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Cannot Send or Receive Faxes

  • PrintPrint
This document is for the HP Officejet Pro 251dw, 276dw, and 8600 series printers.
The printer cannot send or receive faxes.
Try the following solutions in the order presented to resolve the issue. When one of the solutions resolves the issue, there is no need to continue troubleshooting.

Before you begin: Print a fax test report

Run a fax test report to determine the faxing status on the printer and whether or not it is configured correctly to send and receive faxes.
  1. Load U.S. Letter or A4-sized plain white paper into the tray.
  2. On the printer control panel, touch the Right Arrow ( ).
  3. Touch Setup ( ).
  4. Touch Tools , and then touch Run Fax Test . The printer displays the status of the test, and then prints a report.
  5. Review the report.
    • If the results of the fax test are All Pass , skip to the solution to configure the fax for sending and receiving. .
    • If the fax test indicates that it does not detect a phone line or a dial tone , continue to the next solution to check the fax connections.

Solution one: Check the fax connections

Use the following steps to check the physical connections, and then test the fax.

Step 1: Check the physical connections

  1. Disconnect the telephone cord from the printer, and then examine the connector on the end of the cord. Make sure that the cord has only two wires. If you see four wires, replace the cord with one containing only two wires.
    Figure 1: Example of a two-wire telephone connector
    Image: Example of a two-wire telephone connector
    Example of four-wire telephone connectorImage: Example of four-wire telephone connector
    Important! HP recommends you use the phone cord that came with your printer to connect the printer to the telephone wall jack. Otherwise, you might not be able to fax successfully. This special phone cord has only two copper wires. If you have the cord that shipped with the HP printer and it is long enough, use that cord.
    If you must use a cord with four wires, use a converter. A converter allows a cord with four wires to work with a device that requires a cord with two wires.
  2. Reconnect the telephone cord to the wall jack, and then reconnect the other end of the telephone cord to the port labeled 1-LINE on the rear of the printer.
    Figure 3: Connect the phone cord directly to the wall jack
    Image: Connect the phone cord directly to the wall jack.
    1 - Wall jack
    2 - Two-wire phone cord
  3. Connect a single-line telephone to the 2-EXT port on the rear of the printer.
    NOTE:If other devices need to use the same telephone jack, use the parallel splitter to connect them to the 2-EXT port on the rear of the printer.
    Figure 4: Connect two devices to the 2-EXT port
    Image: Connecting two devices to the 2-EXT port
    1 - Wall jack
    2 - Two-wire phone cord
    3 - Parallel splitter
    4 - Computer
    5 - Single-line telephone
  4. Pick up the telephone receiver, and then listen for a dial tone. Make sure that you can dial out using the telephone keypad.
    • If there is a dial tone and you can dial out using the telephone, the printer is connected correctly to a working telephone cord and telephone jack.
    • If there is no dial tone , check the configuration again and make sure that it is set up correctly.

Step 2: Try to send and receive a fax

Try to send and receive a fax.
Test fax functionality with the HP Fax Test Service
The purpose of the HP Fax Test Service is to find out if a problem exists with sending and receiving faxes with your product. This service is available in the U.S. only . The HP Fax Test Service receives the fax, and then returns the fax to the number contained in the fax header.
NOTE:Non U.S. customers can simply try sending or receiving a fax again from the initial location where it failed to test functionality.
Follow these steps to use the HP Fax Test Service.
  1. Make sure that the fax header contains the full 10-digit telephone number of your HP fax product, including the area code.
    1. On the product control panel, touch the Right Arrow ( ).
    2. Touch Setup ( ).
    3. Touch Fax Setup , and then touch Basic Fax Setup .
    4. Touch Fax Header .
    5. Using the touch keypad, touch the name or company name in the Name or Company field.
    6. Using the touch keypad, touch your fax number in the Fax Number field.
    7. Touch Done .
  2. Send a one-page, black-and-white text fax to 1-888-HPFaxMe (1-888-473-2963). The return fax should arrive within 5 to 7 minutes.
    • If the HP product receives the return fax without any problems, and the failed fax recipient can receive faxes from your product, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
    • If the HP product receives the return fax successfully, but sending still fails intermittently or fails for one recipient, continue to the next solution.
NOTE:For more information about the HP Fax Test Service, go to Testing Your HP Fax Machine with the HP Fax Test Service (in English).

Solution two: Configure the fax for sending and receiving

Use the following steps to configure the fax for sending and receiving.

Step 1: Connect the fax for sending and receiving

NOTE: If you have an analog telephone service, skip to the Configure for a Digital Subscriber Line section in this document. If you are unable to determine your telephone line type, contact your telephone service provider for additional information.
Using a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephone service can cause faxing to fail because fax transmissions are sensitive to the timing of the signals used to transmit the fax. If using a VoIP digital line is necessary, changing the Fax Speed Adjustment setting to Slow might improve the ability to send a fax over a VoIP telephone line.
NOTE:The printer is designed, according to international standards, to work with traditional, analog telephone services and might experience some difficulties when connected to phone lines with digital services. HP cannot guarantee that the printer will work with a VoIP service.
Follow these steps to change the fax speed to a lower speed.
  1. On the printer control panel, touch the Right Arrow ( ).
  2. Touch Setup ( ).
  3. Touch Fax Setup , and then touch Advanced Fax Setup .
  4. Touch the Down Arrow ( ), touch Fax Speed , and then touch Slow .
  5. Touch the Home icon ( ) to return to the main menu.
If you have a DSL Internet service, make sure that you have a DSL filter installed. If you do not have a DSL filter, contact your DSL provider to find out where you can buy one.
  1. Obtain the following items:
    • A DSL filter and phone cord from your DSL provider
      Figure 5: Example of a DSL filter
      Image: A DSL filter
    • A parallel splitter , which has one RJ-11 port on the front and two RJ-11 ports on the rear
      Figure 6: A parallel splitter
      Image: A parallel splitter
  2. Connect the phone cord that came in the box with the printer between the 1-LINE port on the rear of the printer and the DSL filter.
  3. Connect the cord on the DSL filter to the telephone wall jack.
    Figure 7: Connection using the DSL filter
    Image: Connection using the DSL filter
    1 - Wall jack
    2 - DSL filter
    3 - Two-wire phone cord
  4. Set the HP printer to Auto Answer so that the printer answers fax calls automatically.
    1. On the printer control panel, touch the Right Arrow ( ).
    2. Touch Setup ( ).
    3. Touch Fax Setup , and then touch Basic Fax Setup .
    4. Touch Auto Answer , and then touch On .
  5. Touch the Home icon ( ) to return to the main menu.

Step 2: Change the Rings to Answer setting to the lowest setting

  1. On the printer control panel, touch the Right Arrow ( ).
  2. Touch Setup ( ).
  3. Touch Fax Setup , and then touch Basic Fax Setup .
  4. In the Basic Fax Setup menu, touch Rings to Answer .
  5. Touch the Up Arrow ( ) to select the maximum number of rings available, and then touch Done .
  6. Touch the Home icon ( ) to return to the main menu.

Step 3: Change the Distinctive Ring setting

NOTE:Only set a distinctive ring pattern if your phone service features distinctive ring service. For more information, contact your telephone service provider.
  1. On the printer control panel, touch the Right Arrow ( ).
  2. Touch Setup ( ).
  3. Touch Fax Setup , and then touch Advanced Fax Setup .
  4. Touch Distinctive Ring . A message displays stating that this setting should not be changed unless you have multiple numbers on the same telephone line.
  5. Touch Yes to continue. A list of ring patterns displays.
  6. Touch a ring pattern to select it.
  7. Try to send or receive a fax again.

Solution three: Temporarily remove any other devices from the telephone line

Use the following steps to remove any other devices from the telephone line.

Step 1: Remove any other devices from the telephone line

  1. If any other devices, such as a telephone, a telephone answering machine, or a modem, are connected to the telephone line, remove each device.
    NOTE:Remove each device even if the device is in another room connected to another telephone jack or connected using a line splitter.
  2. Connect one end of the telephone cord that came in the box with the printer to the telephone wall jack, and then connect the other end of the cord that came with the printer to the port labeled 1-LINE on the rear of the printer.
    Figure 8: Connect the phone cord directly to the wall jack
    Image: Connect the phone cord directly to the wall jack.
    1 - Wall jack
    2 - Two-wire phone cord
  3. Try to send or receive a fax again.

Step 2: Try to send and receive a fax

Try to send and receive a fax.
Test fax functionality with the HP Fax Test Service
The purpose of the HP Fax Test Service is to find out if a problem exists with sending and receiving faxes with your product. This service is available in the U.S. only . The HP Fax Test Service receives the fax, and then returns the fax to the number contained in the fax header.
NOTE:Non U.S. customers can simply try sending or receiving a fax again from the initial location where it failed to test functionality.
Follow these steps to use the HP Fax Test Service.
  1. Make sure that the fax header contains the full 10-digit telephone number of your HP fax product, including the area code.
    1. On the product control panel, touch the Right Arrow ( ).
    2. Touch Setup ( ).
    3. Touch Fax Setup , and then touch Basic Fax Setup .
    4. Touch Fax Header .
    5. Using the touch keypad, touch the name or company name in the Name or Company field.
    6. Using the touch keypad, touch your fax number in the Fax Number field.
    7. Touch Done .
  2. Send a one-page, black-and-white text fax to 1-888-HPFaxMe (1-888-473-2963). The return fax should arrive within 5 to 7 minutes.
    • If the HP product receives the return fax without any problems, and the failed fax recipient can receive faxes from your product, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
    • If the HP product receives the return fax successfully, but sending still fails intermittently or fails for one recipient, continue to the next solution.
NOTE:For more information about the HP Fax Test Service, go to Testing Your HP Fax Machine with the HP Fax Test Service (in English).

Solution four: Reset the printer

  1. Press the Power button ( ) to turn on the product.
  2. With the product turned on , disconnect the power cord from the rear of the product.
  3. Unplug the power cord from the wall outlet.
  4. Wait at least 15 seconds.
  5. Plug the power cord back into the wall outlet.
  6. Reconnect the power cord to the rear of the product.
  7. If the product does not turn on by itself, press the Power button ( ) to turn it on.

Solution five: Service the printer

If you have completed all the preceding steps and are still experiencing a problem, service the product.
Determine if your product is in warranty or out of warranty. If you need help determining your product’s warranty status, go to HP’s Warranty Check Tool .
  • If your product is in warranty , contact HP.
  • If your product is out of warranty , fees might apply for contacting HP.

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