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(Pocket-lint) - Faxing a document saved to Gmail, Google Drive, or Google Voice can be a chore if you use the traditional method: a fax machine. You will need to download the documents to your device, print them out, and then finally fax them using the machine. 

Needless to say, the process is time-consuming and cumbersome, not to mention expensive. Wouldn’t it be convenient if you could fax from Gmail, Google Drive, Google Voice, among other favorite apps, directly instead? 

While Google itself doesn’t offer built-in faxing, there are some services and third-party plugins you can use to add the functionality. They allow you to fax quickly and with little effort, without paying the steep fee you usually do. 

In this mini-guide, we’ll show you how to fax from Gmail, Google Drive, and Google Voice in a matter of minutes. 

How to Fax from Gmail

Gmail itself doesn’t support faxing. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t fax from Gmail. What you need is a suitable internet fax service to act as an intermediary between your Gmail account and the recipient’s fax machine. 

What’s an internet fax service? It’s essentially a virtual fax machine. It takes any documents you wish to fax in electronic format, converts them to fax format, and then faxes them to the recipient’s machine on your behalf.  

Internet fax services are convenient to use. But not all of them are worthwhile, nor do all of them offer reliable encryption. We suggest you go with a reliable provider like CocoFax. 

CocoFax – The Professional, Affordable Fax Service  

CocoFax is a popular online fax service provider. The company offers reliable faxing, secured with the best encryption standards. CocoFax has been well-received globally, being featured on global media channels like The New York Times, BuzzFeed, and TechCrunch. 

The service is fully confidential, meaning you don’t have to worry about the safety or privacy of your faxes. In fact, CocoFax is HIPAA-compliant, meaning it’s usable by – and already being used in – hospitals and other healthcare organizations.

You can try the service free for 30 days, without paying a dime. You’ll be able to use CocoFax to fax from Gmail too.   

How to Send a Fax from Gmail

With CocoFax, you’ll be able to send and receive faxes directly from your Gmail account. Explore the features provided by CocoFax below. 

  • You can send faxes from within your inbox, just by composing a new email. 
  • All you have to do is include the recipient’s number in the email address field, followed by “@cocofax.net”. 
  • Incoming faxes to your fax number will be forwarded to your inbox. 
  • You receive fax-related notifications too. 
  • Sending and receiving faxes becomes just as convenient as using email. 

Here are the simple steps to follow to fax from Gmail with CocoFax: 

Step 1: Start by signing up for a CocoFax account and subscription. 

You will be asked to choose a free fax number as the first step of the registration process.

The next part of the registration is filling in your personal details. Provide the Gmail ID you want to be able to fax from during this step. Providing an alternate email address is not an option, as CocoFax needs this information to link your Gmail account to the service. 

Step 2: Log in to your Gmail account next, which CocoFax has already associated with your fax number. You can use your web browser to log in or the Gmail app on your smartphone – whatever works best for you. 

Step 3: To send a fax, you will have to compose an email. The email body acts as the fax cover page, while any documents attached to the email get converted to fax documents. The whole process is like writing an email.

Click on the “Compose New Email” option when you’re ready and then fill in the following details: 

  • “To”: Usually, you put in the email address of the receiver here. Now, though, you should type in the fax number of the recipient here followed by “@cocofax.net”. If the recipient's fax number is 1234, for example, then type in “1234@cocofax.net”. 
  • “Subject” (Optional): The subject becomes the note on top of the fax page.  
  • Email Body (Optional): You can choose to include a cover page, which is the first page of the fax pages you’re sending, if necessary. 
  • Fax files: Finally, the most important part is the attachments. The attachments are the documents you wish to fax. They can be in any supported format, including Doc, Xls, Jpg, or Pdf. Most G-suite file types are supported.  

Step 4: Lastly, click on the “Send” button after you’ve finished drafting the fax. That’s all there is to it, you just sent out your first fax! 

After the fax has been sent successfully, you will receive a confirmation notification in your inbox. If the fax doesn’t get sent successfully you’ll be notified of the problem. 

Unsuccessful transmissions are usually the result of a problem at the receiver’s end or because the incorrect number was entered. You can try sending it again if that’s the case.  

In addition to sending a fax from your Gmail account, you can also choose to send the fax from your CocoFax account on your PC or smartphone.   

How to Receive Fax to Gmail

What about if you want to receive a fax on Gmail? You will need an internet fax service – like CocoFax – that can forward incoming faxes on your fax number to your Gmail account.

Please be aware that you must own a fax number to be able to receive incoming faxes in your Gmail inbox. You get a free fax number while signing up for CocoFax. 

Once you have a CocoFax subscription, all faxes sent to your number will automatically be converted to email format and sent to your Gmail inbox. The whole process is automatic. You don’t need a fax machine, phone line, or printer. 

If there are documents attached to the incoming fax, they will be converted to the PDF format. As with any PDF document, you can choose to save it to your hard drive or print it out. 

Email to Fax

If you want to send and receive faxes on email, you need to route them through a fax service. To spare you the technical details, the fax service translates email’s electronic signals into phone signals and vice versa.

CocoFax supports email to fax and vice versa. You can then compose an email, attach the document you wish to fax out, and route it via CocoFax. And don’t worry: you don’t give the service access to your email in any way.

There are some things to keep in mind when using CocoFax:

1. You can only fax through the email address you have registered for an account with.

2. You always need to add the country code before the fax number, even if you want to send faxes to recipients in the same country as you.

3. Remember to send the fax to the number followed by the “cocofax.net” suffix and not “cocofax.com”. It should look something like this: 112345@cocofax.net. Here, the 1 (+1) is the US country code and the 12345 is the recipient’s fax number.

CocoFax supports all major email platforms. This includes Outlook, Yahoo, Gmail, and iCloud. 

How to Fax from Google Drive (Docs, Sheet, Slides)

Is it possible to fax from Google Drive? Again, it’s not a built-in feature Google provides. But you can install an add-on plugin that can fax from you from within Google Drive. 

Here are some of the advantages of using a plugin to fax from Google Drive: 

  • Conveniently send out faxes from within Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Slides. 
  • Fax from your smartphone or PC. 
  • Send out secure, protected faxes with a couple of clicks. 

CocoFax offers a fax add-on for Google Drive. Here’s how to fax from Google Drive with the CocoFax add-on: 

Step 1: Register for a free CocoFax subscription. Provide the Gmail address linked to your Google account during the signup, after you choose your free number. 

Step 2: Log in to Google Drive and find the document you wish to fax. Open the document. 

Step 3: In the document window, find the “Add-ons” tab in the menu bar at the top. Click on “Get Add-ons” and search for CocoFax in the empty field. Install the add-on. 

Step 4: Click on the “Add-ons” button again and click on CocoFax. A compose fax window will open up. Fill in the necessary details. You can refer to the details mentioned in Part 1 for help. After you’re done drafting the fax, click on Send. 

That’s it – you have now successfully sent a fax via CocoFax. It only takes a few minutes of your time and is cheap to boot. 

What if you want to receive a fax on Google Drive? You can use the CocoFax integration. Also, you can save any fax you receive to Google Drive manually, of course. 

How to Fax from Google Apps – Google Fax Integration 

You will be able to fax from within any Google app, including Google Drive and Gmail, with the help of a plugin that works directly from your web browser. You can conveniently view and save any faxes you receive in Google suite and send out faxes without having to navigate away.

This means you don’t necessarily need to log into your CocoFax account every time you wish to fax. All you have to do is visit the website and download the integration tool of your choice.  

How to Get a Google Fax Number 

You may have heard someone mention a Google fax number or someone may have asked you if you have one of your own. What’s a Google fax number? Google doesn’t officially provide a fax service, but you can link a third-party fax service to your account.

CocoFax can give you a “Google fax number”, essentially. Just download a Google plugin and fax away from within your favorite G-suite app.

How to Fax from Computer and Mac

You don’t need to connect a physical fax machine to your computer. You can instead download faxing software for Windows or Mac and fax directly online from your desktop PC or laptop. You just need a fax service like CocoFax that supports this feature. 

How to Fax From Microsoft

Do you frequently use a Microsoft app like Word or Outlook, download the file, and fax it via a machine? You can take the whole process online and make your life easier with a fax plugin. With its help, you’ll be able to fax from within any Microsoft app. Go and find out how to fax from Microsoft with CocoFax

How to Fax from Your iOS or Android Phone 

Wouldn’t it be great if you could fax on-the-go? Actually, you can conveniently fax from your iOS or fax from your Android device if you use an appropriate online fax service - like CocoFax. Just log into your CocoFax account, compose a new fax, and send! 

Further, CocoFax offers a dedicated app for Android that offers some added flexibility and convenience. 

CocoFax Offers Benefits You Can’t Pass Up   

1. CocoFax is secure and trusted

CocoFax is a HIPAA-compliant fax app  which offers top-level encryption. Only you and the fax machine on the other end can read the faxes and attached documents you’re exchanging. It all complies with data protection laws.

2. CocoFax provides advanced features 

You get advanced features like a smartphone app, 24/7 uptime, easy access, portable faxing, permanent storage, fax archiving, number portability, and other useful features. 

3. It saves you resources

When you use CocoFax, you don’t have to pay for a fax machine or a phone line. It’s also faster than using a traditional fax machine. The money and time you save can be put to better use. 

FAQs

1. Can you fax from Gmail without using an online fax service? 

You may be able to set up an enterprise server to fax from Gmail without using an online fax service. This is not easy and you’d probably need to hire an engineer for it. And you’ll have to maintain the server afterward. It’s easier and cheaper to use an online fax service. 

2. Is it safe to send fax online? 

Yes, it’s perfectly safe. Your connection to the fax service is protected by SSL encryption.  Depending on the service you opt for, you can sign up for extra protection. For example, you receive confirmation emails every time you fax. You can make sure your account isn’t being used without your consent. 

3. Do fax apps really work? 

There are legitimate fax apps that really work, yes. A fax app is essentially an interface where you type in a message and attach documents for faxing. This information is routed through a fax server owned by the service.  

4. Can I use my phone as a fax machine?

Yes, you can use your phone as a fax machine. But you will need to contact your phone provider and ask them for a paid fax number/phone line. Sometimes it’s best to use a second dedicated fax line to connect to your fax machine. 9 times out of 10 it’s more convenient to use an internet fax service instead. 

5. What is the best free online fax service? 

That really depends on your needs and the features offered by th fax service. There is no definitive answer. We recommend CocoFax because it offers an excellent mix of features and affordability. The service also comes with a 30-day money back guarantee, you can check it out before committing to it. 

Conclusion 

You can manually configure a server or a fax machine to send out faxes from Gmail, Google Drive, or Google Voice. However, we don’t recommend it – it’s costly, time-consuming, and sometimes error-prone. It’s easier, faster, and safer to use an internet fax service like CocoFax instead.