Frequently Asked Questions

Question of the day

Windows 10 up-to-date information.

Program requirements and supported connections

Creating faxes

Sending Faxes

Receiving Faxes


Changing computers, changing Windows versions

Other technical

Purchasing questions, serial number questions

Q: I purchased EssentialFax but have lost my serial number - can you look it up for me?

Please use our Serial Number Lookup Request form.
Q: Where do I enter my serial number?

Start EssentialFax, and look under the Help menu for the "Enter Serial Number" command. Click that, and follow the directions.

If you need more help, please see our visual guide for entering the serial number.
Q: What are the Program Requirements? (what do I need in order to use EssentialFax?)

Program requirements:
  • For the Standard version of EssentialFax, you need to be using Windows Vista, Windows XP or Windows 7.
  • For the Windows 8 or 10 version of EssentialFax, you'll need either Windows 8 or 10 (Windows RT is not supported)
  • A dialup faxmodem and telephone line.
  • The faxmodem must be a local faxmodem, not a shared network faxmodem

Q: Can I use most Windows programs to create and send a fax?

Yes. Most Windows programs use a standard way of printing. To create a fax, create your document in the program, and then print it and select the EssentialFax Printer as the printer. For more information, please see the article Using the Essential Fax printer driver to create a new fax

There are three exceptions to this that we are aware of:  there are some older copies of Quicken, Quickbooks, and Paperport , which cannot print to the EssentialFax Printer. If you want to use print-to-fax with these programs, please test it out first.

Q: Where can I read more information about creating faxes?

Please see this technical article about Creating New Faxes

Q: Can I create faxes with my scanner?

Yes you can - that is built right in to the EssentialFax program. Please see the article Create a fax using your scanner

Q: The printer driver has stopped working - where can I find the Printer Driver Repair Tool?

Please see this article about Running the Printer Driver Repair Tool

Q: Can I create a single page fax with EssentialFax, without scanning or printing? In other words, a simple cover sheet?

Yes. You can use a cover sheet by itself for a simple "cover sheet fax". Please see the article Creating a quick fax using just a cover sheet and a short message

Q: Is EssentialFax a service? Are there ongoing fees?

EssentialFax is not a service, it is simply a software program. There are no ongoing fees, just the one time purchase fee.

Think of it as a fax machine that has been made into software. It works much the same way. You need a faxmodem and telephone line to dial out on. Phone costs including long distance are your responsibility. or DSL?

* note: We do not charge upgrade fees for minor version changes, however a small upgrade fee may be charged for major program upgrades, or for upgrades to accommodate new versions of Windows.

Q: I purchased a version of EssentialFax for Windows 7, Windows XP or Windows Vista. Do I have to pay for the Windows 8/10 version??

Yes. Because of the very large amount of time and expense needed to produce a Windows 8 version of EssentialFax, a separate license purchase is needed. This license works for both Windows 8 and Windows 10.

Q: Can I use EssentialFax with VOIP services such as Vonage, Magicjack, Skype etc?

Unfortunately, telephone services known as VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) are usually not reliable for faxing. For detailed information about this, please read this article.

Q: Do I get a fax number for receiving faxes?

As with a fax machine, you must provide the phone service and phone number. Essential Fax just communicates with your modem, which in turn is plugged into your telephone line. Think of it as a fax machine that has been made into software. The fax number, as with a fax machine, is the phone number of whatever outlet you are plugged into.

Q: Can I use one telephone line for both voice and fax?

Yes, but not both at once.

EssentialFax is not able to send or receive faxes while the telephone line is in use, nor can it differentiate between incoming voice calls or fax calls. This is just like a fax machine, which can only send or receive faxes while the phone line is free.

Q: Does EssentialFax use an internet connection?

No. EssentialFax works directly with the modem. It does not use your internet connection. EssentialFax dials out on your telephone line, just like a fax machine.

Q: Can I receive faxes when the computer is off,  or when EssentialFax is not running?

Unlike email which is stored by your Internet Service Provider until you retrieve it, the telephone company does not provide any capability to store incoming faxes until retrieved. To receive a fax, the computer must be on, and the program must be running in Receive mode. The computer cannot be in "sleep" mode.

Q: Can I schedule faxes to be sent at a later time?

Not at this time.

Q: Does EssentialFax support sending faxes in batches?

Yes.  Select the faxes you wish to send, and click the Send button. Please note that this is different from broadcasting or "blasting" faxes - sending the same fax to a group of people or to the entire phonebook. EssentialFax does not support broadcast faxing.

Q: Does EssentialFax support sending the same fax to a group of people (also known as broadcasting or fax blasting)?

Not at this time.  For small jobs (under 100 recipients), you can use the Clone feature (see slideshow) to create exact duplicates of a fax - one each for a list of recipients you select. This method actually gives you far more control over the sending and monitoring of each recipient. For more detailed information please see the Creating copies of faxes using the Clone method article

Q: Can EssentialFax work on a network so that several people can use it?

No. It requires a local modem, and the software may not be shared. This also applies to sharing the printer driver - the printer driver may not be used as a shared printer.

Q: Can EssentialFax forward received faxes via email?

EssentialFax does not offer automatic forwarding to email or other email capabilities at this time. However you can easily export a fax as a PDF or TIF file using EssentialFax, and attach it to an email message using your regular email program

Q: Can I print reports of faxes sent?

EssentialFax keeps a log of each transmission attempt - whether sending or receiving, successful or not. Reports of faxes sent can be generated from this log. There are plenty of sorting and filtering options available. For a visual, please see the Fax Transmission Logs slideshow.

Q: Can EssentialFax import files and faxes from RKS Fax?

Yes it can. More information can be found this page

Q: Can EssentialFax import files and faxes from Winfax?

EssentialFax can import your WinFax phonebook. More information can be found this page

Q: Can EssentialFax import files and faxes from MightyFax?

Yes it can, for version 3 or above. More information can be found this page

Q: I need to move EssentialFax to a new computer - how do I do that?

Please see this guide

Q: I'm upgrading my version of Windows - what do I need to do with EssentialFax?

Please see this guide

Q: Is there a complete list of what EssentialFax can and cannot do?

Yes - please see the complete list of capabilities on this page.

Windows 8 and 10 Latest FAQ

Q: Will my EssentialFax for Windows 8 serial number work with Essentialfax for Windows 10???


If you have a question that is not answered here, feel free to send us an email. For technical questions, email and for purchase or upgrade related questions, send email to