Why My Fax Fails to be Sent

how to fax multiple pages

Figuring out how a fax machine works don’t require a master’s degree. Even so, problems can occur unexpectedly! At some point, your fax machine may stop sending faxes from time to time. Without basic troubleshooting knowledge, you could end up not knowing what to do. Situations like fax not working can be troublesome, especially if you have urgent faxing errands. Not only that, but you could also end up spending more on simple repairs that you could have done yourself. The good news is you don’t need to be an expert to fix some common fax issues.

Why does my fax fail to be sent?

It’s very important to understand the causes of an email delivery failure in order to keep all your messages able to reach their destinations. We can distinguish the main reasons why an email fails to be delivered.


The simplest case for fax failure is when you get a bounce. For instance, the recipient’s address is full (a soft bounce: just wait and re-send) or worst, or it’s non-existent (a hard bounce: you need to remove the account from your list). In this case, you simply receive an email from the incoming server – like the usual “Mailer-Daemon” or “Postmaster” alerts – informing you that the message has been discarded.

Malware attack

What if you receive a “Mail Delivery Failure” notification for messages you did not send at all? It may well be that you’ve been under a malware attack: a virus is using your account to send spam emails – and that explains the origin of all the bounces you’ve got. The actual cause can be either a worm virus (run immediately your anti-virus) or the so-called spoofing: a spammer pretending to be you employing your address name. As it’s quite difficult to avoid this kind of problem, you should consider getting an email authentication.

SMTP issues

A message can always be blocked by an anti-spam filter thus being unable to reach the recipient’s inbox – even if it exists, it has plenty of space, and you have obeyed all best practices of a newsletter campaign (an opt-in list, a perfectly crafted layout, no spammy words in the subject…). That may depend on your SMTP server: if the reputation of its sending IP is particularly low, or even put on a blacklist, the recipient can refuse to accept the message, which gets rejected. And the worst detail is that you will know nothing of that.

So using a normal free SMTP server can drastically reduce your delivery rate because it relies on generic, non-monitored IPs; on the contrary, if you rely on a professional server like turbo SMTP your emails will be sent using only guaranteed IPs, and with proper authentication, thus maximizing the capacity of every message to reach the correct inbox.

The connection issues

The connection was interrupted: jobs can sometimes fail because the receiving party disconnects, there’s a carrier outage, or because of other connection issues. Again, it’s helpful to be working with the right tools, which can reattempt transmission and notify the sender if the problem persists. If disconnects are common, you should look to the overall quality of the connection as a possible root cause.

Some Basic Troubleshooting Tips

Performing basic troubleshooting when your fax machine is not working is ideal for fixing common issues. Speaking of which, here are five steps you can follow for troubleshooting common fax issues.

Check the connection.

If you are having issues sending faxes despite dialing the correct fax number, the problem could be connectivity related. If this is the case, double-check the connection. Properly connect the phone cable to the fax machine and check if there is a dial tone. If there are other devices connected to your phone, remove them and restart your machine.

Another aspect to check is whether your telephone network blocks overseas faxing. If sending local fax works fine yet you’re having issues sending international fax, try to contact your telephone carrier.

Clean your machine.

A dirty fax machine could result in several issues that usually affect the scan and print quality. Cleaning your machine’s ADF and corona wires can help fix problems related to poor print or scan quality. When cleaning your fax machine, make sure to turn it off your fax machine first. Unplug all cables and remove the power cord from the power source.

Check the ink or toner cartridge. Do a test print.

If you find your fax not working with received faxes appearing blotchy or smudgy, the issue could be related to a leaking or dripping cartridge. In this case, do a test print first. You can use various online faxing tools to send a free test fax. Once you’ve confirmed that your machine is the one having issues, replace your cartridges and carefully clean the cartridge slots.

Check the ADF of your fax machine.

If you find your fax not working with frequent paper jams, this issue is most likely caused by a broken, worn out, or dirty ADF (automatic document feeder). Try cleaning the ADF roller and see if it can fix the problem. If cleaning doesn’t help, you may need to replace the worn-out parts. You can check with your machine manufacturer for parts replacement.

Change or update your fax machine settings.

Sometimes, issues related to your fax not working could be due to wrong machine settings. In this case, you may need to correct or update your machine settings to fix the problem.

If you’re having issues receiving a fax, you could check your machine’s receive mode settings. The proper settings for your fax machine will vary per model. Refer to your machine’s troubleshooting documentation to get the problem fixed.

Final Thoughts

Finding your fax not working is not an enjoyable occurrence. It’s best to stay level-headed so you can determine the problem and come up with a possible solution. Moreover, common faxing issues aren’t that difficult to fix. There are also lots of free online resources that you can refer to for help. If you still can’t find a fix despite trying your best, then that’s the time to start seeking repair options. While you’re at it, you might as well look for alternative faxing solutions like an online fax service.

A Hassle-Free Solution to Your Common Fax Problems

Is fax not working? Try faxing online with Dingtone Fax! You can experience convenient online faxing with no maintenance cost and don’t need to troubleshoot common fax machine issues. With Dingtone Fax, you can send and receive fax online without ever needing a fax machine or a phone line!

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