How to Hook Up a Fax Machine

How to Hook Up a Fax Machine. Fax machines have become an essential part of our business and personal lives. Today, phone directories even have fax number listings. If you have just purchased a fax machine or just want to re-locate an existing one, read on to learn how to hook it up.

Locate your fax machine's telephone jacks and AC power cord connection. Typically, these are all located in the rear or on the side of the machine. If your fax machine still has break-off tabs protecting the telephone jacks, carefully pry them out of the slots.

Run your incoming telephone line from the phone wall jack and plug it into the telephone jack that is labeled "L" or "LINE."

Install an answering machine or extension telephone line by plugging its cord into the second jack that is labeled "TEL." If you would like to install both, connect the answering machine to the fax and then connect the extension telephone line to the answering machine.

Connect your power cord into the fax machine's power connector. Plug the other end into a grounded electrical outlet.

Hook up your computer if desired. To do this, locate the USB port that is situated in the rear of to the side of the fax machine. Plug in a USB cord and connect the other end into your computer's USB.

Turn on the power. Once you hear the dial tone, your fax machine is ready for use.


  • If your fax doesn't differentiate between a fax and a voice call, get a fax switch to route the call to the proper device. If you have a multi-function fax machine, it may come with a serial port for your printer. You will need to purchase a serial cable separately to hook up the printer to your fax machine.


  • For optimal performance, hook up your telephone line directly to the fax machine rather than through a splitter or router.

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