How to Receive Fax on Gmail

How to receive a fax on Gmail

Have you ever wished that all your faxes could simply arrive in an email? Well, you don’t need to wish anymore,  the advances in online fax technology allow you to receive fax on your Gmail account automatically.  Here you will learn how to do it!

Receiving faxes is the easiest part of online faxing. You see, once you understand how your Google fax number works it all becomes pretty clear. But in the meantime, you should know that this is a virtual fax number that works over Internet, and grabs faxes transmissions automatically for their subsequent conversion into digital files.

This way of delivering incoming fax to Gmail has dramatically changed how businesses communicate for good.  Offices around the World can enjoy the impressive speed of modern communications with the security and reliability of faxing.  Once you follow the steps of this tutorial you’ll be able to read your faxes on your computer or device screen.

Getting Started

Once you have the two following items you’ll be ready to start receiving fax online:

A Gmail address.  It’s been a long time since Gmail was an invite-only service.  Nowadays everyone can create a new account in just a matter of minutes.  To start receiving faxes, I would advise you to create an entirely new account that will be used solely for fax reception.  Having mixed messages in your inbox can be a real headache.  It’s better to keep things tidy from the start.

An email fax service.  A service will provide the number you need to receive faxes, you could say that they act as an intermediary between a fax machine and a computer.  Getting a virtual fax number is only possible with the help of online fax providers.  In theory you could have your own fax server and have your own numbers, but unless you own a big company that would only mean more expenses, not to mention that you would need a dedicated IT team for that purpose.  Using an email fax service is much more convenient and you don’t need to install anything on your computer.

Online fax services have monthly plans for faxing for affordable prices, but to follow the steps below you can use a free trial account as well.

Without further ado, here are the exact steps to start receiving fax by email:

  1. Create an account with the online fax service of your choice.
  2. Choose your virtual fax number (most services let you choose between local and toll-free numbers)
  3. Enter the Gmail address you want to associate to that number.  Some services let you link up to 5 different addresses to a single number, but during the setup process you’ll just need to enter one.
  4. Complete the registration process by entering your account details.
  5. Start receiving faxes!
set up receive fax

Here’s where you choose your number when signing up with eFax

I told you it was extremely easy! And the best part is that you don’t need to wait hours or even days until your new fax line is active.  Services have different numbers already set up and ready to be used by new fax accounts.  The only exception is if you want to keep using your current fax number, in those cases you’ll need to wait a few days until your number has completed its move to the Internet.  In those cases your service will give a temporary fax number.

Linking Your Number to Gmail

If you haven’t done so at the time of signing up for a service, you can link your number to a Gmail address by going to the Settings area of your online fax service.  This is the same area you need to head to if you also want to link more than one address to your fax number.  Most services let you receive faxes simultaneously in up to 5 different email addresses, and not all of them need to be Gmail.

incoming fax settings

Incoming fax settings on RingCentral Fax

As you can see, you don’t have to tinker with advanced settings within Gmail or even your Google account.  It is as simple as choosing a number and choosing what email will be linked to that number.

Once your number is active you can start receiving faxes.  whenever a new fax comes your way, it is first converted and then sent to your email.  at the same time you can opt to receive notifications on your smartphone, so you can read your faxes even when you are away from the office! Using Gmail’s app is perfect for this purpose, but if you want you can use your service’s app.

This works with all types of fax machines, so it doesn’t matter if you are getting a fax from a person that uses an outdated fax machine.  It will still arrive as a PDF on your email, along with all the details of the transmission.