How to Send a Fax Online with Your Gmail Account
In this article you'll learn how to send a fax using an online fax service and your Gmail account in just a few steps.
By linking both accounts together you can send fax through Gmail in the same way you send a common email message.
This way of faxing by email has proven to be not only faster but also more cost-effective than using a fax machine, that's why there are so many businesses making the jump to email fax technology.
It only takes a minute to sign up for an online fax service, after that you'll be ready to send your very first fax using the tutorial below.
We've also included a selection of the top Gmail fax service providers in case you want to try them out for free.
Sending a Fax From Gmail
If you don't have a an account with a digital fax service yet, we recommend signing up for a service like eFax or RingCentral Fax, which let you create a 30-day free trial account that you can use to try out this tutorial.
- Log into your Gmail account and create a new email message by clicking on COMPOSE, the button located in the upper left corner of your dashboard. A new window email composing window will appear.
- 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 fax to the number 1-555-555-5555, you'll need to type:firstname.lastname@example.org. The domain varies from service to service, make sure to check your welcome email for this info.
- Attach the file you want to fax by clicking on the paperclip icon and selecting the file(s) on your computer. Learn more about what types of files you can fax over Gmail. This file will be automatically converted to fax.
- (Optional) If you want to precede your fax with a cover page, type its content on the Subject or Body fields.
- Press "Send".
This is what the top of your Gmail message should look like:
Once your fax has been sent, you will receive a confirmation message on your Gmail account with all the details of the transmission. A copy of your fax will also be saved on your online fax account, where it will be permanently stored.
This method works the same on PC and Mac computers because it is web-based. This means that the file conversion process takes place on external fax server, which is a computer specialized in this task.
Learn more: Is Google Fax Secure?
Best Gmail Fax Services of 2019
There are many online fax services today, so it's always good to keep at least some recommendations in mind. To select this "best of" list, we've taken into account different factors such as price, plans, number availability, file compatibility, among others.
We've also included in each selection, a link to create a free trial account, in case you want to test them out yourself. As a matter of fact, this is the way we've been able to test out services, you can do it too!
eFax is one of the oldest and biggest online fax services in the market, providing fax numbers in dozens of countries around the World. This alone puts it ahead of many other services in the market, with the ability to get toll-free numbers on countries that allow it.
eFax has a couple of plans: eFax Plus and eFax Pro, and they also have other options for big companies that require corporate faxing. The basic plan lets you send and receive 150 pager per month, and although the price tag is slightly higher than the average, this is the most complete service we've tested in 2019.
Additional features include lifetime storage, the ability to easily add your digital signature in faxes, a desktop fax application and integration with third party cloud storage services like Google Drive, Box and DropBox, and the best of all is that it is 100% compatible with Gmail addresses.
eFax's mobile app deserves a special mention. During the past couple of years the app was good but had some issues that apparently have been solved now. It runs smoothly and it lets you compose fax from pictures, attach files, add your signature with just a couple of taps and receive notifications of incoming faxes.
2. RingCentral Fax
RingCentral is another company with years of experience in the field of virtual office technology. It currently offers toll-free, local and vanity numbers in the USA, Canada and the UK, and you can use their Internet fax solution as part of their RingCentral Office suite or as a stand-alone product.
RingCentral's plan is affordable, letting you fax 750 pages per month. You can pay as you go or pay less through an annual fee. One of the advantages of using RingCentral is that you can then integrate other of their products through the Office plan, which also includes phone and video.
Sending faxes from email with this service is very easy, and the quality although sometimes is not the best, is fully readable. RingCentral offers additional features such as fax broadcasting, scheduling, cloud service integration and also a mobile app for iOS and Android devices, although it is geared towards RingCentral Office users. You can also access your fax management area through your mobile browser, the site is easy to navigate.
RingCentral is very helpful when it comes to customer support, something online fax beginners will surely appreciate.
Scheduling a Fax to Be Sent at a Later Time
Fax scheduling is a useful feature provided by email fax services. It allows you to set a time and date and forget about that important fax you need to send during the weekend. If your business does a lot of faxing, it can free up your mind and time to focus on other tasks.
There are basically two ways you can schedule your faxes:
- Using a Gmail add-on.
- Using your online fax account.
Using a Gmail Add-on
Gmail doesn’t have a way of scheduling emails, so we need to use an add-on for the job. Of all the ones we’ve tried, Boomerang is the best alternative.
This extension offers additional features besides email scheduling, like click & response tracking, reminders and read receipts.
To use Boomerang you need to download the extension and sign up for an account. The professional account has a monthly subscription price, but you can test is for a month without paying a dime. After that, you can continue with a free account that lets you schedule up to 10 emails a month.
Here’s how to use it schedule your faxes:
- Install Boomerang on your preferred browser and log into Gmail.
- Click on Compose
- Follow the necessary steps to send a fax from Gmail.
- Click on “Send Later”. You can set an exact time and date to deliver your email fax, or you can use the options “tomorrow morning” and “tomorrow afternoon” to send it at 9:30 or 12:00pm respectively.
- Click on Confirm
Once you have completed your steps above, you can forget about the fax. You’ll receive a confirmation message as usual when your fax has been delivered.
Using your Online Fax Account
To schedule faxes using this alternative, you’ll need to log into your online fax account and access your fax sending options. It allows you to schedule an unlimited number of faxes, if that’s included in your service.
Another advantage is that is easier than scheduling a fax directly from Gmail, and you don’t need to install an extension or add-on. For this method we’ll use RingCentral Fax as an example, but it works the same on other providers.
To schedule your faxes follow these steps:
- Log into your online fax account with the service of your choice
- Head over “Send a Fax” or similar area.
- Add all the fax details, including number, attachment and optional cover page.
- Below the attachment area, you’ll find a field named “Send On”. Now just set the date and time you want to deliver your fax using the pop-up calendar.
- Click on Schedule.
Now you just have to wait for the fax to be sent. Scheduled faxes will be added to the Outbox folder, where you can check its status.
Scheduling your faxes is a great way to improve your productivity and send documents to international numbers at the right time. With the right tools, it can be a breeze to send your faxes at a later date. Of the methods outlined here we believe using your online account is better, unless you are not planning to schedule more than 10 faxes a month.
As you can see, sending fax over your Gmail account is pretty simple.
This way of faxing has plenty of benefits and additional features such as fax scheduling, international faxing, broadcasting, mobile notifications, among the most common ones.