Overview of Fax Server and Fax Service Manager

Applies To: Windows Server 2008

You can use a fax server to configure fax devices to enable the users in your network to send and receive faxes. On a computer running Windows Server 2008, you must install the Fax Server role, available from Server Manager, to create a fax server and install Fax Service Manager and the Fax service.

Once you have created a fax server, you can use Fax Service Manager to do the following:

  • Configure fax devices

  • Manage users

  • Set up routing policies for incoming faxes

  • Set up rules for outbound faxes to specific device groups

  • Set up archiving of faxes that have been previously sent or received

  • Configure logging to track the use of fax resources

Fax users can then send, receive, and manage faxes by using a network fax device managed by the fax server.

If your users are using computers running certain versions of Windows Vista, they can send and receive faxes using Windows Fax and Scan.

Fax components

Key fax-related components in Windows Server 2008 include:

  • Fax Server role. You must install the Fax Server role from Server Manager to create a fax server, install Fax Service Manager, and install the Fax service. For instructions, see Install the Fax Server Role.

    Once you install the Fax Server role, you can access a role page in Server Manager that provides a single point from which you can view fax events, view status information for the Fax service, and access resources and additional information for fax servers. To access this page, in Server Manager, click Roles, and then click Fax Server. The role page appears in the right pane.

  • Windows Fax and Scan. Users who are using computers running Windows Vista® Business, Windows Vista® Enterprise, Windows Vista® Ultimate, and Windows Server 2008 can send a fax using the Windows Fax and Scan feature—either using a fax device attached locally or a fax server. To access this feature on Windows Server 2008, you must install Desktop Experience, which is available from Server Manager. On a fax server, you can use Windows Fax and Scan to send faxes and also to monitor the incoming fax queue, the inbox, and the outbox.


Users who are using computers running versions of Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 can send a fax using Fax Console. For more information about how to use Fax Console and manage fax servers in earlier versions of Windows, see http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=90750.

For more information about using Windows Fax and Scan to send and receive faxes, see Windows Fax and Scan on the Windows Help and How-to site ([http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=90751](http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=90751)). For more information about using this feature to view fax activity, see [Managing Incoming Faxes](cc754011\(v=ws.10\).md) and [Managing Outgoing Faxes](cc725928\(v=ws.10\).md).  
  • Fax service. After you install the Fax Server role, the Fax service appears in the Services snap-in and you can start or stop the service directly from there or from the Fax Server role page in Server Manager.

  • Fax Service Manager. Fax Service Manager, a Microsoft Management Console (MMC) snap-in, provides a central administration point for configuring and managing your fax resources. Once you install the Fax Server role, you can access Fax Service Manager from Server Manager by clicking Roles, clicking Fax Server, and then clicking Fax. You can also access this tool by adding it to an MMC console.

Hardware and software considerations

All of the fax-related components discussed in the previous section are available in all versions of Windows Server 2008 and are compatible with the basic system requirements for this operating system. To plan for capacity, use performance counters, testing in the lab, data from existing hardware in a production environment, and pilot rollouts to determine the capacity needed for your server.


A limited set of server roles is available for the Server Core installation option of Windows Server 2008 and for Windows Server 2008 for Itanium-Based Systems.

Additional resources