To set up a computer as a fax server, you need one or more fax devices attached to the computer. When the Fax Server role is installed, these fax devices are automatically detected, and a local fax printer connection is created on the computer in the Printers folder in Control Panel, if one does not exist. (Or, you can add a device later after you install the Fax Server role. For instructions, see Install and Share a Fax Printer for Network Users.) This fax printer represents all the fax devices attached to the computer. If you share and publish this fax printer, remote users can connect to this fax server to send and receive faxes with your fax devices.


Fax works with analog fax modems. Using ISDN modems with Fax is not tested or supported by Microsoft.

The allowed number of fax modem devices for Windows Server 2008 R2 is as follows:

Operating System Modem Device Limit

Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard


Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise, Windows Server 2008 R2 Datacenter

No limit (from the Fax service)

Windows Web Server 2008 R2



After the Fax Server role is installed, sharing is not enabled by default.

On the versions of the operating system that support more than one modem device, you can configure the modems to send faxes simultaneously. By default, all modems are part of the All devices group. When sending a fax message, the Fax service applies the outgoing routing rule to select which device group to use to send a fax message. By default, all outbound fax messages are sent by the modems in the All devices group.

After applying the outgoing routing rule, the Fax service selects the first available device in the device group that is enabled for sending to use to send the fax message. Fax messages with more than one destination can be sent simultaneously if the device group contains more than one device that is enabled for sending. The Fax service queues fax messages to the same destination even if the device group contains more than one device that is send enabled.

In addition, after you install the Fax Server role, fax devices are enabled by default for sending, but not for receiving—you must specifically enable them to receive.

All fax devices with the Fax Server role installed appear in the left pane of Fax Service Manager at Fax\Devices and Providers\Devices. You can use Fax Service Manager to configure the device settings, including device description and transmission settings, and to monitor the status of devices.


Fax Service Providers, which manage devices and specify how faxes are processed, are listed in Fax Service Manager at Fax\Devices and Providers\Providers. This list is read-only. Without a Fax Service Provider, faxes cannot be sent or received. Microsoft Modem Device Provider is the default provider. This provider sends and receives using analog fax modems that meet the universal modem (Unimodem) driver standard.

Non-Microsoft Fax Service Providers can integrate additional services into the Fax service. Each provider manages its own set of devices and configuration settings. Property pages and dialog boxes that are displayed in Fax Service Manager are different for different Fax Service Providers.

Additional considerations

  • To configure Fax components, including registering and unregistering Fax Service Providers, 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