How to Install a Fax Machine to a Computer

John Walker

Modern technology allows for every convenience of the office to be built into a home computer. Adding a fax machine to a computer is a simple process that requires a phone line, modem and a multi-function printer. Basic fax machines cannot be connected to a computer unless the fax machine has printer capabilities and a standard printer hookup. The hardest part of enabling your computer to send faxes direct from the computer is installing the proper software.

The most basic scanners are capable of operating as a fax machine.
  1. Turn the computer off and disconnect the power cable. Open up the computer tower by removing the screws holding the side or shell of the computer. The screws are located on the back of the tower. The shell or side cover lifts straight off of the tower.

  2. Install the modem card, following directions included with the purchase of the modem. Skip this step if your computer already has an available modem installed. Reattach the shell or cover and plug the computer back into the wall.

  3. Connect the modem to the wall phone jack with a standard telephone cable.

  4. Install the all-in-one printer, which has capabilities of printing, scanning and faxing, following the directions included with the printer. Basic installation requires connecting the printer cable to the printer and to the computer through a parallel port, which is a 2-inch long port with multiple holes, or through a USB cable followed by connecting the power supply.

  5. Turn the computer on and install the software for the modem and printer. Both devices come with installation disks that automatically run when inserted into your CD-ROM drive. Follow the on-screen prompts to complete the installation of the software.

  6. Open the "FAX" console on the computer. Windows users click "Start," then "Control Panel," and then "Add/Remove Windows Components." Select the "Fax Services" section and click "Next" to begin the installation of the fax machine.

    Mac computers have the fax service included with the initial download of the operating system.

  7. Send a fax by selecting the fax option under the "Print" pop-up menu for Windows or the "PDF" option for Mac users. Receive a fax by opening the fax console from the "Start" menu located under "Applications" for Windows users and the "Print and Fax" submenu of the "System Preferences" menu for Mac users.