How to Send Fax from Gmail Accounts for Free
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 sending email to fax 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.
Can I Fax From Gmail?
Although it is true that Gmail doesn't have a built-in email to fax function, this doesn't mean we can't use a third-party provider for the job. By using an online fax service you can link a fax number to your Gmail email address in a few minutes. This becomes in a way a Google fax number that allows you to send and receive faxes using nothing but your email account, and it acts as a land line that stays active 24/7.
A fax service provider let you send a fax online by composing an email like you'll see below. You simply enter the recipient's fax number in an email format and attach the file you want to fax. Note that this won't work if you don't already have a fax service account, because emails and faxes work with different technology. Your provider has powerful email to fax servers that make the conversion possible.
How to Send Fax From Gmail
If you don't have an account with an email to fax service yet, we recommend signing up for a service like RingCentral Fax, which lets you create a 30-day free trial account that you can use to try out this tutorial. Follow these steps to send fax from Gmail in less than a minute:
- 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 recipient fax machine's 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:email@example.com. The domain varies from service to service, make sure to check your welcome email for this info. Also, don't forget to add a country code if needed.
- 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. All fax services let you fax documents from common file formats such as PDF, TXT, BMP, JPG, XLS, DOC. The email attachment is converted automatically.
- (Optional) If you want to precede your fax with a cover sheet when sending a fax, type its content on the Subject line or Body fields. This cover letter will preceed your actual fax and may contain important information.
- Press the Send button.
This is what the top of your Gmail message should look like:
Once your fax transmission 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 to send fax from Gmail 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.
Best Gmail Fax Services of 2020
There are many online fax services today that let you send fax from Gmail, 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, number of faxes per month, 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!
1. RingCentral Fax
RingCentral is a 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. It lets you fax from Gmail with ease, integrating perfectly with Google products.
RingCentral's plan is affordable, letting you fax 1500 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 a fax 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: Send Your Fax at a LAter Date
Fax scheduling is a useful feature provided by email fax services. It allows you send a fax at an exact time and date. 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 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 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 on your web browser and access your fax sending options. It allows you to schedule an unlimited number of fax pages, 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 with area code, 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. Once it has been sent you receive the usual confirmation email.
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.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does a Fax Provider Only Work with Gmail?
You can use any email address you have to fax online. We recommend you fax from Gmail though, given the degree of security and additional features it has (like for example, integration with Google Drive and Google Docs). In any case, no matter which email address you use, just make sure it is used exclusively for faxing.
Do I Need a Fax Number to Fax from Gmail?
Yes, the fax number is your link to the fax servers, which are needed to send a fax, on top of that you won't be able to receive fax with a fax number at all. Luckily almost all fax services give you a fax number for free when creating a new account. You can choose between different types of fax numbers depending on your country and city.
Does My Line Stays On At All Times?
Yes. Your virtual fax number is always ready to send and receive fax online. Unlike traditional fax machines which need to be manually operated, every fax document that comes your way through your fax number is automatically received on Gmail, and a copy stored in your main fax provider account. Learn more on our guide on how to receive fax to Gmail.
Can I Send Fax from Gmail from the Mobile App?
Yes, the process of sending faxes is the same, you just use the Gmail app on your mobile device to compose the email message. Remember that the fax document must be saved on your phone, you can take a photo of a document and then attach it to the message too.
To help you make this easier, some services have developed apps that can send, receive and sign faxes.
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.