With the advent of online channels like emails and Google Drive, passing documents through a fax machine is rare nowadays. But there are still some institutions that haven’t fully migrated their operations to digital spaces yet, leaving faxing their primary communication method.
If you ever need to fax someone but don’t have an available machine near you, did you know that you can actually use your printer to do so? To send a fax through a compatible printer, simply put your documents in its feeder, dial the fax number of your recipient, and hit the send button.
But how would you know if your printer is fax-compatible? Is it also possible to receive faxes from your printer? In this article, we’ll dive into these questions and provide easy solutions that you can do. So read on to learn everything you need to know about how to fax from a printer.
Checking if Your Printer Is Fax-enabled
Before attempting to send or receive faxes using your printer, it’s imperative for you to check whether it’s capable of doing so. Some printer models are already fax-enabled and might even have a dedicated fax button. If yours does, then you’re ready to head to the next step.
In case you can’t see any on your printer’s interface, you can try searching for a telephone jack on its body. Once you find one, it means that you can connect your printer to an active telephone line, which is a must-have when faxing without a dedicated fax machine.
If you still haven’t found a telephone jack, the last thing that you can do is check your printer’s manual. It typically contains information about the tech specs of your machine, which would tell you whether it can support faxing or be added with a fax kit at a later time. You can contact your local product provider to add a fax kit to your printer if it’s possible.
How to Send a Fax From a Printer’s Feeder
If you have a fax-enabled printer or have successfully added a fax kit to one, it’s time to send your documents. Doing so is actually similar to how you’ll use an authentic fax machine in case you’re familiar with it. Here’s what you should do:
- To start, simply put your documents in your printer’s feeder
- Dial the number of your recipient, either on a connected telephone line or the built-in features of your printer
- Hit the “send” button
That was easy as cake, right? After completing the steps, your printer will try to connect to your recipient’s fax machine (or fax-enabled printer if they don’t have one). If successful, your document will then be transmitted. Usually, a prompt about the total number of pages sent and the timestamp will appear after the transmission.
How to Fax From Computers Using Printer Drivers
Alternatively, you can also take advantage of your printer’s driver, which is the software that allows your computer to communicate with your printing machine. This method is great if you haven’t rendered a physical copy of your document yet, or if want to do everything on your PC or Mac.
To fax from computers using printer drivers, simply follow the steps below:
- Open your document and go to your device’s printing interface
- Pick the printer labeled as a fax in your driver
- Input your recipient’s fax number
- Hit the “send” (or its equivalent) button
Keep in mind that each electronic device and printer model varies, so the steps to do using your equipment might vary from the steps above. But in general, that’s how you send a fax via a printer driver.
Can You Fax From a Wireless Printer Without a Phone Line?
Unfortunately, there’s no solution on how to fax from printers without a phone line, as they are inseparable. But this doesn’t mean that you can’t send a fax without one — you can use an online faxing service.
Not using a phone line means that you can also leave your printer alone, as you will be doing the faxing process in a fully digital space. This is much like sending an email, with the only difference being that you can still send and receive documents to and from fax machines, eFax printers, and similar online services.
How to Send a Fax Using an Online Fax Service
You just need to register an account on your preferred online faxing service to start. Then, select a document, enter your recipient’s fax number, and click the send button (or its equivalent). Conveniently, the processes for both eFaxing and using a physical machine are identical.
Top authorities when it comes to online faxing include eFax, MyFax, and HelloFax. You can usually access them without a fee and on convenient devices, too, like your desktop or mobile phone. But if you’re a heavy fax user, investing in one of their paid services might be worthwhile.
Why Online Faxing vs. Sending an Email?
If the only option without getting a phone line for your printer is online faxing, why not just send an email? True enough, it might be more convenient for you to opt for the latter, especially since you don’t need to sign up for an account, given that you have your corporate email address.
However, online faxing offers better security and potentially faster signing processes. Some companies might need to follow regulations of using faxing as the primary method for transferring sensitive information. Online faxing services also have document-signing functions, which come in handy when file approvals are needed.
Faxing is also much more reliable than email when it comes to ensuring that your recipients see the files you sent. As you know, email services feature spam filters, which might prevent the attachments from reaching you.
How to Receive Faxes From a Printer
After discussing all the ways to send a fax from a printing machine, here comes an important question: can you receive a fax from your printer too?
The answer is yes, as long as your printer is powered on and comes equipped with faxing capabilities — the documents you’d receive would be automatically printed. Plus, modern printers also have the ability to store them, which comes in handy when they run out of ink and paper.
Of course, before receiving your documents, you would have to make your fax number known to your sender first.
How to Get a Fax Number for a Printer
In general, your printer’s fax number is the telephone line number that you have connected to your fax-enabled printer. But if you can’t recall it, the easiest way to retrieve your number is to call 1-800-444-4444 using your printer’s connected landline.
This line is operated by the telecommunications company, MCI, and you can call without paying any toll fees. When dialing the number, keep in mind that you shouldn’t be asked for any information. Instead, your fax number should be given by the operator automatically by default.
Alternatively, you can also call your personal mobile phone number through the said landline. The number reflected on your phone when you receive the call would be your printer’s fax number.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Send a Fax From My Printer Without a Phone Line?
No. You should connect it to a valid phone line to use your printer in sending and receiving faxes. You can try to contact your preferred provider and register a fax number if you don’t have one yet. Alternatively, you can also try to use online faxing services, which are fully digital and accessible even without your printer.
Can I Send a PDF as a Fax From My Computer?
Yes. Ensuring that your printer is powered on, open your PDF on your computer and print it out. From the list of your available printers, select the one labeled as a fax. Enter the fax number of your recipient and hit the send button (or any similar button) to finish. If you only have a computer, you can also use online faxing services to send your PDF.
Start Faxing From Printers Today
While faxing is pretty uncommon nowadays with the emergence of easier communication channels, it’s still a secure and reliable medium that some companies don’t want to abandon. So, learning how to fax from printers is worthwhile even today. If you don’t have a fax machine near you, you can always use a fax-enabled printer connected to a phone line to transmit your documents.
If you’re looking to up your printing game, then check out these online printing courses to learn about the fundamentals of printing.
Looking for a great high-quality printer? We highly recommend checking out Epson’s extensive line of printers, ranging from compact and efficient home printers to large multifunction printers for your business.
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Emma Collins is a tech writer for Productivity Spot. She's been writing tech tutorials & how-to guides on Windows, Android, iOS, Social Media, Data Recovery, Cybersecurity, Gaming, and more as a tech writer for over 6 years. You can find her work on many established tech websites, including Hackr.io, MakeUseOf, Help Desk Geek, Online Tech Tips, Switching To Mac, HandyRecovery, Cleverfiles, and more.