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How to fax with an HP printer or fax machine

Use an HP fax machine or fax-capable HP printer to send documents to another fax machine.

In most cases, faxing requires a traditional landline telephone service. Faxing is considered more secure than sending documents through email or postal mail.

Prepare the printer for faxing over a phone landline connection

Connect your HP printer to a landline, and then set up fax preferences.

  1. Get a telephone cord. Make sure it is a cord with two wire leads, not four.

    Example of a phone cord with two wire leads
  2. Connect the phone cord to the wall jack and to the 1-LINE jack on the back of the printer.

    Connecting the phone cord to the 1-LINE jack on the back of the printer
  3. If you have an answering machine, connect a phone cord to the machine and to the 2-EXT jack on the back of the printer to allow your answering machine to record voice calls without fax noises.

    Connecting a phone cord to the 2-EXT jack on the back of the printer and the answering machine

    Callout

    Description

    1

    Wall jack

    2

    Two-wire phone cord

    3

    Answering machine

    4

    Single-line telephone

  4. Set up fax settings and preferences. The HP software includes guided fax setup tools, or you can navigate to the Fax or Setup menus on the printer control panel to change settings.

    • Fax header: Type text you want the recipients to see at the top of your faxes. A typical fax header contains your name, the name of your business, and your complete 10-digit fax number.

    • Answer mode/Auto answer: Turn this feature on if you want the fax machine to pick up your phone calls after a specified number of rings and accept faxes. If this feature is off, you must manually accept incoming faxes from the printer control panel.

    • Rings to answer: When the phone rings, the printer waits and counts the number of telephone rings before it answers the call.

      • If the phone line is shared with your voice calls, select a number of rings that provides enough time for you to answer the phone before the printer picks up the call.

      • If the phone line is shared with an answering machine, set the number of rings to two more than the answering machine to make sure the answering machine answers the phone before the printer.

    • Ring type: Use the All Rings setting for a dedicated fax line or select Distinctive Ring if you set up a special ring pattern for the fax line.

    • Dial type: Match the type of analog phone service you have; tone or pulse. If the dial type does not match, the printer cannot detect rings and answer incoming calls.

      The current industry standard is tone dial in most areas. You might have pulse dialing if you use a rotary telephone. If you are not sure of the dial type, contact your phone service provider.

    • Fax volume: Select a volume level to hear sounds made during the fax call, such as dial tones and busy signals. Set the volume to Off if you want silent faxing.

  5. Test the fax setup.

    • Run a fax test from the printer control panel: Locate Run Fax Test or Fax Test Report in the Fax or Setup menus. A report prints with test results and any instructions to resolve issues.

    • Send a test fax: Send a one-page, black & white test fax to 1-888-HPFaxme (1-888-473-2963 U.S.). The service receives and returns faxes within 5 to 7 minutes to the fax number in the fax header.

Send a fax

Load a document in your printer, dial the receiving fax number on the printer control panel, and then send your fax.

  1. If you know the recipient is in a home or home office and shares the phone line with their fax machine, call them to let them know you are sending a fax.

  2. Load the document you want to fax.

    • Scanner glass: Lift the scanner lid, position the original print side down on the glass according to the guide on the printer, and then close the scanner lid.

      Examples of scanner glass alignment guides
    • Automatic Document Feeder (ADF): Load a single or multi-page document according to the guide on the tray. For most models, load the document print side up and top edge first. Adjust the paper-width guides until they rest gently against the edges of the paper.

      Examples of loading guides on automatic document feeders
  3. Make sure blank paper is loaded in the input tray for any fax reports that might print.

  4. From the printer, dial the receiving fax number, including the outside line access code, and the long distance country code, and area code. If you are using speed dial, confirm the saved number includes the dashes between numbers.

  5. Press the Black, Color, or Send button to send the fax.

    • If you hear a busy signal, the receiving fax phone line is busy. Try faxing again later.

    • If you hear someone's voice answer the phone, wait until they manually accept your fax, or cancel the fax from the control panel if you suspect the phone number is wrong.

    • If you hear high-pitched sounds, your fax is being sent.

    A fax report prints.

  6. Read the fax report to confirm the fax completed successfully or learn how to resolve the issue if an error occurred.

Receive a fax

Manually receive an incoming fax by pressing the Fax button on the printer. Otherwise, the printer or fax machine automatically receives incoming faxes, and then prints them, forwards them to email, or saves them to a folder on your computer, depending on your fax reception settings.

The following settings are in the Fax or Setup menu on the printer control panel or in the HP software.

  • Answer mode/Auto answer: Turn this feature on if you want the fax machine to pick up your phone calls after a specified number of rings and accept faxes. If this feature is off, you must manually accept incoming faxes from the printer control panel.

  • Rings to answer: Set a number of times for the phone to ring before the printer answers the call. If the phone line is shared with your voice calls, select a number that allows you time to answer the phone. If the phone line is shared with an answering machine, select a number that is two rings more than the answering machine so that the answering machine answers before the printer.

  • Duplex fax printing: Depending on your printer model, turn on the 2-Sided Fax Printing option to print incoming faxes on both sides of the paper.

  • Save faxes to the computer or email: Set up HP Digital Fax from the HP printer software to save incoming faxes to a folder on your computer or network or to forward them to your email inbox.

    For more information about using Digital Fax, go to HP Printers - Use HP Digital Fax to receive faxes to a computer or email.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Still have a question? Find additional answers and help.

What if I cannot send or receive faxes or I get an error message?

Most fax problems are related to the landline telephone connection, incompatible phone equipment, poor line quality, or certain fax settings.

A fax report might identify issues with the printer, phone line connection, or fax settings. You can print a fax report from the Fax or Setup menu on the printer control panel, and then search HP Customer Support for steps to resolve the issue.

If the printer or a fax log report displays a text alert or a 3, 12, or 15-digit numeric error, search for the error for steps to resolve the issue.

Can I fax if I only have cell phone service (wireless faxing)?

HP fax machines and fax-capable printers require a traditional landline telephone service. You might be able to fax with VoIP and DSL with the appropriate setup and equipment. Cellular networks currently do not support faxing from a printer.

To send a fax from your mobile device, download and install the HP Smart app from 123.hp.com and enable Mobile Fax.

How do I send and receive faxes with my computer?

Use the computer connected to your HP printer or fax machine to send and receive faxes.

Send and receive faxes with a Windows computer

Send faxes from the document Print menu or with HP Printer assistant, and receive faxes with HP Digital Fax.

Before you begin, confirm that your printer is connected to the telephone line and can send and receive faxes, and that the HP full feature driver and software is installed on the computer. Go to 123.hp.com (in English) if you have not already installed the software.

  • Send faxes from the document Print menu (Windows): Open the document you want to fax, click File > Print > Printer, select the printer that includes Fax in the name (Example: Fax - HP OfficeJet Pro 6970), and then click Print to open the Send Fax window.

    Sending a fax from the document Print menu
  • Send faxes from HP Printer Assistant (Windows): Click the Print, Scan & Fax tab, and then click Fax > Send a Fax to open the Send Fax window where you type the fax number and change settings and preferences.

    Sending a fax from HP Printer Assistant
  • Save faxes to the computer or email: Set up HP Digital Fax from the HP printer software to save incoming faxes to a folder on your computer or network or to forward them to your email inbox.

    For more information about using Digital Fax, go to HP Printers - Use HP Digital Fax to receive faxes to a computer or email.

Send and receive faxes with a Mac

Send faxes from the document Print menu and receive faxes with HP Digital Fax.

Before you begin, confirm that your printer is connected to the telephone line and can send and receive faxes, and that the HP full feature driver and software is installed on the computer. Go to 123.hp.com (in English) if you have not already installed the software.

  • Send faxes from the document Print settings menu (Mac): Open the document you want to fax, click File > Print > Printer, and then select the printer that includes Fax in the name (Example: HP OfficeJet Pro 8600 [C4150D] (Fax)). Type the fax number in the To field, and then click the drop-down menu at the center of the window to access additional settings.

    Note:

    If the fax printer is not listed, go to Apple Menu > System Preferences > Printers & Scanners, click the Plus sign to add the printer to the Mac, and then return to the document to select your printer.

    Sending a document from the Print settings menu
  • Save faxes to the computer or email: Set up HP Digital Fax from the HP printer software to save incoming faxes to a folder on your computer or network or to forward them to your email inbox.

    For more information about using Digital Fax, go to HP Printers - Use HP Digital Fax to receive faxes to a computer or email.

Can I send or receive a test fax?

Yes. Send a fax to HP, and then wait for a return fax to make sure you are able to send and receive faxes.

  1. Create a one-page black and white test fax.

  2. Add your fax number to the fax header. The service uses the header number to send the return fax. Make sure your full 10-digit fax number is in the header, and that it matches the number of the phone line connected to the fax.

  3. Temporarily suspend or disable any conflicting phone line services such as voice mail, call waiting, anonymous call rejection, privacy manager, and caller ID, as these can interfere with incoming faxes. Pressing *82 before dialing the HP Fax Test Service number unblocks the Caller ID blocking feature in most areas. Contact your telephone company if any of these services are interrupting fax communication.

  4. Send the test fax to 1-888-HPFaxme (1-888-473-2963 U.S.).

  5. Wait 5 to 7 minutes for the service to send a return fax.

If a fax is not received after 10 minutes, check fax settings and try again.

Can I fax with DSL telephone service?

If you have a DSL/ADSL modem connected to your phone line for your internet, you might be able to fax over the same phone line.

A microfilter connected to the same phone cord that connects to the printer's 1-LINE connector can improve the chance of successful faxes. Obtain microfilters from your internet service provider. If the DSL modem is shared on the same phone line as the printer, use a phone splitter to connect the two devices.

Connecting a fax line with a SDL microfilter

Callout

Description

1

Wall jack

2

DSL/ADSL microfilter

3

Parallel splitter

4

DSL/ADSL modem

Can I fax with VoIP internet telephone service?

Maybe, depending on your service provider and the sound quality of the phone system.

The chances of data being lost over the internet (lost packets) is much higher than a standard phone line. For the greatest chance of success, you should enable error correction mode (ECM) and set the fax transmission speed to the slowest setting. These fax settings can be changed from the printer control panel.

You must have an analog telephone adapter (ATA) to set up your fax for VoIP. An ATA allows analog telephone signals (such as fax signals) to be converted for digital systems. You can purchase an ATA from an electronics or office supply retailer.

Your fax setup varies depending on your specific ATA and broadband modem. Follow the steps in the ATA user guide to connect your hardware.

Connecting a fax machine with an analog telephone adapter to set up fax for VoIP

Callout

Description

1

Wall jack

2

Broadband modem

3

Telephone

4

Analog telephone adapter

How do I change fax confirmation report settings?

Fax report settings are in the Fax or Setup menu on the printer control panel.

Where can I find my fax history?

You can print a fax transaction log from the Fax or Setup menu on the printer control panel.

How can I receive a fax when my voice mail always answers my calls?

You cannot automatically receive faxes if the telephone line has voice mail.

To receive faxes, you must answer the call from the phone and accept the fax from the printer control panel.

Note:

If you plan on receiving a lot of faxes, consider purchasing another phone line without voice mail.

Why can't I send a color fax?

You can send a color fax only if color faxing is supported by both the sending and receiving fax machine.

To send a color fax, press the color option instead of black after dialing the fax number.

Can I fax over a PBX phone system?

If you are located inside a large business, you might be using a private branch exchange (PBX) phone system.

PBX systems have many local lines within the business, but only a few shared external phone lines. You must have a PBX converter/terminal adapter to set up the fax on a PBX phone system.

Connecting over a PBX phone system to fax

Callout

Description

1

Telephone

2

Terminal adapter

3

Wall jack

  1. Make sure the PBX converter/terminal adapter is set to the correct switch type for your country/region. If you do not know the switch type for your country/region, check with your local phone company.

  2. Connect one end of the phone cord that came in the box with the printer to the 1-LINE port on the back of the printer.

    Note:

    You might need to connect the phone cord to the adapter for your country/region that came with your printer.

  3. Connect the other end of the phone cord that came in the box with the printer to the port on the PBX converter/terminal adapter designated for phone and fax use.


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