User accounts and user groups

Fax provides fax-related user accounts for privacy and management of faxes. Users can use accounts for accessing different types of fax services such as the local fax modem and a fax server.

Your users must have an account to be able to access a fax server running Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2008 R2. You can configure a fax server so that when a user uses Windows Fax and Scan for the first time to send a fax, an account is automatically created. If you use this option, as soon as a user connects to the fax server, the account is created. If you want to have tighter control on the users connecting to the fax server, you can disable this setting, in which case you must manually create the user accounts for all the users who need to access the fax server. If you do this, if a user tries to connect to the server without having an account already, the connection will be denied. By default, the setting to create accounts is enabled so fax accounts are created automatically for members of the NT Users group when they connect to the fax server for the first time.

There are two user groups that you can use to provide access to a fax server: Fax Users and Fax Routing Assistants. Members of the Fax Users group can use your fax server to send and receive faxes. Members of the Fax Routing Assistants group can view the Inbox folder of the fax server to route faxes to the intended recipient. You can specify to allow every fax user to access to the inbox on the fax server, which minimizes management. Or you can designate that only certain users have access to the inbox.

You can configure and add members to these groups when you install the Fax Server role, or you can do this task later using Local Users and Computers. While you can grant access to the Fax service to user accounts individually using Fax Service Manager, you should use Local Users and Groups to add new users to Fax Users or Fax Routing Assistants.

The Fax service stores all received faxes in the fax server’s inbox. During the installation of the Fax Server role, you configure which user accounts can access the inbox. The default setting is to grant access only to users in the Fax Routing Assistants group, (which includes, by default, Administrators). This means that only the members of the Fax Routing Assistants group will be able to view the contents of the inbox and they must reassign the faxes to a member of the Fax Users group. Members of the Fax Users group can see only the faxes that have been assigned to them.


Fax Routing Assistants can read the contents of fax messages before they are reassigned. For this reason, the members of the Fax Routing Assistants group should be trusted.


After a fax message has been reassigned, a member of the Fax Routing Assistants group cannot change the assignment. Also, the Fax service does not keep a record of which member of the Fax Routing Assistants group reassigned a particular fax message.

Members of the Fax Routing Assistants group can reassign fax messages received from fax clients on computers running Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows Server 2008, or Windows Server 2008 R2 by connecting to the fax server from Windows Vista or Windows 7. (To do this, open Windows Fax and Scan, click Tools, click Fax Accounts, and click Add, and then follow the instructions in Fax Setup. Then, when you right-click an unassigned fax in the Inbox folder, you can click Reassign to forward the faxes to the appropriate users.)

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 Windows Fax and Scan, click Start, point to All Programs, and then click Windows Fax and Scan.

Additional references