Last Updated on April 20, 2020

If your computer came with a fax modem, all you need to use it as a fax machine is a telephone line. Learning how to fax using a PC is not that hard, but setting up the faxing function can be a bit tricky. This is a quick setup guide to help you through, in case you didn’t manage to find the info in Microsoft’s Help files. I would have wanted to take screenshots of the fax setup process, but the computer I’m using now doesn’t have a fax modem. However, I still remember the steps from my laptop, which I’ve used as a fax machine for quite a long while in those times when people were more used to faxes than emails.

Setting Up Fax In Windows XP

What you need:

  • The computer with Windows XP installed: this is easy to check, because it’s written on your screen when the computer starts
  • The Windows XP installation CD
  • The fax modem included in the computer: in order to discover if you have it or not, check your computer’s documentation. If you lost it, just look to see if your computer has a telephone line plug.
  • A telephone line
  • A connection cable to connect your modem to the telephone line socket

For setting up faxing, first of all connect the modem to the telephone line with the cable, then go to Start -> Control Panel -> Printers and Faxes. Here, on the left sidebar, click on Set up faxing (the second option counting from top to bottom), then follow the instructions on the screen.

If the previous step went smoothly, go to Start -> All Programs -> Accessories -> Communications -> Fax -> Fax console. Here you’ll be asked to configure the cover page for your faxes, plus other details. It’s a Wizard type of program, so all you need is follow the instructions.

How To Set Up Faxing In Vista

Basically you need the same elements as in the previous case. Make sure that the phone line is analog, because digital ones can’t be used for sending and receiving fax transmissions.

After you connect the computer to the telephone line, click on the Start orb, then go to All Programs, then to Windows Fax and Scan. Click on Fax, then select New Fax from the toolbar menu. This will enter the wizard, so from here you just need to follow the instructions on the screen.

In Vista, you can scan a document or a photo, then send it by fax with only a few clicks. It’s simple and all you have to pay attention to is to enter the recipient’s fax number correctly. Other than that, you need first to open the Scan function which is at Start -> All Programs -> Windows Fax and Scan -> Scan. Then, if you already have the scanned document, you choose Forward as Fax. If you need to scan it, you choose Fax from Scanner.