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How to Fax to an Email Address

Faxing to an email address is typically only available through online faxing.

There is no way to send a fax directly to an email address. Instead, your recipient needs to sign up for an online fax service.

If you need to send out a fax immediately, I would just sign up for an online fax service like RingCentral Fax.

RingCentral Fax is a computer fax service that offers a 30 day free trial and then its $17.99/mo. If you want to cancel, Ringcentral also provides a risk-free 30 day money-back guarantee.

That online fax service will receive your sent fax, transform the binary phone line data into digital data, then forward the contents of that fax to the recipient’s email inbox. This is how online faxing works.

When the recipient wants to reply to the fax, he or she can send an email back to the online fax provider, where it’s processed automatically and sent to your fax machine as an ordinary fax.

Outside of online faxing, there’s one other way to fax to an email address: some fax machines will convert incoming faxes and then deliver that fax data to your computer via email.

Some corporate fax machines and multifunction printers, for example, will send incoming faxes directly to an established email address as a PDF document. Multifunction printers with scan, copy, print, and fax capabilities may offer this feature.

Aside from these two methods, there are no other ways to fax to an email address.

Why Can’t a Fax Be Sent to an Email Address?

Faxing to an email address is something that can only be done if the receiving party has an online fax service or fax machine that can convert incoming faxes into emails.

What’s the reason for that?

The reason is that faxes and emails are on two different digital media. Fax data uses binary signals sent through phone lines, while emails use digital signals.

Even when you’re using an email fax service that forwards your faxes to your email inbox, you have no control over whether or not your recipient receives faxes through their email inbox.

If you already have online faxing, then your online fax service provider takes care of the conversion of the fax into an email-ready format. They extract the document data from the fax and save it as an email attachment before taking the cover letter information and placing it in the body of the email. Some online fax providers just bundle everything up into the email attachments.

Ultimately, faxes can be sent back and forth within phone networks without issue.

However, for that fax to be converted to an email, a system on the receiving end needs to do the converting. Since this can only be controlled by the recipient, you have no control over whether or not your fax gets sent to an email address.

Faxing to an Email Address Using Online Fax Services

Online fax services act as virtual fax machines. All of the faxing technology is housed at the service provider’s headquarters, while all you need is an internet connection.

If you’re sending a fax to a recipient with the intention of sending it to their email inbox, then you’ll first need to tell your recipient to sign up for an online fax service.

After they have signed up for an online fax service, all of the fax conversion services are taken care of by the service provider. There’s no need to have a fax machine at home any more (fortunately, many online fax providers allow you to keep using your old fax number).

Sending a Fax Through Online Faxing

Computer faxing makes it easy to send a fax. You typically do this by either:

  • Using the online fax provider’s mobile app
  • Accessing the online fax provider’s web-based platform
  • Sending an ordinary email addressed to your online fax provider

In most cases, the “send an ordinary email” option is your best bet. With this option, you don’t need to access any special software or platforms. You just send an email as you would normally send an email. There’s no hassle and no fuss – if you can send an email, then you can send a fax to your recipient.

Receiving a Fax Through Online Faxing

If you have an online faxing account, then you’ll receive all incoming faxes to your fax number through your email inbox.

Your recipient will only receive faxes through his or her email inbox if they have already setup online faxing.

Ultimately, online faxing is the easiest way to fax to an email address: you just have to tell your recipient to sign up for an online faxing service.

Fax Machines that Can Forward Faxes to Email

If for some reason you don’t like online faxing, or can’t convince your recipient to sign up for online faxing, then you may want to look for a fax machine that can forward fax to an email.

Certain types of fax machines and multi-purpose printers can forward faxes automatically to email.

These machines will receive faxes, process that fax into an email with a PDF attachment, and then forward it to an email address you’ve already linked to your fax machine.

These machines receive faxes exactly like a regular fax machine. They receive the fax through an active phone line and send a confirmation page. The only difference is that after they receive the fax, the information is forwarded to your email inbox.

Sending a Fax on a Fax Machine that Can Forward Faxes to Email

Sending a fax on these machines is as easy as sending a fax on a normal fax machine: you scan the fax into the machine through the document feeder.

In some cases, your fax machine may be able to use the print driver on your computer.

If that’s the case, then you can simply go to File > Print from any document, or press Ctrl + F on Windows, to open the print menu. Then, select your connected fax machine from the drop down list.

Alternative Method: Skip Faxing and Email the Person Directly

There are very few situations where you need to fax to an email address.

In many of these situations, your purposes are just as well-served by sending an email directly to that person and skipping the faxing process altogether.

Let’s say you have information you wish to fax. You can transfer that information onto your computer by scanning it in. Or, if you already use online faxing, then the document is already on your computer in digital format.

Once the document you’re trying to fax is on your computer, and you’re trying to send it to an email address, your best option may be to skip the faxing process entirely. Instead, simply compose a new email, attach the documents you’re trying to fax, and then send it to your recipient’s email address.

Just like that, you’ve sent a “fax” to an email address (for all intents and purposes).

About Johnson Hur

After having graduated with a degree in Finance and working for a Fortune 500 company for several years, Johnson decided to follow his passion by embarking on a path to the digital world. He has over 8 years of experience with large companies setting marketing strategy.


  1. It would be interesting to do a survey how many businesses in 2015 still use faxing software or fax machines for marketing, orders, invoices, POs, etc.

  2. In healthcare they still fax 14 Billion times a year, so its very prevalent in that industry. Best bet, don’t fax and use a secure online fax program that allows for messaging and automated followups that are HIPAA Compliant.

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