How to Get Free Fax to Email Service

By Barb Nefer

  • Overview

    If you need to receive incoming faxes, you don't have to buy a fax machine as long as you have an email account. You can sign up with one of the many free incoming fax providers, and when you receive a fax it will come to you via email. You simply open the file, view it, and decide whether you need to print it. Here's how to sign up for free fax-to-email service.
  • Getting Free Faxes in Your Email

    • Step 1

      Set up a new email account that you will use exclusively for receiving faxes. While you can use your existing account, some free fax services will send a lot of commercial emails. By separating your fax account from your regular email account, you'll keep these commercial messages from cluttering up your private inbox.


    • Step 2

      Sign up with one of the free online fax services. Several are listed in the Additional Resources section. When you sign up for a free account, you won't get to choose your area code so it will probably be long distance. For example, K7.Net is a reliable free fax service, but it only provides numbers with a 206 (Seattle) area code; eFax.com, another free provider, assigns area codes randomly.
    • Step 3

      Ensure that you will be able to read faxes in the format that your provider will send them. One of the most common formats is .tif, but your provider will let you know its exact format options when you sign up. If you don't have the proper software to view the files, you can download a free reader.
    • Step 4

      If you only receive faxes sporadically, send yourself a fax every week or two to keep your number active. Some free online fax services will deactivate your number if it isn't used on a regular basis. Sending yourself a weekly or biweekly fax will prevent this. Because free providers periodically shut down, this will also let you ensure that your provider is still in business.
    • Skill: Moderately Easy
    • Tip: Some free fax-to-email services also offer free voicemail as a part of the account. If you don't need voicemail, set up your account to immediately play a fax tone rather than playing a message first.
    • Warning:
    • Be careful about giving out your fax number. If you post it on Websites or give it out freely, you may get on "spam fax" lists. This will clog your email with cheap vacation or toner cartridge offers, most of which are scams. They will make it harder to separate your legitimate fax files from the spam.

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