Sending or receiving a fax from a Windows 7 PC is probably easier than you think. Windows 7 has built-in faxing software that makes the process surprisingly easy.
Today, we’re going to teach you everything you need to know about sending or receiving a fax from a Windows 7 PC.
3 Methods Available
First, you should know that there are three main ways to send or receive a fax from a Windows 7 PC. Those ways include:
2) Using a Connected Fax Machine or Printer
3) Using Windows Fax and Scan or Other PC Faxing Software
Online faxing is probably the easiest and fastest way to send and receive faxes from a Windows 7 PC.
With online faxing, you don’t need to have a fax machine connected to your computer. You don’t need a modem or phone line or anything.
Instead, all you need is an internet connection. Online faxing is as easy as sending an email: you just open your internet browser or Outlook, then compose an email as you normally would. You attach the documents you wish to fax to that email, then type your message into the body. That message is faxed in the form of a cover letter.
The only major difference between sending an email and computer faxing is that you need to type in your recipient’s phone number in a slightly different way.
In the usual email address bar, you just type in [Recipient’s Phone Number] @ [Your Fax Provider’s Website].com
Basically, you’re sending the fax to your fax provider. Your fax provider converts it into a faxable format and sends it through the phone lines to your recipient. That’s it.
All online fax services support Windows 7. In fact, very few online faxing services are dependent on an operating system: as long as you have an internet connection and the ability to send an email, you can easily send or receive a fax online through Windows 7.
Sending a Fax through a Windows 7 PC
To recap, here’s how online faxing through Windows 7 works:
Step 1) Open your email inbox or Microsoft Outlook
Step 2) Compose a new email just like you would normally send an email
Step 3) In the recipient field, type in your recipient’s fax number followed by the website for your online fax provider, like firstname.lastname@example.org
Step 4) Use the body of the message to type out your cover letter. Anything in the body of the message will be delivered as a cover letter.
Step 5) Attach the documents you wish to fax to your email, just as you would attach a normal attachment. Typically, online fax services support major Office formats (like .doc and .docx) as well as .pdf and other popular formats. Check your provider’s supported file formats and make sure your online fax provider accepts the format you’re trying to fax.
Step 6) After attaching the faxed document, filling out your cover letter (body of the email), and typing in your recipient’s phone number, you’re ready to send a fax from your Windows 7 PC. Click “Send” just as you would send a normal email.
Receiving a Fax Through your Windows 7 PC
Receiving a fax through Windows 7 is just as easy as sending it. Here are the step by step instructions:
Step 1) Open your internet browser or Microsoft Outlook
Step 2) Check for new emails
Step 3) New faxes will arrive in the form of emails from your online fax provider. You should be able to view the cover letter in the body of the email and the faxed document as an attachment. It’s just like an ordinary email.
Online faxing comes with a bunch of other advantages outside of faxing from Windows 7. You can online fax from anywhere you have internet, for example. You can also reduce your paper and ink costs – which is helpful if you’re looking to cut costs at your business. You can send and receive faxes from mobile devices – like smartphones and tablets.
Ultimately, virtual faxing is the easiest way to send or receive a fax from a Windows 7 PC for most users because it requires no fax machine, no modem, and no software. All you need is an internet connection.
The one downside? You will have to pay for your online faxing subscription. Many providers offer you a free trial, however, where you can send a few faxes for free without paying a dime.
Fax Through a Connected Fax or Multifunction Printer
If you own a fax machine or multifunction printer (i.e. a printer that lets you copy, print, scan, fax, etc.), then you can easily send and receive faxes through your Windows PC.
The specific setup and options vary from fax machine to fax machine, and many units are able to send and receive faxes directly to the computer without having to print the document.
Ideally, this method will let you send and receive faxes through Windows 7 without physically interacting with the fax machine (i.e. you don’t need to scan the sent document or print out received documents).
Here’s what you need for this method:
- A computer running Windows 7
- A fax machine or multifunction printer that can fax from the computer
- An active phone line that you can use to connect to the fax machine or printer (any standard phone line aside from a VoIP line should work)
- A document you’re trying to send
With this method, you’ll need to connect your fax machine to the phone line using your standard phone cable. That phone cable needs to be active: so if you were looking for a way to fax from your Windows 7 PC without having an active phone line, then this isn’t it.
Another thing to remember is that despite the name, wireless fax machines don’t let you fax without an active phone line. The “wireless” part of the fax machine simply refers to the fact that there are no wires between your computer and the fax machine.
After you’ve connected your fax machine to your computer, you can interact with your fax machine in two ways:
- You can use your fax machine or printer manufacturer’s built-in driver software, which may or may not have installed itself automatically after you connected the fax machine
- You can run the built-in Windows software Windows Fax and Scan, which is already installed on all Windows 7 builds
You can learn more about Windows Fax and Scan in the next section: it’s the other popular way to send and receive a fax from a Windows 7 PC.
Windows Fax and Scan
All Windows 7 computers come bundled with Windows Fax and Scan, which is a free built-in utility that’s already on your computer.
All you need is the following:
- A computer running Windows 7
- A modem or fax board on the computer (if your computer has a telephone connection, then it likely already has a modem or fax board built-in)
- An active phone line (not VoIP)
- A document to send
Basically, Windows Fax and Scan turns your computer into a fax machine. The only downside to this is that to send and receive faxes all the time, your computer needs to be on and connected to the phone line all the time.
Setting up Windows Fax and Scan is easy. The software comes with wizards that let you easily connect your fax machine and start sending your first fax:
Step 1) Launch Windows Fax and Scan by typing it into the Windows 7 search bar (under the Start Menu)
Step 2) Click on Tools and then Fax Accounts
Step 3) Click Add to have your fax modem installed
Step 4) Choose between automatic or manual answering of your phone line
Step 5) Go to Tools and Fax Settings to customize additional options, like changing your computer from automatic or manual reception, customizing the number of rings before the fax is automatically picked up, setting up TSID and CSID information, and automatically saving or printing all received faxes the moment they arrive.
Step 6) To send a fax, click New Fax from the Windows Fax and Scan menu. If you haven’t sent a fax yet, then you’ll be redirected to the new fax wizard, from where you can setup all the settings you need before sending a fax.
Step 7) Create your fax, then enter your recipient and send it to the receiving fax machine
How to Receive a Fax in Windows 7 Using Windows Fax and Scan
Windows Fax and Scan can also be setup to automatically receive faxes. Here’s how to do that:
Step 1) Open Windows Fax and Scan by typing “fax” into the Windows 7 search bar
Step 2) At the bottom of the left pane, choose Fax
Step 3) Click Tools and then click Fax Settings
Step 4) Look for the General tab. Under the Send/Receive Options menu on that tab, you’ll see an option that says Allow device to receive fax calls. Make sure the box beside that is checked
Step 5) Choose how many times you want the fax machine to ring before picking up by changing the “Automatically answer after ____ rings” setting. Then press OK.
That’s it! Your Windows Fax and Scan is now setup to receive faxes automatically. Just make sure your computer stays on and connected to the phone line.
How to Manually Receive a Fax in Windows Fax and Scan
If you don’t want your Windows 7 PC to constantly function as a fax machine, then you may want to set it up to manually receive a fax only at certain times.
You can do that using the Windows Fax and Scan tool. Using this method, you’ll only be able to receive a fax when you open the tool and your phone rings:
Step 1) Open Windows Fax and Scan
Step 2) Click the Fax option in the bottom left pane
Step 3) From the toolbar, click “Receive a Fax Now”
Step 4) Wait for your phone to ring. When the software is in this “receiving” mode, it will automatically receive the fax when the phone rings.
That’s it! Now you know all the best ways to send or receive a fax from a Windows 7 PC.