How to Answer a Fax

Do not pick up the phone handset when a fax is incoming.
Do not pick up the phone handset when a fax is incoming. (Image: fax image by Attila Toro from

Faxing allows individuals and businesses to send and receive hard copies of documents but many people do not know what to do when a fax arrives. There are different types of faxes that you can receive. Some of these come through your email box and others arrive via a facsimile machine connected and attached to a telephone line. Mastering the receipt of faxes will keep you from losing crucial files during busy times in your home or office.

Things You'll Need

  • Fax machine
  • Phone cord
  • Copy or fax paper

Fax Machine

Plug the fax machine into the electrical socket. Attach the fax to the phone line via a phone cord.

Set the fax machine to the “Fax” setting by scrolling through the menu on the fax’s display screen.

Load fax or copy paper into the fax machine.

Listen for the incoming fax. A high-pitched ringing coming through your fax’s speaker will signal the fax’s arrival. You can adjust the volume of the ringing to suit your volume preference. Select “Volume” on the menu. Adjust the volume by moving the “Volume” tab up and down.

Look at the fax display when you hear the fax ringing. It will read, “Receiving” or “Incoming Fax.” Wait for the fax to print your hard copy of the facsimile.

Email Fax

Click on the “Fax” icon on your desktop. Depending on your fax service, you may need to check into your company’s email inbox.

Select the fax you wish to print from the queue.

Select the “Print” prompt and wait for the printer to print the fax.

Tips & Warnings

  • Send a return fax to the original sender notifying them that you received the fax. A phone call is also a courteous gesture.
  • Do not pull or tug on the fax while it is printing.

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