You can specify whether incoming fax calls are answered automatically by a fax device or manually when an incoming fax call is detected. (For instructions, see Enable a Fax Device to Receive.) Then, when an incoming fax is received by a fax device, it is routed to the incoming fax queue.

Incoming fax queue

You can control incoming fax jobs handled by the Fax service by disabling the reception of faxes into the incoming fax queue. This queue is the collective queue for all receiving fax devices that are managed by the fax server—it corresponds to the Incoming folder. Fax administrators have full control over the incoming fax queue. Users who are not members of the Administrators group need to be assigned permissions to view or manage the incoming fax queue.

A fax remains in the incoming fax queue until it is received successfully and routed in accordance with the policy specified by the fax administrator. Only then is it moved to the inbox. If a fax is not routed successfully for some reason, it remains in the incoming fax queue until it is deleted manually—or it is handled in accordance with the automatic deletion policy that you have configured for the fax queue. If the reception of a fax is stopped while being received, but a portion of the fax is successfully received, the fax is assigned the Partially received status and is moved to the Inbox folder.

Then, if archiving is enabled for incoming faxes, faxes are moved to the archive.

You can view the Incoming and Inbox folders by using Windows Fax and Scan. To open Windows Fax and Scan, click Start, click All Programs, and then click Windows Fax and Scan.

Incoming fax routing methods

Administrators can configure incoming fax routing methods to route incoming faxes to recipients on the network. In Fax Service Manager, there are incoming fax routing extensions that are global (applied to all devices) and others that are associated with just individual fax devices. For global methods, you can set the priority order in which they are applied to an incoming fax. Non-Microsoft vendors can extend the global methods for incoming faxes. Extensions could include, for example, converting incoming files to specific file formats. For more information about extending routing methods, see

Individual incoming fax routing methods are configured per device. After a method is configured, it can then be enabled or disabled. More than one incoming fax routing method can be applied to incoming faxes, and if a method is disabled, the device skips that method and processes the incoming fax in order of global-level priority. A disabled incoming fax routing method appears with an icon (an arrow pointing down) over it in the right pane.


If you decide to not configure inbound routing, if you have enabled archiving, incoming faxes will always be moved to the inbox. For instructions for enabling archiving, see Configuring Fax Archiving.

The following default incoming fax routing methods can be configured and prioritized:

  • Route through e-mail. Specify the e-mail address for receiving incoming faxes. To change SMTP server or authentication settings, use Fax Service Manager for configuring delivery receipts for sent faxes.

  • Store in a folder. Specify the local or network path of the folder to which a copy of incoming faxes will be saved. If you choose this method, make sure that the folder you use has access to the Network Service account.

  • Print. Specify the Universal Naming Convention (UNC) path of the printer location (\\<network_location>\<printername>) to which incoming faxes will be printed.

Additional considerations

  • To configure Fax components, you must be a member of the Administrators group or you must have been delegated the appropriate authority.

  • To open Fax Service Manager, click Start, point to Administrative Tools, and then click Fax Service Manager.

Additional references