How to fax from a printer

LAST UPDATE: March 6th, 2018

Some printers have fax capability. To use it, you’ll need:

  1. A printer with fax capability
  2. A landline phone line
  3. A document to fax.

Here is how you can check if yours can fax, what you’ll need to fax, and how to go about faxing.

Does your printer have fax capability?

Many multifunction printers have fax capability. Some can have it added later.

The easiest way to tell if a printer has fax capability is if it has a “fax” button somewhere on it. Most printers with a scanner have options for copy / scan and sometimes “fax”.

The second way to tell is if there is a telephone jack (or two) on the printer. A telephone jack means that the printer can connect to a phone line.

The third way to tell is simply by checking for product information. Many commercial level multifunction printers have a fax kit that can be added to give fax capabilities to the machine. Contact your local office equipment supplier to see if a fax kit can be added to your multifunction printer.


How to send a fax – using the document feeder

Once the fax feature has been added to the printer, select the “fax” feature and operate the printer as you would a regular fax machine.

Put the document in the feeder, dial the number you want to fax, and then press the send button.

The fax machine will attempt to connect a receiving fax machine. Once the connection is made, the fax will transmit.

When the fax transmission is completed, you should receive a confirmation page that details the time, date, and the number of pages of the transmission.

How to send a fax – using a print driver

Many connected fax machines can “fax” by using the print driver.

While each printer/fax is different, the way to send a fax is to print the document you want to fax.

In the print dialog, select the print driver that is listed as “fax.” Sometimes the regular print driver has a “fax” option.

Enter the fax number in the fields that are provided, and press “send.” The printer will relay your fax to the requested fax number.

How to receive a fax

Most printers are able to automatically receive and print the fax. If the printer is out of ink or paper, it will hold the fax in memory and attempt to print the fax at a later time.

Some fax machines can receive a fax and forward a copy of it to an email. Typically this feature is found on corporate level devices.

A note on “wireless” printers and faxing

A “wireless” printer still requires a landline phone line to fax. The “wireless” part of the printer is how it communicates with computers in the building. Wireless printers use WiFi and sometimes Bluetooth to communicate with computers and smartphones.

Sometimes people purchase a “wireless” printer with fax capability expecting it to be able to fax without a phone line as they associate the word “wireless” with cellular phones. This is a common mistake, and a topic we receive many questions about. Unfortunately, we know of no way to make a wireless printer fax without a landline phone line.