The only current way to send and receive faxes with an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch (the iOS operating system) is through an online fax service.
These services operate as a virtual fax machine located accessed through the internet. While apps are available for online fax services, they are not always necessary.
At this moment, there is no software that lets a user physically connect a fax machine or printer to an iPhone so that the iPhone can act as the modem. As well, there is no option for an iPhone to use the same existing phone number to double as a fax line.
While there are applications that let a user print to a printer through their iPhone, there are none we are aware of that let a person fax through the same printer.
Table of Contents
- Online Fax Services and iPhone / iPad / iPod Touch fax apps
- What you’ll need
- Sending a fax
- Receiving a fax
- Things to consider
- Sources and Additional Resources
- Other Resources
An online fax service is a dedicated fax number that is hosted by a service provider. It can be accessed to send and receive faxes through an iPhone (or smartphone or tablet) app, email, web interface, computer, or tablet.
Compared with a fax machine, an online fax service offers the ability to fax directly from the Internet without a dedicated phone line in your house, as well as the ability to access or manage fax communications from anywhere you can access the internet.
Interfaces are very much similar to a web-based email account (with the exception that you have the ability to send and receive faxes), and features such as faxing through email, the web, and integration with popular programs such as the Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, Outlook, etc.) are available.
Online fax services can also be accessed from other devices – for example faxing to and from a computer, tablet, or another smartphone through the same account.
For full details on online fax services compatible with an iPad and other operating systems, see our page on Online Faxing.
- An iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch with an active internet /data connection (can be cellular data or WiFi) – having the latest software version usually helps with app compatibility, but isn’t necessary if you only plan on faxing to and from email.
- Some services require a computer to set up more advanced features such as customized cover pages and signature stamps
- A subscription to an online fax service
- A document to fax
Sending a fax from an online fax service depends on the service itself, and can be done in a number of ways.
When sent through email, faxes are usually sent as an attachment. A file that can be attached can be sent through an email as long as it is one of the file formats that the fax service provides.
The cover page is sent as the subject line and the main body of the email. As well, other data (such as the sender’s name and reply to phone number) are already included on the cover page template.
iPhone fax apps act very much like a scaled-down version of the web interface.
Faxes can be composed and a file attached, and a pre-configured cover page adds necessary information such as the sender’s name, fax number, and other necessary information.
With most services and apps, a received fax is viewed one of two ways: through the app or an email client.
As an online fax service hosts the fax infrastructure, when a fax is received the fax service receives it regardless of whether you have a phone or computer powered on and connected to the internet.
With most services, a copy of a fax arrives as a PDF (or TIFF) attachment to an email. However, you can configure the system to only access faxes through an app or web interface.
Faxes can be accessed (and replied to) from an iPhone, computer, or web interface.
- Faxes sent through the phone are billed as data (either cellular data or WiFi), not as phone minutes. This is because the online fax service hosts the fax infrastructure, and you as the user access it through the internet. While WiFi transmissions are usually free, cellular data is not always.
- Your iPhone does not need to be on to receive a fax this way – the fax service manages the fax infrastructure, and you access the fax service when you choose to (most people configure their service, so a fax arrives as an email).
- Some services with advanced features (such as customizing cover pages and adding signature stamps) may need to have those advanced features set up through a computer.
- MacRumors Forums – Sending a fax from the iPhone?
- Stack Exchange (Apple) – Is it possible to send/receive faxes directly on the iPhone?
- Windows 8 and 8.1
- Windows 7
- Windows Vista
- Windows XP
- Mac OS X
- Linux (Ubuntu, Mint, Chrome OS, and other Distributions)
- Fax Software
- Fax Modems
- Smartphone or Tablet
- How to email a fax
- How to fax a PDF
- How to fax from a VoIP phone (such as Vonage, Skype, Magic Jack, or Google Voice
- How to fax from Google (Gmail, Google Docs, and Drive)
- How to fax from Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Outlook, and more)
- How to fax to an email address
- How to email a fax