How to Send a Fax from a Printer?

Sending a fax from a printer allows you to transmit documents digitally while retaining aspects of traditional faxing. Most printers these days support fax capabilities alongside printing functionality. With some basic setup, you can easily send faxes without needing a standalone fax machine.

How to Send a Fax from a Printer?

This guide covers everything you need to know about sending faxes from a printer. We’ll provide step-by-step instructions for:

  • Connecting your printer to a phone line
  • Configuring fax settings
  • Adding fax contacts
  • Sending a test fax
  • Troubleshooting common fax issues

Follow along to optimize your printer’s built-in tools for seamless fax sending.

Connecting a Phone Line to Your Printer

To send and receive faxes, your printer needs access to a phone line. There are two main options:

Dedicated Phone Line

  • Most reliable for frequent faxing
  • Requires additional phone line just for the printer

Shared Phone Line

  • Uses existing phone line in home or office
  • Need to set fax/phone switch mode on printer

Either option will work depending on your circumstances. Contact your phone service provider if you need to set up a new phone line.

Once connected, use the printer’s setup menu to configure fax capabilities:

  1. Press the Menu or Settings button and select Fax Setup
  2. Follow the prompts to test the phone connection
  3. Enter your 10-digit fax number
  4. Customize settings like answer mode, ring count, dial type etc. Refer to your printer’s user guide for specifics.

Many printers automatically walk you through much of the setup when you connect a phone line. Complete the setup process before trying to send a fax.

Configuring Your Printer’s Fax Settings

After you’ve connected a phone line, verify that all fax settings are properly configured:

Fax Header

Enter your 10-digit fax number and set a header with your name or company details. This identifies the fax source at the top of transmitted documents.

Fax Mode

  • Choose between fax-only, automatic fax/phone switching, manual switching, or phone-only modes depending on your setup.


  • Standard resolution (96-200 dpi) works for most text documents
  • Higher resolutions produce clearer images but larger file sizes

Dialing Mode

  • Tone vs pulse dialing
  • Set based on your telephone line type

Rings to Answer

  • Number of rings before answering an incoming fax
  • Set higher if fax shares a line to allow you to answer voice calls

Adding Fax Contacts

Entering fax contacts makes sending faxes quick and convenient. Access your printer’s contact list via the front panel or through a web interface. Add individual or group contacts with saved numbers.

To send a fax, select a saved contact right from the printer instead of manually inputting numbers. Contacts can also contain email addresses for sending scanned documents digitally to contacts.

Sending a Test Fax

Once fully set up for fax capabilities, verify functionality by sending a test fax:

  1. Place a test document in the automatic feeder tray or scanner glass
  2. Access the fax sending menu on the printer
  3. Enter your own fax number or select a test contact
  4. Press start

The printer will scan the document if needed and transmit it. Wait for the fax confirmation before trying an actual fax. If the test page doesn’t come through correctly, refer to the troubleshooting tips below.

Troubleshooting Faxing Issues

Some common fax problems include:

  • No dial tone
  • Busy signal indicating line in use
  • Unable to connect
  • Received fax has poor print quality
  • Missing fax header

Start troubleshooting by checking all physical connections and running phone line tests built into the printer menu.

Verify the connected telephone line is active with a dial tone. Make sure automatic answer mode is enabled if necessary. Reset modem and clear old faxes stuck in memory if connectivity issues persist.

For quality issues, check toner cartridge levels, adjust scan settings, and clean scanner components.

If troubleshooting basics don’t resolve problems, contact your printer/fax support line for additional assistance.

Best Practices for Effective Faxing

Follow these tips for smooth fax sending:

  • Preview outgoing faxes – Proofread docs and check pages are straight
  • Set up a fax header – Identifies fax source clearly
  • Organize fax contacts – Saves time finding numbers
  • Fax in small batches – Break up large multi-page faxes
  • Check logs for errors – Review fax history to catch mistakes
  • Maintain your printer – Replace ink, clean parts to optimize scan quality
  • Back up fax memory – Avoid lost incoming faxes if power outage

Careful setup, organized contacts, and consistent printer maintenance pave the way for efficient, frustration-free fax capabilities from your printer.

Key Takeaways

  • Connect your multifunction printer to a phone line to unlock fax capabilities
  • Make sure to configure essential settings like fax header, resolution, dial mode etc.
  • Add frequently used fax numbers to your contacts list for quick dialing access
  • Send a test fax as the final setup step before sending important documents
  • Troubleshoot issues using built-in printer tools before seeking technical support
  • Employ best practices like small batches, previews and equipment maintenance to improve faxing

Now that you know the ins and outs of faxing from a printer, take advantage of this convenient feature to digitally send scanned documents and retain hard copies where needed.

Frequently Asked Questions about Sending Faxes from a Printer

  1. Do I need a dedicated fax line for my printer?
    No, you can use an existing shared phone line for fax capabilities as long as you configure the printer properly for shared usage. Set automatic fax/phone switching on the printer. 
  2. Can I fax multiple pages at once?
    Yes, most printers have an automatic document feeder tray that scans and sends multiple pages in a single fax transmission. You can usually load around 35 pages at once. 
  3. Why does my fax say “transmission failed”?
    Typical reasons for failed fax transmissions include incorrect numbers, line errors and busy signals. Check the number, verify phone line connections, and review logs to troubleshoot the cause. Retry sending after corrections. 
  4. How do I attach a cover sheet to my outgoing faxes?
    Printers with fax functionality often provide the option to attach and send premade cover sheets containing your fax header details and a short message. Configure cover sheet settings in the fax setup menu. 
  5. Can I send a fax internationally?
    Yes, you can send faxes internationally from a printer. Verify the correct country code is included at the start of an international fax number. Long-distance faxing sometimes incurs additional telephone charges. 
  6. Why do my received faxes have jagged text?
    Faxes with low resolution text and images typically come through looking pixelated or jagged. Adjust quality and resolution settings on both the sending and receiving fax machines to troubleshoot quality issues. 
  7. Do ink and toner levels impact fax quality?
    Yes, depleted ink cartridges and toner can degrade the scan quality, resulting in lower quality faxed documents. Replace low supplies frequently for best fax results. 
  8. How do I save incoming faxes as digital files?
    Many printers let you opt to save received faxes as image files or PDFs rather than printing hard copies automatically. Check your model’s settings for digital fax forwarding options. 
  9. Can I add a signature to my outgoing faxes?
    Some printers support adding an electronic signature to all outbound faxes. Create a scanned signature graphic or convert your handwritten signature, then upload it through the printer menu. 
  10. Why do extra blank pages get appended to my faxes?
    If the automatic document feed tray pulls pages too quickly, it can inadvertently feed additional blank pages causing unwanted pages sent with your faxes. Carefully load pages and adjust feeder tray guides to prevent this. 
  11. Do I need a separate fax number for my printer?
    No, you can use your existing primary phone number as your printer fax number. Callers must dial this number and be prompted to press send to deliver faxes. Set up the fax line to distinguish between voice calls and incoming faxes. 
  12. Can I schedule faxes to send at specific times?
    Yes, most fax-enabled printers provide the option to schedule outbound faxes by loading documents and selecting a time you’d like them transmitted automatically in the future. Useful for sending information outside business hours. 
  13. Why is my printer printing received faxes instead of storing them digitally?
    Check your printer settings menu to see if fax forwarding is enabled to save rather than print. Disable automatic printing and enable file saving options for received faxes if you prefer digital copies rather than physical printouts piling up. 
  14. How can I release private information that was accidentally faxed?
    Contact all intended recipients immediately and ask them to dispose securely of any private documents sent in error. Review why incorrect documents were faxed before taking precautions to prevent future mixups that could disclose sensitive information improperly. 
  15. What resolution should I use to fax photos?
    Faxing photographic images requires excellent resolution for best reproduction. Use the printer’s highest resolution mode such as Ultra Fine or Photo for faxing any documents with photos, diagrams or other intricate graphics needing precision. 
  16. Can I send a fax without printing the documents first?
    Yes, you don’t need printouts to send faxes. Most printers can scan documents directly from original electronic files or an attached scanner without needing hard copies to feed into the fax tray. 
  17. Why do my faxes fail after 15 pages transmit?
    Some older fax models have limits on transmission batch sizes of 10-20 pages to prevent timeout issues on long documents. For larger faxes, split files into multiple smaller transmissions to avoid this barrier. Newer models accommodate longer page lengths without issue. 
  18. How can I save money when faxing frequently?
    Reduce fax expenses by adding “dialing prefixes” provided by many phone companies, allowing discounted rates for high-volume fax and international numbers programmed into your printer menu. Contact carriers for available business and bulk fax packages to cut costs. 
  19. What does “group dial” mean on my printer fax menu?
    Group dial allows you to preset multiple recipient fax numbers to send a single document to entire groups simultaneously. Add individual contacts to a group list for frequent batch sending to the same destinations. 
  20. Why do my printed faxes have lines through them?
    Black lines usually indicate an issue with the sending fax device’s scanner array or light sensor needing maintenance. Inkling marks can also mean the receiving printer’s drum unit requires replacement from extensive wear after high fax usage.


Fax-enabled printers place efficient document sending directly at your fingertips. With a connected phone line and proper setup, you can digitally transmit scanned files while the printer handles all transmission details behind the scenes. Configure contacts to skip manual number entry and maintain printer components to keep quality optimal. Follow the guidance for connecting, troubleshooting and daily usage provided here to make faxing from your printer hassle-free.


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