Troubleshoot fax problems

Here are solutions to some common problems with sending or receiving faxes using Windows Fax and Scan.

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I can't send or receive a fax using my fax modem.

Here are some possible solutions to this problem:

  • If you're using a built-in or an external fax modem, make sure that you've set up Windows Fax and Scan to work with the modem. You can connect to one fax modem only. You should also make sure that your computer (or your external fax modem) is connected to an analog phone line, and that the phone line has a dial tone so that you can place and receive phone or fax calls. For more information, see Set up your computer to send and receive faxes.

  • If you're using an external fax modem, make sure that it's powered on and properly connected to your computer and your phone line. To see how, check the information that came with the device.

  • If you've already set up Windows Fax and Scan to work with the modem but you are still unable to send or receive faxes, check the modem settings to see if send and receive options are turned on.

    To turn on send and receive options for a modem

    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.

    3. Click the Tools menu, and then click Fax Settings. Administrator permission required If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

    4. Click the General tab, and then, under Device name, make sure that the modem is selected.

    5. Under Send/receive options, make sure that the Allow the device to send faxes check box is selected.

    6. Make sure that the Allow the device to receive fax calls check box is selected, and then choose how to receive faxes:

      • To manually answer phone calls as incoming fax calls using Windows Fax and Scan, click Manually answer, and then click OK.

      • To have Windows automatically answer phone calls as incoming fax calls, click Automatically answer after X rings, select the number of rings after which Windows can try to answer phone calls as incoming fax calls, and then click OK.

  • If someone else set up the computer to send and receive faxes, you might not have permission to use the built-in or external fax modem.

    To give all users permission to send and receive faxes

    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.

    3. Click the Tools menu, and then click Fax Settings. Administrator permission required If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

    4. Click the Security tab, and then, in the Group or user names box, click Everyone.

    5. In the Permissions for Everyone box, select the Allow check box next to the Fax permission, and then click OK.

I can't send or receive a fax after I set up my computer to work with a fax server.

Make sure that your computer is connected to the network where the fax server is installed. You can also find out whether your computer is connected to the fax server by following these steps:

  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.

  3. Click the Tools menu, click Fax Accounts, and then check the status of the fax server.

If the fax server is offline, there might be a problem with the network or the device. To find out whether the fax server is powered on and connected to the network, or if network connectivity issues are preventing you from using the server, contact an administrator. You might also need to contact an administrator to make sure that you have permission to use the fax server.

One or more of my recipients did not receive a fax.

Make sure that your recipients' fax numbers are correct. If you selected recipients from your Windows Contacts folder, make sure that you've stored the correct fax number with each person's contact information. If that doesn't work, you might need to contact recipients who did not receive your fax to make sure that their fax machine or computer is powered on and properly set up to receive faxes.

For more information about using the Windows Contacts folder, see Managing your contacts.

When I try to send a fax using a dialing rule, I get a message saying I need to enter numbers in canonical format.

To be able to send a fax using a dialing rule, your recipient fax numbers need to be stored in the canonical address format for phone numbers. Windows Fax and Scan applies dialing rules only to fax numbers that are stored in this format. Canonical format describes the country or region code, area code, and subscriber number (fax number) for each recipient. You must also precede the country or region code with the "+" symbol so that the program recognizes the full canonical number, like this:

+Country/RegionCode (AreaCode) SubscriberNumber

For example, this is how you would enter a number for a subscriber in the United States in canonical address format:

+1 (425) 555-0123

For more information about canonical numbers, go to Canonical address format for phone numbers on the Microsoft TechNet website.

I can't see or locate faxes that I've sent and received using my computer.

If you use a fax server, faxes that you send and receive are stored on the server and not on your computer. If you can't see faxes in your Windows Fax and Scan folders, the fax server might be not be powered on or connected to the network. To check the status of the fax server, contact an administrator.

I can't send a document or picture as an attachment to a fax.

When you attach a file to a fax, Windows Fax and Scan uses a driver to convert the file to a format that is compatible with fax devices. The format of the file that you want to attach might not work with the driver that Windows Fax and Scan uses to send faxes. Try saving the file that you want to attach using a different file format, and then try attaching the new file to the fax. If you haven't installed a program that you can use to view or edit the file (for example, if you've received a document or picture from someone else that you want to forward), you can also try installing a program that works with that file format, and then try attaching the file to a fax again.