Windows Fax Server has been around for quite some time and is still part of Windows Server 2022. So what does it take to install and configure Windows Fax Server in Windows Server 2022?

The Windows Fax Server is a server role that allows administering, sending, and receiving faxes in an enterprise setting. It provides many of the same benefits we get using other centralized server functions, such as a print server.

Instead of having to install fax machines on client computers with the requisite management, monitoring, and troubleshooting, the Fax Server server role provides shared fax functionality. In this way, you configure the Windows Fax Server server role once and then point end users to the shared fax functionality.

The Fax Server server role includes:

  • Fax Service Manager
  • Windows Fax and Scan
  • Fax printer
  • Fax service

The Fax Service Manager is a Microsoft MMC snap-in that provides centralized administration for configuring your fax resources. The Windows Fax and Scan console enables sending faxes, adding accounts, and monitoring incoming faxes via the fax queue, the inbox, and the outbox.

Install Windows Fax Server ^

Microsoft documents six steps needed to configure and set up a fax server on Windows Server. These include:

  1. Install the Windows Fax Server server role.
  2. Install and share a fax printer.
  3. Add and remove fax devices.
  4. Configure fax devices to send and receive.
  5. Configure fax settings.
  6. Set up user accounts.

Install the Windows Fax Server server role ^

The Fax Server server role is easily added using Server Manager in Windows Server 2022.

Initiating the Fax Server server role installation in Windows Server 2022

Initiating the Fax Server server role installation in Windows Server 2022

When prompted, click Add Features to add the features required for the Fax Server server role.

Add required role features in Windows Server 2022

Add required role features in Windows Server 2022

Review the Fax Server information displayed during the role installation. Next, on the Select role services screen, select the role service to install for Print and Document Services.

Select the Print Server role services

Select the Print Server role services

Confirm the role installation options, and click Install. The Fax Server role, Print and Document Services, and RSAT components for Fax Services administration are added.

Install and share a fax printer ^

If you have not connected a fax device to your local Windows Server 2022 server, a local fax printer connection called Fax is automatically created. If you navigate to Devices and Printers, you will see it listed:

Devices and printers including the default fax device in Windows Server 2022

Devices and printers including the default fax device in Windows Server 2022

You will want to share the fax device with your users, so navigate to the Printer properties and share the printer.

Sharing the default fax device in Windows Server 2022

Sharing the default fax device in Windows Server 2022

Add and remove fax devices ^

The next step is to add and remove fax devices. To do that, open Windows Fax and Scan. Navigate to Tools > Fax Accounts.

Add a fax account in Windows Fax and Scan

Add a fax account in Windows Fax and Scan

Click Add in the Fax Accounts dialog box.

Add a new fax account in Windows Server 2022

Add a new fax account in Windows Server 2022

Select Connect to a fax modem.

Connecting to a fax modem

Connecting to a fax modem

Select a name for the modem, and choose how you want it to receive faxes.

Choose how to receive faxes

Choose how to receive faxes

The new fax modem is listed in the Fax Accounts dialog box.

Fax modem successfully added in Windows Server 2022

Fax modem successfully added in Windows Server 2022

If you open the Fax Service Manager, you should be able to refresh the Devices and see your newly added fax device.

Fax device successfully displayed in the Fax Service Manager

Fax device successfully displayed in the Fax Service Manager

Configure fax devices to send and receive ^

Now you can configure your fax devices to send and receive faxes. In Microsoft Fax Service Manager, right-click your fax device and select Properties. In the properties dialog box, you can select the transmission settings for the fax device.

Configuring fax devices to send and receive

Configuring fax devices to send and receive

Configure fax settings ^

You can configure many different fax settings, including incoming and outgoing routing, email delivery, etc. In particular, many will be interested in Incoming routing, as this directs the Fax Service service in what to do with incoming fax messages.

Fax settings configurable as part of Fax Service Manager

Fax settings configurable as part of Fax Service Manager

In the Incoming Methods configuration, you can decide how you want the fax messages to be routed, including:

  • Route through email
  • Store in a folder
  • Print

If you enable Print, you will be directed to the Print Properties configuration, where you can select the physical printer attached to the server where you want the fax messages to be printed.

Selecting printers for printer routing for Windows Fax Server

Selecting printers for printer routing for Windows Fax Server

To deliver faxes to email, you need to configure the SMTP connection on the Receipts tab of the Fax Properties dialog box. Here, you can configure the from email address, SMTP server address, and any authentication configuration.

Configuring SMTP for email receipt of fax server messages

Configuring SMTP for email receipt of fax server messages

You can also decide the order in which fax messages are routed in the Incoming Routing > Global Methods configuration.

Change the routing order for incoming faxes

Change the routing order for incoming faxes

Set up user accounts ^

To access the fax server running in Windows Server 2022, you need a user account. However, instead of requiring a lot of administrative effort to create accounts, you can configure the Windows Server 2022 fax server to generate the fax user accounts automatically. If you choose, you can also manually create fax accounts by clearing the checkbox and creating user accounts for access.

Auto create accounts on connection in Windows Server fax server

Auto create accounts on connection in Windows Server fax server

Wrapping up ^

The Windows Fax Server role still works well in Windows Server 2022 and is a role and functionality that Microsoft continues to carry forward. Although it doesn't offer all the features of a full-blown third-party solution, it is still good enough, especially for smaller environments.

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As shown, the process of setting up a fax server with Windows Server 2022 is relatively straightforward and mirrors the process required in previous releases of Windows Server.

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