gmail fax

[UPDATED: November 2017]

Gmail is no doubt the most popular free email service on the Web right now. Google’s free email service started out as an invite-only service, but now is the preferred provider for hundreds of millions of users all around the Globe. The fact is that Gmail has proven to be an invaluable tool not only for personal purposes but also for businesses.

One of the coolest things about Gmail is that you can combine it with other Google services such as Google Drive (previously Google Docs), Maps or Calendars. This saves a lot of time and money because you don’t have to switch accounts for every thing you do. However, one of the features that we can’t find is the ability to fax online.

The search engine giant has apparently no plans to give us an integrated Gmail fax solution, and in their Google Voice support page they have stated that they have no plans to add fax features in the near future. So what is the alternative?

Nowadays you can send fax from your email thanks to third party services known as email fax services, that link your account to a virtual number, letting you turn your computer into a digital fax machine. These services let you send a fax as if it were an email, making it very easy to make the jump to online fax!

How to Send a Fax from Gmail

If you know how to send an email, then you will find that sending fax online is the practically the same.  There are only a minor of differences that you’ll need to consider:

  • The fax number is entered on the TO field.
  • The fax contents are attached to the email.
  • The MESSAGE field is the cover page.

If you don’t have an account with a fax service and want to try this method out, I recommend you create a free trial account with the service of your choice.

STEP 1: Access Gmail with your username and password.Then click the COMPOSE button located on the sidebar to set your fax.

step 1 compose a fax

STEP 2: Enter the recipient’s number on the “To:” section followed by “” Let’s take a look at an example:

You want to send a document to the number 654-863-399 and you are using RingCentral as your online fax provider. Since Ringcentral instructs users to send files using, this is what you’ll have to type in Gmail:

At the moment of creating your account you’ll get this information in detail.

step 2 fill out fax details

STEP 3. Enter the message you want to appear on the cover page using either the SUBJECT or the MESSAGE field.

STEP 4: Attach the document you want to fax to the email. All fax providers ensure compatibility with multiple popular file formats like DOC, XLS, BMP, TIFF, PDF and TXT. But they also work with more specific file types. The document can be uploaded via your hard drive, but in recent times some services have added the option to pull them directly from Google Drive, Google’s cloud storage. You can do this via the Gmail interface by clicking on the Drive icon next to the paper clip.

fax google drive

STEP 5.  Now your fax is composed and ready to be sent.  To finish simply press the SEND button!

That’s it, your digital document is all set up and ready to be delivered. The process takes less than a minute, after which you’ll receive a delivery report on your Gmail inbox.

If there’s a problem during the transmission due to a busy line on the other end, the service will automatically try to send the file again several times.

Try It for FREE!

Online fax service providers such as RingCentral or eFax  give you the chance to send fax online free for 30 days. These accounts are fully featured, which means you can fax in the same way as a paid user.  This is an excellent way to learn how to send fax through Gmail before choosing a monthly plan.

There are also other fax services that allow you to send limited number of faxes for free. You can’t use Gmail for this, so you’ll need to use an online form in a website. Once your free pages have ran out, you’ll have to continue paying per page sent. In my opinion, this is an alternative that can end up being more costly if you fax regularly, and on top of that there’s no guarantee the document is going to arrive its destination as they state in their websites. Security? Forget about using these free sites if you are sending sensitive info. This alternative is useful if you are only sending a fax occasionally, but it can’t be linked to Gmail.

Additional Faxing Features

Although at first Gmail fax service providers offered only basic capabilities (sending and receiving), nowadays technology has allowed them to include additional features that have proved to be invaluable for both businesses and individuals.  These features have given us more control of our documents, and at the same time contribute to  saving us time and money.

Receive faxes online.  Gmail receives fax automatically in your inbox thanks to a Gmail fax number which is an online fax number that redirects messages to your inbox, this number is given you when creating a fax service account.  Every new fax will have its contents converted to a PDF, readable on all types of computers. You can learn how to set up your number in this article.

Fax from Google Drive.  Since you are using Gmail, you can connect to Drive and pull documents from the cloud.  Services like Hellofax do this via a plugin, while others such as the one mentioned above use just Gmail’s attachment tool or the fax provider dashboard. Forget about downloading documents to fax on your hard drive.

Fax scheduling.  Remember when you had to wait several minutes or even hours in the office just to send a fax at the right time? Well, that’s a thing of the past.  By using a service, you can set the exact time and date you want a fax to be delivered and then forget about it.  You will receive a confirmation email once the fax has been fully sent.

Fax from cell phones.  You can find free fax apps for Android and iPhones by the top fax service providers. These cool apps integrate with your online fax account and your Gmail address, so you can send a new fax with just a few taps.  You can send documents by either attaching them or by snapping a picture with your mobile’s camera. More on that here.

Final Thoughts

Sending Gmail fax is not only easy but also way faster than sending a fax the “traditional way”, I’d advise you take the time to try different service providers and choose one that better suits the needs of your business, taking into account factors such as delivery speed, availability of numbers and of course, compatibility with Gmail. If you want to learn how to receive faxes, you can read our full guide.

The guide we presented here works with all fax to email services, so feel free to bookmark it, share it and have it for later reference! Happy faxing!