How to fax with Google Voice – sending, receiving, alternatives, and more
There is no direct fax feature built into Google Voice.
While there are ways to connect a traditional landline phone to Google Voice, connecting a fax machine this way will not work. If it does work, the service will not be reliable. VoIP phone services (such as Google Voice) have many problems with fax machines.
On this page, we’ll give instruction on how to try to connect a fax machine to Google Voice.
Popular alternatives to faxing through Google Voice:
- An online fax service. Some of them combine both phone and fax in the same package.
- A fax machine (or computer with fax software) connected to a landline phone line.
- Printing the fax and sending it from a store with fax services (such as copy/print shops or a library).
Can I send and receive faxes with my Google Voice phone number?
No. Google Voice does not have the functionality to send and receive faxes.
Even with fax software (such as Windows Fax and Scan), there is no way to directly fax from the computer through Google Voice.
Can I send and receive faxes with a fax machine connected to Google Voice?
According to Google Voice, fax machines (and computers with a fax modem and fax software) cannot operate through Google Voice.
Although a landline phone can be added to Google Voice, the problem with a fax machine is that the fax signal is not compatible with a VoIP phone service (such as Google Voice).
Sending and receiving a fax with Google Voice
We don’t think this will work, but for people who are determined to try this is the best option to attempt a connection between a fax machine and Google Voice.
What you will need
- A Google Voice account and phone number
- An adapter to connect a landline telephone to a USB connection (the adapter must also be compatible with Google Voice)
- A fax machine (or computer with a fax modem and fax software)
Step 1 – connect the landline to USB adapter to the computer
Follow the instructions with the USB adapter that you have.
When this is connected, it will allow for a landline telephone (or fax machine) to be connected to the computer.
Follow the instructions for your specific USB adapter. Every USB adapter will be different.
Step 2 – test the landline connection with Google Voice
When the landline to USB adapter is connected, test the connection with Google Voice.
Connect a landline phone to the USB adapter, and ensure that you are able to send and receive phone calls through Google Voice and the connected landline telephone.
Step 3 – connect the fax machine to the USB adapter
Set up the fax machine and connect it to the USB adapter the same way the test phone connected.
If the fax machine has a handset, an additional test can be done by dialing and receiving a test phone call through the handset adapter.
Step 4 – try it out
Send a test fax to someone with a fax machine.
Alternatively, we keep a list of services that send and receive test faxes.
Step 5 – adjust settings on the fax machine
If the fax machine is not yet working, we’ll adjust the settings on the machine to make the signal easier to understand through the VoIP service. Not all fax machines will have these options.
- Lower the baud rate on the fax machine as low as it can go. If there is no “baud rate” feature on the fax machine, look for a similar function.
- Turn error correction mode (ECM) to off.
These changes will help the fax signal be better understood as it is transmitted by through the VoIP phone system.
Step 6 – try it again
Repeat Step 3 – test the fax connection.
If the test fax is not working, be sure to return baud rate and ECM to their original settings.
Plugins, apps, and adapters for faxing with Google Voice
There are none that we are aware of.
Frequently asked questions about fax and Google Voice
Your questions help others just like you!
Contact us for any questions about Google Voice, VoIP, and fax not listed here.
Question: Are there any online fax services that are compatible with Google Voice?
Answer: We are aware of none.
An online fax service runs on a separate line – a different service from Google Voice.
Many fax services can be connected to an email system, giving access to both email and fax in the same inbox.
Question: Can I fax documents such as Adobe PDF or Microsoft Word through Google Voice?
Answer: No, see the explanation above and our suggested alternatives.
Question: My fax machine was working with Google Voice before – what changed?
Answer: We are not sure what changed. Sometimes one fax is successful, and the next is not.
Fax is a problem over VoIP because of how the VoIP phone line changes the audio signal to digital. A change in the VoIP environment can result in a transmission that worked no longer working.
Larger page counts, more graphically intense documents, changes on the internet, and changes with other fax machines can cause problems with the fax.
Question: Can I receive a fax with my Google Voice phone number?
Answer: If the fax machine is properly working on the Google Voice connection, it should be able to receive.
Sources and more resources
Google Product Forums – Fax sending from Google Voice or Gmail – A quick discussion on Google product forums about sending a fax with Google Voice or Gmail. No direct answers, just a bit of frustration over the lack of a feature.