How to Fax from Printer – A Step by Step Guide

By Arindam Roy

How to Fax from Printer

Step 1 – Find out your printer’s make and model. The quickest way to find this is to go to the control panel on your printer and look for a sticker that says what make and model it is.

Step 2 – Identify the type of fax or fax-capable machine you have. If you have an “all-in-one” with printing, scanning, copying, etc., then you most likely already have an all-in-one fax machine built in (you might also see some kind of symbols on the outside of the printer like a line going from right to left). If you have a separate fax machine that requires an outlet for the printer, then see the section below called “Product Type” for this fax.

Step 3 – If you have the right model or make of printer, find the fax icon on the control panel on your printer. (If you don’t know _if_ your printer has a fax icon, look closer – there’s a chance it’s there.) The easiest way to change from one function to another is by pressing and holding down this button. Then select the menu option that says “fax” and your preference will be displayed as long as it’s enabled.


If you have a “phone” icon, then it’s most likely a phone-fax. This is not recommended for sending faxes, and it is in fact illegal in the United States to use this to send or receive faxes. The only reason a phone-fax would be used would be to listen to your voice messages through a fax machine.

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Step 4 – Find “product type.” A product type is either a “Clean Machine” or an “Impact Printer. If you have an “Impact Printer,” it requires a cover sheet. If you have a “Clean Machine” you don’t need anything.

Step 5 – Verify that your paper tray is set to the right product type setting. If your machine is for clean machines, change your paper source to CLEAN PAPER and if it’s for impact printers, change your paper source to the traditional option (make sure there isn’t already a sheet of paper in the machine).

Step 6 – After making sure the printer is prepared, make sure you’re using the right kind of paper: white or any colored paper will work for faxing, but ivory (aka. “photo”) paper is highly recommended. If you have a photo cell, place your photo paper in the correct tray, otherwise if you don’t have a photo cell then put any regular white/colored paper in the slot.

Step 7 – Get yourself some colored paper and find the black ink cartridge. You can only replace this one so many times, so make sure it’s fresh! Additionally, be careful not to mix up “black” and “black ink,” as these are two separate things! If your print head is clogged or not working properly, you can always use an inkjet head cleaning kit or manual.

Step 8 – Turn on your fax machine. Your fax machine will beep to let you know that it’s on, and then a message will say “read device.” The black ink cartridge should be already installed into the machine, or you might need to remove it and replace it with a fresh one. Make sure this is done before trying to print anything!

Step 9 – Open the cover sheet (if you need one). A cover sheet is used for fax machines that aren’t compatible with paper trays and aren’t capable of receiving paper from the front of the printer. If you have a cover sheet, open it and place two sheets of paper into the tray.

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Step 10 – Place your original in the lower tray. If you are using a cover sheet you can place the original on top of that or directly underneath your cover sheet. Close the paper tray (if applicable) and wait to print.

Step 11 – Look at your fax machine’s control panel while it prints to make sure the machine is printing correctly. Once the “paper out” or “jam” light comes on, press this button and see if it will clear itself out or is still stuck in a jam. If this doesn’t work, manually lift up your paper tray and remove any jammed pieces of paper that are in there before resetting it again.

Step 12 – Once you are satisfied that your fax machine is running properly, leave it there to finish printing. You can do this while you’re on the phone, or write down the message that will be printed to paper. You can then fax this to anyone from any phone for free.

Step 13 – When your fax machine is done, certain machines will tell you to remove the paper so that it can eject the sheet of fax paper from the back and destroy it. If your machine doesn’t say anything about paper or anything else, you might have to open up the tray and remember to pull out the paper once it’s printed.

Step 14 – Repeat this process as many times as necessary. You’ll want to print each page twice for quality purposes, but a printer is generally capable of printing two pages on one sheet of paper if necessary. Do not, under any circumstance, try to print more than two pages on a single sheet of paper.

Step 15 – After printing the first page, wait for the machine to drop the paper into your tray and close it. Close the cover sheet (if applicable). You can now remove the original and put it in your fridge or any place that’s cool.

In conclusion, here are some things to remember while using your home fax machine:

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  • Always remove any paper that is stuck in your machine before trying again. There is a small chance that some pieces of paper may have gotten stuck in your printer but not shut off when you wanted them to.
  • Your fax machine will beep when it is done printing. You can now remove the paper and fold it in half with the side containing the original facing your body, The image should be face down so just flip it over once you’ve inserted it into the fax machine to begin transmission.
  • If your fax machine doesn’t receive paper from your cover sheet, manually insert two pieces of paper into the tray before following steps 8-12. This is an important step! You don’t want to try to print a cover sheet and then print a page over top of that with another sheet. This could lead to printer jamming issues down the line.
  • If you think you’re printer is jammed, press the STOP button and unplug it. Wait for the machine to stop printing and then find the jam. This could take up to ten minutes or more, which is time that your fax machine will spend waiting for two pieces of paper to get in before it has another chance to print. Once you’ve found the jam, clear it out and try again using steps 8-12. If this doesn’t work, there are many parts and replacement options online here on our website!
  • If you do not like how your fax machine prints, some printer manufacturers put a document that tells you how to correct this on their machines. If you cannot locate this information, call the manufacturer to find out how to do this.
  • You can always add additional cover sheets if desired. If this is the case, it would be best to have one that is not folded over. This way you can just load your paper and then place them on top of your machine without having to worry about folding them. Another option would be to put them in a separate tray so it will be easier for them to keep from getting mixed up with the other pages.
  • If you are using a fax machine that does not have an auto-document feeder, then you should make sure to test your machine’s fax settings in different situations. The following settings can be used to improve your chances of getting a good fax:

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The speed dial and number page should be set at the name page and phone number.

If you are using a cordless phone, try making sure that the other party is not in line. This will ensure that the call is not interrupted by another call coming through before it has had time to go through.

Make sure that the line is not busy by calling it first before sending your fax.

Try sending the fax from the machine’s cradle whenever possible. Every time you do this, you will be sure that you have a good connection to the nearest line.

Try setting the machine in a different location, such as in a lower traffic area. Try moving it around if it is located in an area where there are high levels of ambient noise or interference.

Before sending your fax, try to make sure that all your settings are correct. When doing this, make sure that your paper tray is empty and that the speed dial and number pages are set correctly. Do not use an overlapping dialing sequence when making a call (start with one digit then press one more digit).

  • There are a number of products available that can help to reduce smudges on your document, including using an ink jet head cleaner.
  • Another issue that basically prevents you from getting a good fax is if the printer is not able to receive paper at all. This will prevent you from receiving any document as it will not be able to deposit it inside the printer. Do not try to print anything with this type of issue, as there are only so many times that your machine can be repaired before it is ultimately unusable.
  • It may be possible for you to manually replace the ink cartridge on your machine with a compatible one. Regardless of whether your machine is a fax or any other type of printer, if you suspect that your ink cartridge isn’t working properly, then you can troubleshoot it yourself by reading our manual.
  • You can also use a third party ink cartridge if the original is not printing correctly. This can definitely help to provide better quality prints than using the original manufacturer’s replacement option. There are many options available here online that will provide compatible cartridges for most any make of printer and fax machine.
  • Finally, some printers require you to put a small piece of paper around the original document. This will help to make sure that you are not printing on the same sheet twice and ensure that it will not jam up inside your printer.

If you have any questions about your own fax machine, then please contact us for help! Our team is experienced with helping people like you troubleshoot all sorts of printer issues, including those that involve fax machines. We can definitely help! All you need to do is complete out contact form and we’ll be able to get back to you as soon as possible.

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