Windows Fax and Scan

Windows Fax and Scan is an integrated faxing and scanning application included in some versions of the Windows Vista operating system and all versions of Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 10. Windows XP includes Fax Console instead.[1] The software is not compatible with T.38 technology and cannot be used for internet faxes.[2]

Windows Fax and Scan
Windows Fax and Scan in Windows 8.1
Included with
ReplacesFax Services
TypeElectronic faxing and scanning application


With Windows Fax and Scan users with computers that have fax modems can send and receive faxes, and fax scanned documents. Without a fax modem, users can email scanned documents and forward faxes as email attachments from their computer. WFS supports one-click scanning of documents from locally connected scanners, network-connected scanners and multifunction devices. Even though this can be used for most types of documents, WFS is optimized for scanning, viewing and storing text documents.[3]

WFS is available in Windows Vista Ultimate and as an optional component in Windows Vista Enterprise. WFS is not available on Vista Home or Vista Home Premium. It is also available in all versions of Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2012.[4]

Windows Fax and Scan was ported to the Windows Store in June 2016 and is available in Windows 10 build 14372 or later. As such, it can now be updated without updates to the core Windows operating system. It is currently assigned build number and it looks identical to the original version, but it has a slightly different tile on the Start menu and may receive further updates in the future. If this version is decoupled from the registry, it will provide faster Windows startup times and better resist system degradation.


The Fax View of WFS is an enhancement of the Fax Services component which was an installable option in the Windows XP operating system. New features include a fax account model, improved composition features, the ability to save faxes in composition as drafts, and a preview pane. It is also possible to right click on a file and send it as a fax. To send and receive faxes users can create either a local fax modem account to use a locally attached fax-capable modem or a shared fax server account to use a network fax server.[5] The Windows Fax and Scan software is not an internet fax application. Therefore, it must be used with an analog phone line.[6]


The Scan View of WFS has a user interface to manage scanned documents. It allows the creation, renaming and moving of folders from a single view. The preview pane shows documents scanned. Users can create profiles for particular scanners and save them for future scanning, and can directly route the scanned documents to their mailboxes after configuring the mail settings. The 'Fax from Scanner' feature allows directly faxing the document from the scanner.

Beyond the basic capabilities, is a step towards Unified Messaging, in bringing together the management of related media like faxes, emails, digital documents, etc.[4]

See also


  1. "Overview of Fax Server and Fax Service Manager". Microsoft. 2009. Archived from the original on 2009-02-25. Retrieved 2009-01-22.
  2. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-01-06. Retrieved 2012-01-04.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. Windows Photo Gallery is better suited for scanning photos and pictures and can store them in the Pictures folder.
  4. Brien M. Posey (September 12, 2006). "Why Windows Vista's Fax and Scan is Worth Paying Attention to". Windows Networking. TechGenix Ltd. Archived from the original on August 18, 2010. Retrieved June 28, 2010.
  5. Harvey, Greg (2007). Windows Vista for Dummies Quick Reference. Wiley Publishing. p. 122. ISBN 0-471-78326-9.
  6. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-01-06. Retrieved 2012-01-04.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

Further reading

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