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How to use a fax machine

How to Use a Fax Machine

Not as many people use fax machines today as they used to do in the past. Much of that is due to the availability of emails and online fax services.  That said, fax machines are still an important device for many homes and offices, when it comes to quick and efficient transmission of important documents or notes. That’s exactly why it’s important to know how to use one – especially if you work or plan on working in an office setting.

The truth is, faxing is not complicated. In this article, we will explain step-by-step how to use a  fax machine like a pro – both to send and receive faxes.


Sending faxes with a fax machine is easy and takes a few minutes at most. 

Here is how you do it:

  1. Make sure that your fax machine is connected to a power source, as well as a working phone jack – it can either be a regular phone line or a dedicated fax line. Turn the fax machine on.
  2. You need to have the fax number of the person or the business you want to fax documents to.
  3. Gather all the pages of the document you want to send, and put them in the order you want your recipient to get them.
  4. Fill out the fax cover sheet (if applicable) – a document with the recipient’s contact information, such as their name, surname, fax number, phone number, etc., as well as a short information about the document like the number of pages.
  5. Correctly place the documents in the document feeder trayDial the fax number of the recipient on the fax machine. Depending on what type of fax machine you have, press either the “fax” or “send” button.

Once you do that, each page will be scanned into the fax machine’s memory. After the whole document is scanned, you’ll hear a series of sounds, which basically signal the communication link between the sending and receiving machine. It will take a few minutes for the fax to be sent. If your fax machine is equipped with a small display screen, wait for the confirmation that the sending has been completed. Some fax machines will also print out a short report confirming the completion of faxing.


Receiving a fax is almost as easy as sending a fax, if not easier. Here is a step-by-step guide to receiving a fax:

  1. Make sure that your fax machine is connected to a power source and a working phone jack – it can either be a regular telephone line or a dedicated fax line. The type doesn’t really matter, as long as the sender has the correct fax or phone number.
  2. Ensure that there is enough ink in the fax machine’s toner cartridge – usually, you should be able to tell that the ink is low. Some modern fax machines also send out an alert.
  3. Make sure that the paper tray contains enough paper. To avoid paper jams from happening, run your thumb along the bottom of the paper – this will separate individual pages. This practice is also known as fanning the paper.
  4. If you have the fax machine and the phone on the same line, the phone will ring at some point. Let it ring, don’t answer it.
  5. Wait for the series of sounds confirming the connection between two fax machines.
  6. Your fax machine will automatically print out the document.
  7. Check the cover sheet to make sure that you received all the pages you were supposed to. If the documents are important, it’s good to call the sender to confirm that you received them.


Because of new technology, and the availability of businesses offering online fax services, fax machines are not as commonly used as they used to be. However, it can definitely come in handy to know how to use one. In an office setting especially, knowledge about how to use a fax machine is greatly appreciated.

You don’t need to be an expert who understands every feature on the device – just the how-to of receiving and sending a fax should be enough.

If you aren’t a fan of traditional fax machines but still would like to use the advantages of faxing, FaxBurner is the way to go. This mobile fax app eliminates the need for a fax machine, and uses email and/or your smartphone instead. The mobile app is easy to use, reliable, and secure. – and let’s not forget that it lets you save your files in the cloud, and pull documents from Dropbox or even your computer camera.

Receive and send documents from wherever, whenever,, without a fax line, just by using your phone!