How to fax from Google (Gmail, Google Docs, and Google Drive)

LAST UPDATE: January 26th, 2017

There are a number of ways to fax from the Google office suite (Gmail, Google Docs, and Google Drive).How to fax from the google suite of products

Some options allow users to fax from Google’s programs, while others have the ability to use Google’s file formats to send and receive faxes.

On this page

Method 1 – Online fax services

An online fax service is a virtual fax machine that can send and receive faxes on your behalf. The service provides the fax number (or lets you port your own in), and users can send and receive faxes through email, a web interface, smartphone app, or computer program.

No phone line is needed – only an internet connection.

Most fax services can fax through Gmail as an email – when sending, an email is composed with the main body of the email becoming the cover page, and the attached file converted over to the main part of the fax. When receiving, the fax arrives directly to Gmail as a received email with the received fax attached as a PDF.

Some fax services have further integration with other Google Docs & Drive programs – with this integration, a file can be faxed directly from Google Drive.

Method 2 – A connected fax machine

Some models of fax machines (or multifunction printers with a fax option) can send faxes.

The fax machine and land-line phone line will need to be connected. From there, you can fax from the computer (connected through a cable or with some models over WiFi or Bluetooth) through the fax machine.

In most cases, faxing can be done through the print driver.

In some cases, there is special software for the fax function that is different from the print function. When special software is used, the document will need to be downloaded from Google Drive (usually as a PDF) then faxed through the fax machine’s software.

Method 3 – Fax Software

Fax software turns your computer into a replacement for a fax machine.

What you’ll need

Windows comes with Windows Fax and Scan pre-installed since Windows Vista (Windows XP came installed with Fax Console). Linux has some different software packages (including ones that work with enterprise-level fax servers).

Fax software acts and feels very much like an email program (except you are sending to a fax number). With both Windows and Linux, the document would need to be downloaded from Google Drive (often as a PDF) then faxed through the software.

Method 4 – Printing and Faxing (the “old fashioned” way)

If none of the above methods work, sometimes the easiest way to fax a Google document is to print it then scan it through a nearby fax machine.

External Sources and Resources

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