email replaced faxing?

There are companies of all sizes that still rely on fax for important documents. Luckily, nowadays that doesn’t mean ​you need a fax machine. Instead, you can send fax from your Gmail account and ​combine the best of fax technology ​with the best of email technology, without the need of additional equipment like a fax machine or a multi-function printer. Let's take a look at how you can send your first fax online!

​Sending a Fax ​With Gmail

For this tutorial you'll need account with a​n online fax service that allows faxing by email. These services are able to convert email to fax by linking a virtual number to your email address.

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

  • ​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 or the Body of the message.

​You need to follow these steps whenever you want to fax via Google Mail:

  • 1
    Click the COMPOSE button. Start by creating a new email message by clicking on the big red COMPOSE button on the top-left corner of Gmail's website.
  • 2
    Enter the recipients' fax number in the TO field. ​Type the number along with its area code on the To field of the message, where you usually enter an email address.  You'll need turn this number into an email address by adding at the end.  Just replace with the domain you are instructed to use by your online fax provider.  For example, if you want to send a fax to the number +1 (408) 999 3333 and your fax provider is eFax, the address you include in the To field should look like this: (which is their faxing domain).
  • 3
    Add the cover page contents. If you want to add text that will act as a cover page for your fax, you can do it on the Subject field or directly on the Body of the message. The service will interpret this as the cover sheet and send it prior to the contents of the fax.  You can add special instructions or additional information related to the fax contents.  Your ​digital fax service will also provide cover templates if you don't want to send a plain one.
  • 4
    Attach your document(s) to be faxed. Just click on the paperclip icon and pick a digital file from your computer.  Make sure the file can be converted by your Gmail fax service.  Among the common file types that can be converted you have DOC, JPG, XLS, PDF, TXT, TIFF, BMP, GIF, but there dozens of additional ones.  In some cases you can pull documents directly from your Google Drive account by clicking on the icon the left of the attachment button (see graphic below).
  • 5
    Press Send. You’re almost done, all you have to do is click the Send button and it’s off to its destination!
Attach fax to email

​It doesn’t take more than 60 seconds to ​fully send the document. Once it has been completed, you receive a confirmation on your email. You don't have to worry about dealing with any errors while sending the fax, ​services usually re-try sending the fax up to three times before reporting to you on an issue.

​​Create a Free​ Online Fax Service Account

​We recommend starting off with a service that ​allows you to ​create a free account like RingCentral and eFax, which let you ​fax for 30 days ​free ​of charge.  It's also a great way to try out the rest of features that make of email faxing such a powerful tool.

You may have found that there are websites that let you fax for free over a webpage.  I wouldn't recommend using them unless you need to send an urgent fax or if you just want to send a non-important document.  These webpages, useful as they are for some people, don't give you any option to receive faxes on your email (you can only do it through a web form), or to get a ​fax number at all.  In addition, some of them send first a cover page with ads, something that looks very unprofessional in our opinion. ​

​Why Should You Give It a Try?

  • Impressive speed.  Setting up your fax to send it takes only some seconds once you get the hang of it.  Once you press Send, it can take about a minute or two until the fax has arrived its destination, but this takes place in the background.  You are free to do other things while you wait for your fax confirmation message.
  • Reduced costs.  You can forget about spending money on a fax machine and a dedicated phone line, not to mention the constant need of supplies.  Getting started with email faxing can cost you nothing if you decide to start with a free trial, and you can find plans for as low as $8, with a dedicated line included!
  • Send faxes anywhere at any time.  If you can't fax from your computer, you can use your tablet or mobile phone to send faxes online.  Just login to Gmail and fax documents online using the steps on this tutorial.  In addition, some of the services we have mentioned offer mobile apps.
  • Add a signature.  Instead of having to print a document just to sign it, you can add a digitized version of your signature on your faxes. You can do this by scanning or taking a photo of your signature or by using a digital pen.  Once your signature is stored on your fax service, you can add it with just the push of a button.
  • Schedule faxes.  All fax services have the option of scheduling faxes.  This is a pretty handy feature to keep things in order and forget about sending important faxes.  It's as easy as login into your online fax account and set up the time and date you want your fax to be delivered.  You can also do this directly from Gmail using a Google Chrome add-on or a third-party solution.
  • Helps the environment.  ​By faxing with Google, you'll be reducing paper consumption in your office, and you'll also be wasting less energy since you won't have to keep your fax machine turned on at all times. You can read more about how paperless fax helps the environment in this article.

​As times are changing all that's left for us is to adapt. There is no better way to adapt than to implement what's new to what we already have. ​

Learning how to fax with ​your email will give you an edge over other companies that use traditional methods. You’ll cut the time you spend faxing, while breaking free from all the issues that plagued fax machines, like paper jams and poor document quality. At the same time it will help you save money that used to be spent in equipment, supplies and additional fax lines. You can even ​send free fax online if you want to at the beginning! ​