Here are answers to some common questions about using Windows Fax and Scan.

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What is Windows Fax and Scan?

Windows Fax and Scan is a program that you can use to send and receive faxes and to scan documents or pictures using your computer. When you receive faxes, you can use Windows Fax and Scan to reply to or forward the faxes by either faxing or e‑mailing them to other people. If you scan documents or pictures and store them on your computer, you can also use Windows Fax and Scan to fax or e‑mail them to other people. In addition, you can use Windows Fax and Scan to create fax cover pages, customize your sender information, and select recipients from your Windows Contacts folder.

To open Windows Fax and Scan

  1. Click the Start button Picture of the Start button, click All Programs, and then click Windows Fax and Scan.
  2. To use Fax view, at the bottom of the left pane, click Fax.
    – or –
    To use Scan view, at the bottom of the left pane, click Scan.

For more information about faxing using Windows Fax and Scan, see Set up your computer to send and receive faxes.

What devices or equipment do I need to send and receive faxes using Windows Fax and Scan?

If your computer has a built-in fax modem or if you have an external fax modem, you'll also need to attach an analog phone line to your computer. You can't send or receive faxes over a digital phone line. To send and receive faxes using a fax server, your computer must be connected to the network, you must know the address of the fax server, and you'll need permission to use it. For more information, see Set up your computer to send and receive faxes.

Will my stand-alone fax machine or multifunction printer with fax capabilities work with Windows Fax and Scan?

No. Windows Fax and Scan works with built-in and external fax modems but isn't designed to work with stand-alone fax machines or multifunction printers with fax capabilities. Some printer manufacturers might offer drivers that allow your printer to function like a fax modem with Windows Fax and Scan. For more information, contact your printer manufacturer.

Do I need to answer the phone to receive faxes, or can Windows Fax and Scan do it for me?

It's up to you. You can manually receive faxes, or you can set Windows Fax and Scan to automatically answer each phone call as a fax after the number of rings that you specify. For more information, see Receive a fax with Windows Fax and Scan.

If someone else has a fax machine, can they receive a fax that I send using my computer?

Yes. Faxes that you send using Windows Fax and Scan can be received by fax machines, fax servers, and other computers that have Windows Fax and Scan. One of the benefits of sending and receiving faxes using your computer is that you can store and review faxes that you send or receive like any other file on your computer—without the need for print copies.

Windows Fax and Scan converts file attachments to TIFF images (files with names ending in the .tiff file extension) so they can be received by any fax device. If your recipient uses a standalone fax device—a device that's not connected to a computer—each page of the fax, including the attached file, will be printed in order when the fax is received. If your recipient uses Windows Fax and Scan or another fax program, your fax will be received as a TIFF file that can be viewed on screen and, depending on the program, printed or managed like any other file on the computer.

Can I use Windows Fax and Scan to fax a printed document or picture?

Yes, as long as you can first scan the document or picture to a file. After saving the scanned file to a location on your computer, you can create a fax and send the scanned file as an attachment to it. To attach a document or picture to a fax, drag the file to the New Fax window.

You can also scan a document or picture, and then send the scanned file as an attachment to a fax or e‑mail message. For more information, see Fax or e-mail a scanned document.

Can I send a fax to more than one person?

Yes. When you create or forward a fax, type the fax number for each recipient, separated by semicolons, in the To box. You can also select one or more recipients from the Windows Contacts folder (if you use it to store fax numbers for your contacts). For more information, see Send a fax with Windows Fax and Scan and Fax or e-mail a scanned document.

Can I forward faxes that I've received?

Yes. In Windows Fax and Scan, right-click the fax that you want to forward, and then click Forward as Fax. You can also forward a fax as an attachment to an e‑mail message. In Windows Fax and Scan, click the fax that you want to forward, and then click Forward as E‑mail on the toolbar.

Do I need to send a cover page when I send a fax?

No. However, sending a cover page can help prevent people other than your intended recipients from seeing the printed or on-screen contents of a fax (this might be important if a fax contains personal or confidential information). For more information about creating and sending cover pages with a fax, see Create or edit a fax cover page and Send a fax with Windows Fax and Scan.