Managing Fax Devices and Providers

Applies To: Windows Server 2008


To set up a computer as a fax server, you need one or more fax devices attached to the computer. When the Fax Server role is installed, these fax devices are automatically detected, and a local fax printer connection is created on the computer in the Printers folder in Control Panel, if one does not exist. (Or, you can add a device later after you install the Fax Server role. For instructions, see Install and Share a Fax Printer for Network Users.) This fax printer represents all the fax devices attached to the computer. If you share and publish this fax printer, remote users can connect to this fax server to send and receive faxes with your fax devices.

The allowed number of fax modem devices for Windows Server 2008 is as follows:

Operating System Modem Device Limit

Windows Web Server 2008


Windows Server 2008 Standard


Windows Server 2008 Enterprise, Windows Server 2008 Datacenter

No limit (from the Fax service)

Windows Small Business Server 2008



After the Fax Server role is installed, sharing is not enabled by default.

In addition, after you install the Fax Server role, fax devices are enabled by default for sending, but not for receiving—you must specifically enable them to receive.

All fax devices on a computer running Windows Server 2008 with the Fax Server role installed appear in the left pane of Fax Service Manager at Fax\Devices and Providers\Devices. You can use Fax Service Manager to configure the device settings, including device description and transmission settings, and to monitor the status of devices.

For a list of device settings and their possible values, see the technical reference content at


Fax Service Providers, which manage devices and specify how faxes are processed, are listed in Fax Service Manager at Fax\Devices and Providers\Providers. This list is read-only. Without a Fax Service Provider, faxes cannot be sent or received. Microsoft Modem Device Provider is the default device provider. This provider sends and receives using fax modems that meet the universal modem (Unimodem) driver standard.

Non-Microsoft Fax Service Providers can integrate additional services into the Fax service in Windows Server 2008. Each provider manages its own set of devices and configuration settings. Property pages and dialog boxes that are displayed in Fax Service Manager are different for different Fax Service Providers.

Additional considerations

To configure Fax components, including registering and unregistering Fax Service Providers, you must be a member of the Administrators group or you must have been delegated the appropriate authority. As a security best practice, consider using Run as to perform this procedure.

Additional references