How to Send Fax from Gmail
Did you know that you can send a fax from Gmail without the need of a landline?
Faxing may not be as popular as it once was, but there are still industries where sending documents via fax is actually a requirement.
Luckily, you don’t have to keep depending on old fax technology...
Even though Gmail doesn't have a built-in fax feature (Google Voice works great, but it is unable to transmit faxes), you can find third-party online fax services that let you send fax from Gmail.
Selecting a Gmail Fax Service
To get started you need to pick a fax-by-Gmail service. These online fax services cost a monthly fee that can be as low as $5 per month. I wish there was an way to fax from Gmail free, but it doesn't exist at the moment.
However... you can send fax for free for a full month if you sign up through a free trial.
This is the best way to learn how to fax via Gmail without spending money! You won't be charged anything unless you continue using the service once the trial period has ended and you cancel at anytime you wish.
If you want, you can also send fax online free with one of the websites that let you fax a limited number of pages for free. They are a cost-free alternative, but none of them let you fax via email, instead you have to upload and send your fax through a web form (without all the security measures needed for sensitive information). Other services like Hellofax need you to install a plug-in that only works with Google Docs.
If you go over the page limit, you'll need to start paying per fax. And let me tell you, it can be even more expensive than a monthly-based service.
fax from gmail, Step-BY-Step Guide
Before getting started, you need to know the key differences between an email fax message and a traditional email:
The fax machine's number goes on the To field (more about this below), and the digital documents you want to fax are attached to the email. Depending on the service, you can also add a cover page either on the Subject or Message fields.
STEP 1: Click on the "Compose" button
Create a new email message by clicking on COMPOSE, the button located in the upper left corner of your dashboard.
You can also find this button on Gmail's app. If you are using the mobile version of the site, you need to click on the red button with an icon at the top of the page.
STEP 2: Enter the Fax Machine's Number on the TO field
Enter the 10-digit recipient’s fax machine number in the TO section, followed by "@" and the domain value specified by your current fax service.
For instance, if you need to send a fax to the number 1-555-555-5555, you'll need to type:
Below you'll find an example of how this looks when you are using eFax (@efaxsend.com).
If you are sending an international fax, add the exit code +country code before the number.
STEP 3: Upload the Digital Document(s) You Want to Fax
Gmail fax services are capable of converting a wide variety of file formats, including ubiquitous ones such as PDF, DOC, XLS, TXT and JPG.
To attach the document, click on the paperclip icon and select the file(s) you want to fax from your hard drive.
Fax services let you attach multiple files at the same time, provided they are under 20MB and don't contain more than 200 pages.
STEP 4: Add a Cover Page (Optional)
If you want to precede the fax with a cover page, just type the message on the Subject field.
The design of the cover page is configured on your online fax account.
STEP 5: Proofread and Click Send!
We’ve reached the final step, so double-check you have entered the right info and then press Send!
Your document will now be converted to a traditional fax file and then securely transmitted to the recipient's fax machine.
The process takes less than a minute to complete, then you’ll receive a confirmation on your email with all the details of the transmission. This ensures the other part has received the document(s).
File Types Supported by Gmail Fax Services
If you work with different types of files on daily basis, you need an online fax service that is capable of converting multiple documents to fax.
File compatibility is an important aspect to take into account when picking a provider, after all that’s a big part of what makes online faxing such a powerful tool! The files you attach in your Gmail fax or that you send via your online fax account are all automatically converted into a fax image, a TIFF file actually, and then forwarded to the receiving fax machine.
Common Compatible Formats
These are the file types that are supported by the vast majority of online fax services out there. Keep in mind that there are also websites that let you fax for free by following a simple form. These websites offer a very limited amount of supported formats. Some only allows you to upload PDFs, while other accept TXT and JPG files.
Adobe's Portable Document Format
Plain Text File
Joint Photography Experts Group
Windows Bitmap File
Compuserve Graphics Interchange Format
Hypertext Markup Language
Other File Types
Besides the formats shown above, individual services may work with additional ones. Be sure to take a look at the FAQ section of the provider you are planning to use before creating an account, to check if your documents will be apt for fax conversion.
Your service may also support additional formats from programs such as:
Keep this in mind to ensure your file is converted to fax:
- Your attachment has a page size limit. In general, you can't convert documents that have more than 200 pages.
- The file must be named correctly to avoid conflicts during the conversion process. Avoid including ampersands and other special characters.
- Check the file size limit. Some services let you attach documents that combined weight less than 10- 20 MB while others let you work with large files like high resolution images.
- Files that work with macros won't be converted.
Benefits of Faxing Through Gmail
Judging by the name of our site, it's obvious that we love using Gmail for faxing. What started as invitation-only service has become over the years the biggest free email provider in the World, quickly surpassing Hotmail at the height of its popularity.
Exclusivity was always a big plus when Gmail first appeared, but the tech company hasn’t stopped adding features since it was launched, and today many people use it because it’s free, it’s simple to use and works better than other providers.
In this article we’ll take a look at the reasons why it's a good idea to pick Gmail for online faxing.
Creating an Account is Free and Easy
We are way past those years when you had to get an invitation in order to create a Gmail account. Now you can easily have one for personal matters, one for business and one for faxing. These different accounts can also be linked together, allowing you to switch between accounts without having to change your login.
Gmail takes spam and privacy seriously, and doesn’t allow mass generation of addresses, so you may be asked to enter your phone number. This number will also let you access your account in case you forget your login info.
Ads aren't Intrusive
If you have used free email services for a long time like us, you may have tried different alternatives, and I’m sure you’ll agree Gmail has the cleanest interface. It’s no wonder, Google became the biggest search engine thanks to the simplicity of its interface, and the company wants to pass the same feeling throughout their suite of web tools.
Gmail does have ads, but they are integrated in such a way that they get your attention without distracting from the most important thing: your emails. This is really helpful when faxing online, as you can focus your attention on your communications without being distracted by annoying ads.
Plenty of Virtual Space to Store Faxes
When you create a Gmail address, you create a Google account at the same time, giving you access to different tools, among them Google Drive, a free cloud storage service that lets you store 15 GB of files.
Drive provides enough space to store all your Gmail fax, if you use an account exclusively for this purpose. Even if at some point you run out of storage space, you can purchase more for a small fee.
Finding Messages is Easy
Gmail gives you all the right tools to find the emails you are looking for pretty quickly. You can search by taking into account factors like subject, date, recipient, size, the words an email has and even those it doesn’t have.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise, given that this email service is provided by the biggest search engine in the World!
Gmail is compatible with different add-ons and third-party providers. A clear example is that you can use your email address for faxing. All online fax services work great with Gmail and you don’t need to do nothing more than signing up for a service and determine your primary email address.
Other things you can do within Gmail: pay invoices, organize your to-do list, integrate it with a Calendar and schedule emails. Not so long ago you had to get a tool for each of these tasks, but now you can do it from one place.
A Great Spam Filter
This must be the provider that does a better job at keeping spam at bay. Sometimes it is “too good” and end up filtering messages that should go in the primary folder, but this is very rare. Most of the times it will be helpful to avoid cluttering in your inbox.
Even if you use your account just for faxing, it is possible that Spam messages reach you, so it is important to have a good filter. These messages won’t be automatically deleted, they are sent to the “Spam” folder where you can check them out and maybe catch a message that shouldn’t have been filtered.
Make sure you clear it once in a while to free up your Google Drive space.
It's Updated Regularly
You may not notice the small tweaks, but Gmail is always offering new updates on their service to satisfy the needs of their users. At the beginning you could only send and receive messages, but today you can pay invoices, answer emails automatically, and many other things without leaving the interface.
Visual updates are also released regularly, but you always have the option of going back to the classic Gmail view if you don’t like it.
Messages Can Be Opened in an Email Software
You can enable POP and IMAP at no extra cost. These protocols allow you to check your Gmail messages using an email client installed on your computer or smartphone.
The advantage of doing this is that you can have more control over your messages and attachments (in this case the faxes) can be downloaded automatically, while a copy will still be maintained on Gmail’s inbox area.
Give Gmail Fax a Go!
As you can see, it is extremely easy to get started with Gmail fax and it has plenty of benefits and additional features such as fax scheduling, broadcasting, mobile notifications, among others.
We hope this tutorial has been useful, don't forget to put it in practice! If you want learn more about Gmail and other Google products, please visit our homepage.