how to send a fax online with Gmail

​Since its launch almost 15 years ago, Gmail has ​evolved to become the ​biggest free email service in the World.  And it's not just individuals who use it for personal purposes; millions of small companies and freelance workers also use it on a daily basis to communicate with customers and providers.

​Gmail allows ​you to email with incredible speed, and contains nifty features that make communications smoother, including integration with other Google services such as Calendars and Google Drive.

But... did you know that you can also ​use your Gmail account to send fax?

Even though Google doesn't ​own a fax service, ​you can ​integrate Gmail with an online fax service​ that lets you fax from your computer, without the need of ​a machine or a dedicated line.

​Replacing your fax machine with an email fax solution can prove to be a ​step forward in your business' communications, helping you save time and money​.

​In this ​tutorial you'll learn how to send your first fax from email ​in just 5 steps.  The guide is very easy to follow, ​if you have sent a common email then you'll realize both methods are extremely similar.  But first, let's talk about what type of service you need for the job!

How to Send Fax from Gmail: A Step-By-Step Guide

Are you ready to send your first fax from email?. This is a very simple process that can be completed in just 5 steps, we've added pictures to each ​one of these steps to help you better understand how it works.

​Right off the bat, the first difference between a "traditional" email and an email-fax is that you enter the number on the TO field, followed by @ and the domain of your online fax provider.

The second is that the contents of the fax need to be uploaded to the email message as attachment. This file will be automatically converted into a fax signal. ​

Let's take an in-depth look at how you compose and send a digital fax.

Step 1: Create a New Email Message

In the Gmail website or mobile app, create a new email message by clicking on the Compose button.

creating a new email in Gmail

Step 2: Enter the Recipient's Number

​Now you need to enter the recipient's fax number on the TO field of the email message.  ​Then, add @​ and the domain of your fax service next to it.  It should look like this:

​For instance, if you need to send fax to the number 1-343-777-5555 using eFax, this is what you would need to type on the TO field:

Each online fax service has ​its own ​Internet fax domain. Using the exact domain provided by your service is essential to have your fax delivered, so double-check it before finishing.

enter efax number in Gmail

Step 3: Add ​a Cover Page

If you need to add ​a cover page, ​use the Subject field and/or the message’s body.

You don't need to include a cover page if you don't want to. It's an optional step for people that need to include additional information about the fax transmission.

​The design of your cover pages can be changed through your online fax account at any time.

adding the fax cover text on Gmail

Step 4: ​Upload Your File(s)

​Add the ​files that are going to be converted to fax.​Online fax services work with dozens of different formats including popular ones such as PDF, DOC, XLS, JPG, TIFF and TXT. ​

To attach the ​file(s), ​click on the paperclip icon (Attach files) on the bottom of the composing window. Mobile app users will find this icon on the top-right corner of the screen.

attaching fax and send button in Gmail

Step 5: Proofread and Send

​Click on Send and your document will be sent for conversion, then forwarded to the receiver's fax machine.

​​It shouldn’t take more than a couple of minutes ​to complete the transmission​. You’ll get a confirmation message on Gmail with all the details of your fax.  If there’s an error along the way, fax services will re-try sending it multiple times to ensure ​your fax reaches its destination.

Selecting the ​Right ​Email to Fax Service

To fax online​ you need the help of an online fax service.  

A service will link a virtual fax line to your Gmail address, enabling you to send and receive faxes without leaving the email interface. It will also give you a domain that you have to add to the recipient's number when composing an email to fax (more about in the step-by-step guide below).

These are our recommended providers.

  • ​eFax.  For years, this company has stood among the best online fax providers in the market, and that's because it's reliable for companies of all sizes (they also have corporate plans).  This services integrates perfectly with Gmail and ​is available in dozens of countries around the Globe.
  • RingCentral Fax.  ​This company has an online fax solution as a stand-alone product or as part of their virtual office suite, RingCentral Office.  With years in the market, this company is always including new features to online fax. ​They provide coverage in the US, Canada and UK.
  • ​MyFax.  This provider is smaller than the other two on the list, but it remains a great alternative for those of you that are looking for a basic fax service.  It has no problem working with Gmail addresses, and offer ​affordable plans.

​Gmail fax is the perfect solution for small businesses that want to decrease the time and money they spend with traditional ​fax machines. ​Fax to email technology is easy to integrate in ​your company​. Even if you currently have a fax line in place, you can transfer it to a digital one and keep using your ​existing number.

To start faxing online you just need your computer and an ​online fax service.  ​The steps to compose a fax are so simple that even people ​who consider themselves to be technically challenged won't have a problem ​with the process.

The availability of free alternatives makes it very easy to find a service that works for you. Besides price, there are other factors worth keeping into account, such as support, speed, file compatibility and the type of Google fax numbers they provide.