Fax Server Role

Applies To: Windows Server 2008

By using a fax server, you can manage shared fax resources. This topic discusses what you can do with a fax server, the required and optional features of a fax server, and hardware and software used for running fax servers. It also explains how to install the Fax Server role and how to open Fax Service Manager to work with fax servers.

What does the Fax Server role do?

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 the Windows Server® 2008 operating system, you must install the Fax Server role, which is available from Server Manager, to create a fax server and install the Fax service and Fax Service Manager.

Once you have created a fax server, you can use the server 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 that is managed by the fax server.

Who will be interested in this role?

IT professionals who are interested in providing fax functionality for their organizations using Windows Server 2008 should set up a fax server.

What functionality does this role provide?

Key fax-related features in Windows Server 2008 include:

  • Fax Server role. The Fax Server role itself is new in Windows Server 2008. You must install the Fax Server role from Server Manager to create a fax server, install Fax Service Manager, and install the Fax service.

    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 operating systems can send a fax using the new feature Windows Fax and Scan—either using a fax device attached locally or a fax server. To access this feature in 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 faxes in Windows XP, 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)).  
  • 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 is a Microsoft Management Console (MMC) snap-in that 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.

  • Fax user accounts. Windows Server 2008 provides fax-related user accounts for more privacy and better 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. 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 setting, as soon as a user connects to the fax server, the account is automatically created. Or, if you want to have a 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 have disabled the setting and a user tries to connect to the server without having an account already, the connection will be denied.

Is this role available in all editions of Windows Server 2008?

All of the fax-related components are available in all versions and editions of Windows Server 2008 and are compatible with the basic system requirements for this operating system.

Additional references

  • For more information about setting up and managing a fax server, see http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=91054.

  • To learn more about the Fax Server role and Fax Service Manager, you can view the Help on your server. To do this, open Fax Service Manager as described in the previous section and press F1.