how to send fax from Gmail in 5 steps

​Since its launch almost 15 years ago, Gmail has ​grown to become the preferred 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.

​The service 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 major improvement in your business' communications, helping you save both time and money​.

​In this article you'll learn how to send your first fax from Gmail ​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!

​Selecting the Right Online Fax Service

​To start sending fax online from your email, you need the help of an email fax service.  

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

​Online fax services have their own powerful fax servers that work with FOIP (Fax Over IP). They are able to convert digital files into a fax signal in just a few seconds, ​making this technology compatible with traditional fax machines.

​To ​start using an online fax service you must sign up for a monthly plan.  Basic plans let you fax in average 300 pages per month, and you can find them for as low as $5 a month.  Considering that you won't need any additional equipment this is an affordable solution for small businesses ​as well as individuals.

But hey! You don't need to start paying for a plan to follow this tutorial...

Try It for Free!

​Many of the top-rated ​online fax service​s in the market, ​including eFax ​and RingCentral let you create a 30-day free trial account .  

​Your free account ​includes the basic plan, which lets you send hundreds of pages during the month.  It also includes a virtual line to receive fax on your inbox, as PDF files.

If you don't have an online fax account yet, go ahead and create one with your preferred provider.  You'll need it to complete the steps of this tutorial.

​Sending Fax ​from Gmail: ​Step-By-Step Guide

​Are you ready to send your first fax by email?. This is a very simple process that can be completed by following just 5 steps. But ​before getting started, there are ​a couple differences with traditional email messages that we need to keep in mind.

​The first one is that the number goes on the TO field, followed by @ and the domain of your online fax provider.  Entering the number alone will not send the fax.

Then, the actual contents of the fax have to be uploaded to the email message.  This "attachment" is what's going to be converted into a fax signal.

​Follow these steps to send your first fax through Gmail:

Step 1: Create a New Email Message

In Gmail’s 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

Type your recipient’s number with the area code inside the To field, and then add @faxprovider.com.  This domain name will vary depending on the provider you’ve chosen.  

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: 13437775555@efaxsend.com.

Using the exact domain provided by your service is essential to have your fax delivered, so double-check it before finishing.

Step 3: Add the Cover Sheet's Text

If you need to add something as a cover page, now it’s the time to do it using the Subject field and/or the message’s body.

Step 4: Attach the Fax Contents

​Add the ​files that are going to be converted to fax. Current online fax services work with dozens of different formats including popular ones such as PDF, DOC, XLS, JPG, TIFF and TXT. You can even attach different files and they will all be added to the final fax transmission.  

To attach the document, just 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.

No matter the format you are using, be sure to keep these recommendations in mind:

  • Don’t go over the file size limit.  Services let you attach a file or combination of files that occupy less than 20 - 30 MB of space.
  • There’s also a limit on the amount of pages you can send in a single fax transmission.  This can be between 150 -200 pages.
  • Avoid special characters and ampersands when naming a file. 
attaching fax contents to your email

Step 5: Proofread and Send

​Click on Send and it will be on its way.  It shouldn’t take more than a couple of minutes for the fax to fully arrive.

​After finishing sending the fax, you’ll get a confirmation message on Gmail with all the details of the transmission.  If there’s an error along the way, fax services will re-try multiple times to ensure it has been delivered.

Gmail fax

​Final Words

​Gmail fax is the perfect solution for small businesses that want to decrease the time and money they spend with traditional faxing. This is a technology that is easy to integrate in any business, whether big or small.  

To start faxing online you just need your computer and an email fax service.  And 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 an online fax 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.