How to fax with Skype – sending, receiving, alternatives, and more

Last Update: August 9th, 2021

There are no fax features built into Skype.

Skype (like many VoIP phone services) is mostly incompatible with fax machines.

This page describes how to try to connect a fax machine to Skype. We do not recommend doing this as it is not a reliable solution.

Popular alternatives to faxing through Skype are:

On this page

Can I send and receive faxes with Skype?

No. Skype does not offer fax lines or a fax service.

A fax machine (or computer with fax software) can connect to Skype the same way a telephone can. Despite the connection, fax machines have trouble sending and receiving faxes with VoIP.

At times the connection may work, however, it is often unreliable.

Our current best alternatives

  1. An online fax service.
  2. Using Skype’s “send a file” function. This feature only works with Skype connections. It cannot send the file to a fax machine.
  3. A fax machine (or computer with fax software) connected to a landline phone line.
  4. Using a local “bricks and mortar” provider (such as a library or copy shop) for faxing.

Why isn’t it going to work?

Fax signals sent over a VoIP phone line (such as Skype) become scrambled. Often the fax machine on the other side of the phone line can not understand them.

At times test documents may work. When they do, the reliability of the fax connection is not guaranteed.

Problems can arise depending on the number of pages, graphically intense images, or day-to-day fluctuations in the phone network.

The official solution from Skype

We cannot find an answer directly from Skype’s support section.

In the Skype community, we can see conversations regarding sending and receiving faxes with Skype. We can not find information in the Skype community about fax working with Skype.

Sending or receiving a fax with Skype (maybe)

We do not recommend doing this. Even if a test fax does work, reliability will not be guaranteed.

This approach is the only way we know of even to attempt to connect a service such as Skype to a fax machine.

Found a better way? Let us know through our contact page.

What you will need

Step 1 – connect everything together

Set up the fax machine (or computer with fax software) the same way it would connect to a regular landline phone line.

Connect the USB to analog converter the computer, and test it with the Skype service.

To test the connection, plug a regular analog phone into the phone line. If there is a dial tone and the phone can make and receive calls, then the converter and Skype are working together.

Step 2 – try it out

Send a fax to someone or have someone fax you.

Our page on testing a fax has some options if you don’t know anyone with a fax.

Step 3 – adjust some settings on the fax machine

The first settings to change on the fax machine are:

  1. Lower the baud rate (or speed rate) of the fax machine to as low as it can go. If there is no baud rate feature, then opt any setting that looks like it is slower or a lower number.
  2. Turn error correction mode (ECM) off.

These changes can help the signal easier to understood by another fax machine. Not all fax machines will have these options.

If using the fax machine on a different phone line after trying this guide, be sure to turn the features back to their original setting.

Step 4 – try it again

Repeat Step 2 – test the fax connection.

Plugins, apps, and adapters for faxing with Skype

There are no plugins and apps that we are aware of that will allow for faxing through Skype. The ones we have found are old information and no longer compatible with Skype.

An analog phone line to USB converter connects a fax machine (or computer with a fax modem and fax software) to Skype through the USB connection. Skype does not have one that they officially support.

Using Skype’s “send a file” feature

Skype has a function to “send a file” to another Skype contact. This feature can be used to send documents on the computer to another person with Skype.

The “send a file” function can not be used to connect to another fax machine. It is only for sending files to another Skype user.

Frequently asked questions about Skype and fax

Your questions help us create content for others in the same situation!

Contact us with any questions about fax or Skype not listed here.

Question: Are there any online fax services that are compatible with Skype?

Answer: We are aware of none.

An online fax service runs as a separate phone line – a different service from Skype.

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 Skype?

Answer: No, see the explanation above and our suggested alternatives.

We also have specific resources for faxing a PDF or a Microsoft Word document.

Question: My fax machine was working with Skype 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 Skype phone number and forward it to my email account?

Answer: No, see the explanation above. Most online fax services have a function to send and receive faxes by email.

Sources and more resources

Skype CommunityCan I send a fax on Skype? – A short question and answer conversation in the Skype community regarding the ability to fax through a Skype connection.

Houston Chronicle Small BusinessCan I fax on Skype? – Summary of the fax features of Skype. Includes another option to send a file while in a Skype call.

VoIP Mechanic – Faxing over VoIP, the correct configuration settings you need to make – A technical explanation of how to configure a VoIP phone system and fax machine to work together. Please note the disclaimers on how this approach might still not work.

Fax Authority – Why does my fax machine not work from my VoIP phone? – A summary and a quick explanation of the challenges with faxing through a VoIP line.

Fax AuthorityHow to fax from a VoIP phone – A guide to getting a fax machine to either work with a VoIP phone line (such as Skype, Vonage, or Google Voice) or find the best alternative.