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Unable to 'Receive' a Fax with Laser Multifunction Printers (MFPs)

Document ID:SO6398

Usergroup :External


Failure to receive; Fax Receive failure; Not able to receive; Cannot receive; Unable to receive fax from one machine; Fax failure with one fax machine; Dropped fax; Fax dropping; Facsimile failure; Incomplete fax


Before you begin

Determine the symptom that best describes your fax receive issue. 

NOTE: If you are taken away from this article for any reason, but need to return to continue your diagnosis, click your browser's Back button. Some procedures and reference information are not contained in this article.



Fax receive failure from one location (Most Common)


IMPORTANT! The steps below take into account that you can send and receive in almost all other instances. 


Step Action Additional Assistance

Confirm the following with the sender:

  1. Correct fax number.
  2. Proper entry of your fax number on their machine.
  3. Fax shortcut or manual entry of fax number? Suggest testing both methods.  
  4. Correct dialing prefix; e.g., 9, 99, 991, 1...
  5. Proper country calling code.


  • Recommend that the sender try  contacting their phone system or phone line provider.
  • Consider contacting their fax device manufacturer.

Ask sender to resend the fax.

If successful, you can suggest to the sender that they consider the following:

  • Reduce their fax machine's Send Speed or baud rate to accommodate a poor phone line condition. 
  • Increase their fax machine's Redial Attempts and Redial Frequency to accommodate heavy fax traffic conditions.

Or, if both fax devices are on a digital phone line connection, you may want to also reduce your RECEIVE MAX SPEED on the Lexmark MFP.

  • Sender should contact their fax device manufacture for instructions.
  • Click here for information on reduce the receive "Max Speed" setting.

Ask sender to try the following tests:

  • Send you a fax from a different fax machine on a different phone line.
  • If available, connect and send you a fax from different fax machine on the same phone line.
  • Try to receive a fax on the failing machine.
  • Send a fax to a different location. 

Question: Did any faxes transmit? 

If... Then... And...
NO, fax failures persist and all tests fail...
The sender has a problem with their phone line or fax device... Ask the sender to contact their phone line provider or fax device manufacturer.
YES, but only if the fax is sent from a different location... 

Several possibilities exist:

  • Sender has a phone line issue, or a
  • Fax device configuration issue, or a
  • Fax device modem firmware issue.

Ask the sender to move the problem fax machine to a known working location.

Ask the sender to contact their phone line provider or fax device manufacturer.

Recommend Step 2 suggestions above.

YES, the sender is able to send to other locations, but not to  your Lexmark fax device...

If possible, ask the sender to send the fax from a different machine. 

Otherwise, continue to the next step. (Step 4)


  • Continue to collect additional information about the problem.
  • Print out or view the  Transmission Log, Fax Call, and Fax Job Logs, and follow the recommendations.
  • Contact Lexmark after performing the preliminary diagnosis outlined in this article.

Note: Older MFPs may have a separate Receive or Send Logs.



  4 Check to see whether Block Faxes is engaged on the MFP. If so, make sure the sender is not using a private caller ID and the fax machine has a station name.
Click here for more information.
  5 Check your Banned Fax list to make sure the sender's fax phone number is not blocked.
 6 Obtain the Call Log or Fax Job Log and identify the error code.

Click here for information on "How to Enable Fax Log".

Click here Fax Log Status Errors and suggestions.

AutoPrint will enable the automatic print of the fax call log. Click here for more information.


If you still fail to receive faxes from this sender, contact the sender to identify the following:

  • Ask the fax sender to confirm the fax number.
  • Ask the sender for a transmission log from their machine.
  • Request the Manufacturer and Model of the fax device. 
  • Ask whether any other fax send issues have been reported.
  • Ask whether their fax machine is connected to a digital phone line or voice-over IP (VOIP).   
  8 Contact Lexmark to further troubleshoot this issue. Click here and obtain all required escalation information before calling Lexmark.


*N.A. Not available


Other suggestions

These suggestions are not listed by relevance, but they have been identified as possible reasons for fax failures.

  • The MFP was configured to forward incoming faxes; e.g., e-mail, FTP, LDSS, eSF, and more.
  • Printer intervention conditions; for example, an empty paper tray or some other error message. 
  • Error correction mode (ECM) may need to be activated on sender's fax machine.




Back to top 

Complete failure to receive faxes


Important! The steps below take into account that you can send faxes.


  1. Verify that Receive Faxes is enabled. Click here for more information.
  2. If using a distinctive ring, confirm that your MFP is configured properly to pick up the correct ring pattern. Click here for more information.
  3. Reduce the Max Send and Receive speed. Click here for more information.
  4. The MFP was configured to forward incoming faxes; e.g., e-mail, FTP, LDSS, eSF, and more.

NOTE: FAX FORWARDING is found under FAX RECEIVE SETTINGS and is only available on some MFP models.

  1. Change the Rings to Answer value under Fax Receive Settings. It is possible another phone device (i.e., answering machine), is competing with your MFP.
  2. Capture fax logs and identify the status message. Click here for an article that may help you identify the problem.
  3. Printer intervention conditions; for example, an empty paper tray or some other printer error message.



100% fax failure rate

If you cannot send or receive faxes, try the following, and then contact your telephone phone line provider.


  • Verify the phone line is active; e.g., connect an extension handset to the extension phone jack on the back of the MFP, or to the phone jack on the wall.
  • Try a different phone line or phone cord.
  • Listen for a clear, loud, and static free dial tone.
  • Attempt to receive a phone call on the same phone line from an outside* individual or telephone.
  • Dial a phone number and establish contact with an outside individual or telephone.
  • Again, listen for a clear, loud, and static free signal during the conversation.   
  • Perform additional fax send and receive tests with a different fax machine connected to the same same line.

* Refers to a telephone number or handset not within your building or calling environment.




Related Articles


 Click here for a list of optional fax topics. You will also find escalation information here in the event you need to escalate this issue with technical support.

 Still Need Help?

If you need additional assistance, please contact Lexmark Technical Support. NOTE: When calling for support, you will be asked for your machine/model type and serial number (SN).
Please call from near the computer and printer for technician-directed diagnostic purposes.

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