If you have been wondering how to send a fax from Gmail, you came to the right place. Gmail is considered the best free email provider in the World, not just for individuals but for small businesses as well, thanks to the impressive amount of features it offers and its integration with other services such as Drive, Calendar, Google Voice and more. What many people ignore, is that you can also use Gmail to send and receive faxes!
In this guide, you’ll learn how to send your first fax online by following a few easy steps, so you can turn your computer into a digital faxing machine. You’ll also discover the best alternatives to start faxing today, in just a few minutes after reading the tutorial.
Let’s get started!
How to Send a Fax from Gmail
By following these 5 simple steps, you’ll be able to send your first fax by email. If you know how to send a simple email, you’ve already got 80% of the process down, the main differences are that:
- Instead of typing your recipient’s email in the field titled “TO,” enter the fax number using “email form.” (More about this on STEP 2).
- You fax documents in a digital format such as a PDF, DOC, XLS or other. Just attach the file you want to convert to fax.
- The cover page contents will be added on the SUBJECT and on the MESSAGE field.
Before we move on, you need to ensure you have an active account with an online fax service. Right now, this is the only way to fax through Gmail. These services convert faxes to digital files and viceversa, by providing you a virtual number to send and receive faxes. This number is linked to your Gmail account.
We recommend starting off with a free trial account. It’s the cheapest way to learn how to fax online, since you can fax free of charge for 30 days. There are many alternatives when it comes to picking a fax service company. Later on this article you’ll learn which ones we recommend, in case you find it difficult to pick a provider.
Once you have your account, follow these steps:
- STEP ONE: Click the COMPOSE button (on the upper left-hand side of your Gmail screen) to create a new email.
- STEP TWO: Enter your recipients’ fax number in the TO field. Make sure this number is followed by your fax provider’s domain, which should look like this: “@faxprovider.com”. 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: firstname.lastname@example.org (which is their faxing domain).
- STEP THREE: Time to enter a message on the cover sheet. You don’t have to have to include a message; however, you can add a message in the subject or message field of the email if you wish to.
- STEP FOUR: Attach your document(s). Remember, you can send fax from Gmail in the following formats DOC, JPG, TIFF, BMP, XLS, or TXT, among many others. Keep in mind that some services may allow more file types. You can attach documents directly from your hard drive, and depending on your service, you may be able to pull documents from Google Drive.
- STEP FIVE: Press Send. You’re almost done, all you have to do is click the send button and it’s off from Gmail to its recipient!
The beauty of faxing from email is that the process is extremely quick. It doesn’t take more than 60 seconds to complete the transmission. Once it has been completed, you receive a report on your email.
You don’t have to worry about dealing with any errors while sending the fax. The service usually re-tries sending the fax up to three times before reporting to you on an issue.
Try It Now!
We want to help you the best way we can. So, to make this process easier and stress-free for you, we highly recommend using free trials with the best fax service providers out there. Most faxing services offer a one-month free trial; you need to take advantage of it!
Services like RingCentral and eFax, let you have an active account in a few minutes, letting you try out for free their basic plans. They provide you with an email fax number, which is essential if you want not only to send but also receive faxes online.
Once you are out of the free-trial stage, your card will be charged the usual monthly fee for their service. However, if you are dissatisfied with them, or if you want to try another company, you can cancel your account at anytime. Just make sure you do it before the month has passed to avoid being charged on your credit card.
Why Use Gmail to Fax Online?
When faxing through an email fax service, you can use any type of email you have, from free ones such as Outlook, Gmail or Yahoo! Mail, to proprietary ones such as those you can create using your own domain via a hosting provider.
This type of flexibility is excellent, but after trying out different options we have concluded that Gmail is the perfect partner for online fax services. Google’s email service is not only free, it is also incredibly fast and has some features that make email faxing easier.
Let’s take a look at the benefits of using Gmail for faxing:
1. Creating a New Gmail Account is Free
Gmail makes it a breeze to open a new account, in some cases it may ask you your phone number but this is only for verification purposes.
The reason why creating a new account is important is because it is better to avoid mixing your common emails with faxes right from the start.
At first this might seems like a good idea to have all your messages in one account, but as faxes start accumulating in your inbox you’ll realize how quickly it can become a nightmare. Once you have a new email address, you can link it to your current one for easy account-switching on your computer or cell phone.
2. It Makes it Easy to Organize Faxes
One of the things we love the most about Gmail is how easy is to keep your faxes organized and sorted out. The email system uses labels for this purpose. Labels are like folders in other email systems, but a message can have more than one label at a time. Even the Spam and Draft sections are labels and not folders, unlike what most people think.
Labels are shown next to your messages in your inbox, and are color coded, so they can be quickly located when browsing through multiple messages.
3. Super-Fast Interface
Has there ever been a time when Gmail ran slow? If so, I really can’t remember. One of the main features of this email service is it’s speed. Google has made an amazing job at keeping things fast and simple while retaining its effectiveness.
Login and browsing is pretty fast across all devices, and adding labels and tabs is a breeze. I have used other free email providers such as Yahoo! and Microsoft, and although they are great, they feel slower, more sluggish than Google’s creation.
When faxing, this speed really shows up. Since you receive faxes as PDFs, they are instantly readable from within the interface, and fax attachments can be instantly stored on Google Drive, their free cloud-based storage service. And now that we are on the subject…
3. Integrates With Google Drive (Previously Called Docs)
In recent times, online fax services have entered the new world of cloud faxing. Big companies such as RingCentral Fax or eFax have added integration with cloud-storage services such as Drop, Dropbox and of course, Google Drive.
Now you can not only receive and store faxes in Drive, you can also pull documents from your account to send them as fax.
One way to accomplish this is by doing it directly from Gmail. As you may have read in our guide to send fax from Gmail, you compose and send faxes in the same way you do emails. Well, if you want to grab document from Drive, you click on the drive icon located right of the paperclip on the compose Window.
Just pick the document from the account, click on Attach and it will be sent for faxing.
You can also do this via your online fax dashboard, provided by the service of your choice. There you’ll have the option to use other cloud storage services.
4. Easy to Search for Faxes
Besides using labels to categorize your faxes, you can also search for them quickly using the Search tool. Since Google is the biggest search engine, it make sense their evolution has also translated to Gmail.
The search bar is easy to use, it has an autocomplete feature that can help you find a fax those times when you don’t remember exactly how your recipient’s last name is spelled out, or when you remember just the month you received the fax but other details are fuzzy.
If you are searching for other parameters, you can use the advanced search options to locate your faxes, where you can search by date, subject or words included in the message.
5. It’s Always Available
Being one of the biggest Internet companies has its advantages, and among other things this means they are always available online. Problems with down service are nonexistent, and servers remain always available whether you use a computer, phone or tablet.
Reliability is essential if you want to add more automation to faxing. Faxes will arrive automatically to your inbox, so you want to make sure you don’t miss any due to an unexpected problem with the connection.