Fax transmission is very light

LAST UPDATE: April 8th, 2018

The fax is sending documents that are very light and difficult to read. What could the problem be?

The sending fax machine could have image setting set to low

If the sending fax machine could have a setting that puts the image to “light.” This setting could be called “image density,” “brightness,” or a similar name.

Check the settings of the sending fax device to make sure that any brightness or image settings are at their proper setting.

The sending fax could be using paper that is too thin

Paper that is too thin (for example tracing paper or a transparency) will produce a fax that is very light to read.

Explanation: The scanning part of a fax machine (or scanner connected with fax software or a fax service) has difficulty reading documents that are printed on light paper. Often, the white spaces are accounted for, but the text can be lightened and difficult to read.

Resolution: Test a fax transmission with regular-weight paper (regular printer paper) to see if this fixes the image quality problem.

The sending fax could be using paper that is wet or rough

Paper that is wet or rough (such as construction paper, paper with multiple layers, or art projects) an produce a fax that is very light to read.

Explanation: A fax machine (or scanner connected to a computer with fax software or a fax service) has difficulty reading documents that are not printed on regular, dry, printer paper.

Resolution: Test a fax transmission with regular-weight paper (regular printer paper) that is dry and has nothing stuck to it.

The receiving fax machine could be low on ink or toner

Some fax machines and printers will keep printing even with low toner levels. A symptom of a fax running out of toner is if faxes become progressively lighter, with faxes from earlier in the day very dark and more recent faxes much lighter.

Explanation: If a printer runs low on toner or ink, sometimes it will keep printing the document. The printed output will look light (or grainy).

Resolution: Check toner / ink levels and refill if necessary. Many fax machines will be able to print recent faxes out from memory.

The receiving fax machine could be printing in “draft” or “toner saving” mode, or have a print setting set to “low”

There could be a setting on the receiving fax machine that is lowering the print quality.

Explanation: Some fax machines and printers have the option to reduce the darkness of their printed output. This is typically done to conserve ink and toner.

Resolution: Check the settings on the receiving fax machine to see if there are any settings that may be making the fax appear lighter.