How to Send Fax from Gmail in Less Than a Minute
You don't need to keep using old technology to send faxes. You can simply send fax from Gmail in a similar way you do a common email message, by using an online fax service provider.
This way of sending fax online has proven to be not only faster but also more cost-effective, that's why there are so many businesses making the jump to digital faxing.
After signing up with a service, you can send faxes by composing a new email and attaching the document you want to fax. It's easier than most people think, many times easier than using a fax machine.
You'll need a third-party service because Gmail doesn't have built-in faxing capabilities. We recommend signing up for a service like eFax or RingCentral Fax, which let you send fax free for 30 days.
We recommend you create a new Gmail account for this purpose. It will act as an exclusive fax email.
Sending fax from Gmail in a nutshell:
- Create a new email by clicking on "Compose".
- Enter the recipient's number on the TO field as an email address, like this email@example.com
- Attach to the email the files you want to convert to fax.
- (Optional) Add a Cover page to your fax on the Subject or Body fields.
- Press Send and wait for the confirmation message.
This is a very simple process, but sligthly different from sending an email. Let's take an in-depth look at each one of them:
STEP 1 - Click on the "Compose" button
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.
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 Receiver'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 MyFax (@myfax.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
To attach the file you want to fax, 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 when sending fax online, 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, after which you’ll receive a confirmation to your email address with all the details of the transmission. This ensures the other part has received the document(s).
What Types of Files Can I Send as Fax?
You can attach and convert dozens of file types, including common ones such as PDF, XLS, DOC, JPG.
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 attached to your email message are 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 in the vast majority of online fax plans out there.
Each service has its own list of hundreds of compatible file types that are only used in certain industries or markets. Check out their FAQ sections for more information.
Adobe's Portable Document Format
Plain Text File
Joint Photography Experts Group
Windows Bitmap File
Compuserve Graphics Interchange Format
Hypertext Markup Language
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 Sending Fax Online
The biggest benefit of using Gmail for faxing online is that it is simply the best email service around, and is compatible with all Internet fax providers.
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.
- Creating a new Gmail account is quick and easy with the updated look.
- Ads don't get in your face.
- Includes 15GB of virtual hard drive.
- Find messages and faxes easily with the customized search.
- You can include more features by installing add-ons.
- A Great spam filter keeps your primary inbox clean.
- It's receives regular updates and improvements.
- It includes IMAP and POP Support to access Gmail messages on the software/app of your choice.
See more: Receiving fax on your Gmail account
Is It Secure to send Fax from Email?
Faxing with a machine on the other hand is relatively secure. The document travels directly to its recipient using an analog phone line, and there is no chance that this information gets intercepted. On top of that, you get a confirmation when your fax is fully printed on the other end.
But what if you use Gmail? If we send a fax online, does this means that our documents are vulnerable? Well, using Internet fax is even safer than using a fax machine. Let's take a look at how services make sure your information is secure when sending a fax.
Security Features of Online Fax Services
Password protection. On your service’s settings area, you can add password protection for faxes arriving to your email. enter and confirm your password, and next time a fax arrives your email, it will contain PDF protection, meaning only you can read its contents. The password can be changed or turned off at any time without accessing Gmail. Learn more about converting PDF to fax.
Encryption. Before your fax travels from the fax servers to the receiver, they will be protected with point-to-point encryption. This type of encryption adds a cover to your data, effectively hiding it.
Automatic fax removal. You can set your faxes to be deleted from your account after they have been opened or after you send them. This option can remain active for scheduled amount of time.
Unique file types. There are some providers that have developed their own applications to open encrypted faxes. They basically deliver your fax in a unique file format, that you won’t be able to read unless you use the app or program. It’s a very ingenious way of handling additional fax security, although it depends on the operating system you are using.
Access Control. Corporate online fax accounts let you access all faxes your send from a virtual drive. This cloud storage is protected using 256-bit AES encryption.
What About HIPAA Compliant Faxes?
If you work on healthcare, you must ensure every fax you send is not only 100% secure, but are also HIPAA-compliant. The HIPAA is the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act,
Luckily, the best onlinefax services are able to provide this kind of security, but you have to ask for it at the moment of creating your account, or by opening what is known as a “corporate” account. The service must hand you a “Business Associate Agreement” for this purpose. In this agreement your online fax service will be determined as your HIPAA fax partner.
Scheduling Faxes on Gmail
Fax scheduling is a useful feature that 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 take advantage of scheduling when you send a fax online:
- 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 here and sign up for an account. The professional account has a monthly subscription price, but you can test it to send a fax online. 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 (check out our tutorial if you need help).
- 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 are done sending a 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 delivered. Scheduled faxes will be added to the Outbox folder, where you can check its status.
Other Ways to Send Fax ONline
Using your email is a great alternative to send a fax online, but it’s not the only one. Online fax providers offer additional ways to send faxes.
Each of these methods have different pros and cons. It’s a good idea to know about them, even if you prefer using Gmail to send fax online. You never know when you might need them.
Let’s get started!
Using Your Online Fax Dashboard
The dashboard is the main section of your online fax account. Besides being the area where you adjust your online fax settings, it’s also where you can send, receive and view all the faxes that has been transmitted using your online fax number.
Using a Mobile App
The advantages of using online fax service apps over simply faxing with your email is that you can optimize your fax images, compose fax from photos and also add your signature with just a couple of taps. Apps make the whole process easier, especially taking into account that you are using a device with smaller screen space.
A fax add-on will enable you to send a fax online from tools, programs or services that don’t have this feature. In this case we are talking about add-ons for Chrome, Google Drive, Google Docs, Sheets and Presentations. These add-ons will basically add a new sidebar that you can use to send a fax without leaving the program.
Any of these 3 methods will ensure you can send your fax from a computer or mobile device. Why we prefer to fax from email? Because it’s easy to migrate from email to fax, and at the same time once you get the hang out of it it is much faster!
As you can see, it is extremely easy to send fax online and it has plenty of benefits and additional features such as fax scheduling, international faxing, broadcasting, mobile notifications, among others.
Fax is still widely used, but it makes sense to use modern technology which can save us time and money when sending documents.
We hope this tutorial has been useful, don't forget to put it in practice! If you want learn more about how to fax from Gmail and other Google products, please visit our homepage.