How to add fax to a printer or copier

Last Update: August 9th, 2021

Some printers and multifunction copier/printer/scanners can enable fax features.

On this page, we’ll check to see if yours can be, and how to enable it.

Please note: You will need a landline phone line to fax to be enabled with a fax kit. VoIP has too many challenges.

Do you already have fax and don’t know it?

Some multifunction printers already have fax equipped. Look for a port for a telephone cord; it is usually labeled “TEL.”Often there are two ports side by side (to allow for adding a phone extension to the fax machine) with the second port labeled “EXT” (short for extension).

You will also need a way to enter fax mode. There should be a button on the printer marked “fax” or similar.

Can your printer add fax?

Not every printer can add fax. Typically it is only larger commercial level equipment that has the option to add fax at a later time.

Check your printer manual and online descriptions of your printer. Either should show where there is fax capability possible with the device.

Adding fax

Most commercial units will need a technician to install a fax kit to the device to enable faxing on the multifunction printer.

Contact the company that services your printer and they will be able to quote on adding the fax kit.

Most fax kits for commercial printers are in the US$500-2,000 range depending on the device and the features. Service costs on the multifunction printer are typically per page and then include fax volume as well.

Things to watch out for

  • You will still require a landline phone line for the fax. Even a “wireless” multifunction printer/fax will not work without a landline phone line.
  • The phone line cannot use VoIP. It has to be a regular landline.
  • Some printers have some of the parts for fax, but no way to add fax. This usually happens because a manufacturer standardizes things like casing and port location for all units even if there is no upgrade path.
  • Small office & home office units are often not upgradeable. Even though the manuals may show that there is a fax option for your unit, it may be that you are looking at a standardized manual that covers all units in a series.