How to Send a Fax from Gmail
Gmail is no doubt the most popular free email service on the Web right now. Owned by Google, Gmail 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 business.
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 from Gmail directly.
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 left for us to do if we want to fax using Gmail? We need a Gmail-compatible email to fax solution.
Nowadays you can send fax from Google Mail thanks to third party services that link your account to a virtual number, letting you turn your computer or smartphone into a digital fax machine. These “email fax services” let you send a fax as if it were an email, making it very easy to make the jump to online fax!
Try It for Free!
Fax services such as RingCentral or eFax give you the chance of opening a free account that lasts for 30 days. These accounts are fully featured, which means you can fax in the same way as a paid user, which means you can easily fax over Gmail!
There are also other services that give you a limited number of faxes for free. Usually 5 to 10, and from there you have to continue paying per fax. In my opinion, this is an alternative that can end up being more costly if you later decide for a paid service, but it’s another alternative that you can use.
Sending a Fax Through Gmail
Let’s take a look at how you send a fax from an email fax service. It is a very simple process. As a matter of fact, it is very similar to traditional emailing but with a few differences, mainly that:
- The fax number is entered on the TO field.
- The fax contents are attached to the email.
- The MESSAGE field is the cover page.
Please note that to try out the steps below, you’ll need an account with a fax service. A free trial account should also work fine if you don’t want to spend money while you get your feet wet in the world of email faxing. Just pick the service you want and start faxing away!
STEP 1. Enter your Gmail account, and click on the COMPOSE button to start creating a new email.
STEP 2. On the TO field, enter the desired fax number followed by “@faxprovider.com”. Here, replace faxprovider.com with the domain given by your fax provider. As an example, you would send a fax using eFax like this: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please refer to your service’s welcome email or Help section to learn which domain to use.
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 wish to fax. You can pick from different common file types such as DOC, TXT, XLS, JPG, BMP and TIFF. Some services provide a wider range of file compatibility than others.
You can either upload these documents from your computer or pull them directly from your Google Drive account, using the Drive icon located next to the paper clip.
STEP 5. Now your fax is composed and ready to be sent. To complete the process just press the SEND button!
Transmitting your fax shouldn’t take longer than a minute, after which you’ll receive a confirmation message or an error message detailing what went wrong during the sending process. Getting these error messages is very rare though, Gmail fax services automatically re-try sending the fax at least 3 times before reporting an issue.
Sending a fax over Gmail 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 services 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 Google services.
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!