This post was last updated on November 4th, 2021 at 03:32 pm
Suddenly having to send a fax (and it’s always “suddenly”) is like traveling back in time. You went through every option under Isn’t there some other way to send this document? with that lovely bureaucrat on the phone. But, no, it has to be a fax, and you have no fax machine. Then you wonder, can I figure out how to send a fax from Gmail?
How to Send a Fax From Gmail
It might surprise you to know that faxing via the Internet has existed since the 1990s. However, it was complicated, and only the true nerds knew how to get it done. These days, learning how to send a fax from Gmail is almost as simple as sending an email.
A Few Things You’ll Need
A Gmail Account
If you don’t already have a Gmail account, sign up at gmail.com. It’s free.
An Easy-to-Use Fax Service
Gmail itself does not have fax capabilities. However, there are several services that add fax functionality through your existing Gmail account. Due to its ease of use, our favorite service is RingCentral. You get a 30-day free trial that allows you to fax up to 1,500 pages through your Gmail account. You also get a personal, local (to you) fax number so that others can fax directly to your Gmail account. You get to fax/receive entirely through Gmail, but to those on the other end, it’s no different than using a fax machine.
RingCentral is a subscription service that provides a whole suite of virtual office tools for $17.99/month. This includes a dedicated fax number, 1,500 pages of fax/month, integration with major cloud services (including Dropbox, Google Drive, and Microsoft Outlook), and 24/7 live telephone support. If you’re not thrilled with RingCentral, there are other options, however. Consider eFax or Nextiva, to name just a few others. Just make sure you’re getting a secure service and one that won’t plaster ads all over your recipient’s end document.
How to Do It
Scan Your Document
You are going to attach your document to a Gmail, so it must be in a digital format. If it’s not, you need to scan it. If you don’t have a scanner, there are scanning apps that turn your smartphone camera into a scanner. Dropbox has one built right in. You literally just take a picture of a document with your phone, and the app turns the document into a flawless PDF file. The original PDF giant, Adobe, offers an app, but there are other choices as well.
Assuming you signed up for your RingCentral 30-day free trial (with your email address, of course), you now simply compose a new email in Gmail, attach your scanned documents, and address your fax.
Address the Email Fax
The “to” address on your Gmail is your recipient’s fax number (including country and area code) followed by @rcfax.com. So the address looks like ###########@rcfax.com, but with the recipient’s fax number instead of the # signs. Anything you write in the subject line of your email becomes the fax cover sheet. If you leave the subject line blank, no cover sheet is delivered.
Faxing From Gmail Is That Easy!
Not only did you learn how to send a fax from Gmail, but it’s so incredibly easy that you will be Gmailing (and receiving) all future faxes this way. The 1990s-throwback bureaucrat you’re dealing with will stand at their fax machine never knowing you essentially just emailed them. Nice job!