fax from Dropbox and Gmail

Dropbox has cemented as one of the preferred cloud-storage services on the planet and is a great tool for companies and offices that are looking to work in the cloud.

Working with Dropbox lets you access your documents pretty much anywhere as long as you have an Internet connection and at the same time makes it easy to share them with other people in the same work projects.

Until recently, the only way to fax Dropbox docs from Gmail was to first download them to then attach them to the email message​. Of course, this way only added more steps to the process.

​It’s true that some services also let you integrate Dropbox from their only fax account, but it wasn’t of much help for those of use who prefer to use our Gmail addresses. ​

But now, you can take advantage of Gmail’s “Compose Actions” to pull documents from Dropbox without leaving Gmail’s compose window at all! Here you’ll learn how to do it.

Besides a Gmail and a Dropbox account, you’ll need the help of an online fax service. These services charge you a small fee to allow you to fax from Internet using a digital fax line. They are able to convert Gmail messages into faxes that are compatible with fax machines.

Installing Dropbox Add-on on Gmail

“Compose Actions” let services add new features to Gmail. In the case of Dropbox it will let you pull documents directly from your account to attach them in your email. ​To add any of these "compose Actions", you need to install them on Gmail, just like you install any Google add-on.

Head over to the G Suite Marketplace, and install the Dropbox add-on. Google will ask for your permission and then will ​ authorize the link between the two accounts. You only need once, next time you use Gmail on any platform (desktop or mobile), you’ll find the button to work with Dropbox. You don't have to install it every time you are using it.  Add-ons can also be uninstalled in the future.

Finish installing the add-on and you’ll be ready.  New Dropbox options will appear wehn sending and reading ​emails..

Sending Dropbox Files with Gmail

Next time you want to send a fax from Gmail, follow the steps included in our Gmail fax guide, but instead of attaching the documents from the hard drive with the paper clip icon, do it by clicking on the new Dropbox button on the bottom right area of the composing screen (see picture below).

A small pop-up window will appear containing your Dropbox files and folders. Locate the file you want to fax and make sure it’s checked on (you can check multiple files if you want to, but you need to keep in mind the maximum amount of files your online fax service allows you to send). You’ll see that the files will now appear attached to the email.

attaching dropbox files on Gmail

​On the TO field enter the fax number followed by "@faxprovider.com".  The exact domain depends on the service you are using.  This information is given to you in the welcome email and it's easily available on services' help pages.  For example, if you are using RingCentral fax, it would be: @rcfax.com.

To start sending the fax, click on the blue "Send" button.  ​The email and its attachments are sent to your service's fax servers, where they will be converted into a fax image and then forwarded to the fax machine's number.  Afterwards, you'll receive a confirmation message in Gmail.

Store Faxes You Receive on Dropbox

The Dropbox add-on will also let you save incoming fax attachments to your virtual hard drive space.

When you open a fax you have received on Gmail, simply click on the Dropbox button located on the right sidebar of Gmail’s interface. Then you can pick which documents you want to send to your account. This has proven to be a major time-saver for those of us who prefer faxing with Gmail.

If your Dropbox account contains different types of files, we suggest you create a folder just for incoming faxes, and if possible sub-folder to find faxes easier in the future.

Gmail’s “Compose Actions” have changed again the way we fax with our emails, giving us even more flexibility. This is one of the reasons we love using Gmail for faxing!