Use Your PC as a Fax Machine!

June 6, 2011, By Christian Cawley

Windows 7 comes with some very useful fax sending software which is easily accessible from the Start menu. Unlike previous releases (such as XP) which required you to have Microsoft Office installed for a fully rounded Internet faxing experience, Windows 7 bundles everything in for you. This of course has huge benefits – it’s rare to find a fax machine in every office these days, yet there is always a requirement for such devices, for sending signed documents, for example.

Using Windows 7 to send faxes can save a lot of time, energy and money by avoiding the need to print out the document to be faxed, queuing at the fax machine and dialling and redialing the number, not to mention waiting to collect your potentially confidential document after it is eventually run through the fax scanner.

Use your PC as a fax machine!

Getting Started

First of all, you need to make sure you have the fax component installed on Windows.

To do this, begin by opening the fax tool, via Start > All Programs > Windows Fax and Scan, then select New Fax. This will launch the Fax Setup screen, which you must use to either Connect to a fax modem or Connect to a fax server on your network. For the latter choice, you will need to know the server name, for instance \\mycompanyfax, but for the former you will need a fax modem installed on your PC. Without access to one of these devices, you will be unable to send a fax.

Now clearly this is a bit of a downside to faxing. If you have a fax modem or fax server then you can proceed to setup access to them and use Windows Fax and Scan to send a New Fax or Forward as Fax an image that you have scanned, and with the fax modem installed you will also be able to receive faxes. It is a good system but not one that suits everybody, certainly not those of us who don’t have access to suitable servers or modems.

There is a good and much simpler alternative however, that requires neither Windows Fax Services or an online fax service provider.

Scan and Email

With the proliferation of scanners in the office – often as a component of multifunction printers – it is an easy task to scan a document and send the digital image via email.

As long as your recipient has an email address, you can use this method for faxing to a computer using your default email client!

Once again, this is done using the Windows Fax and Scan software, and all you need to do is scan a copy of the document you wish to send, and select Forward as E-mail from the fax software menu. Your email program will then launch with the scanned document attached, and once sent the document will be received by the recipient via email!

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