What Is a FAX File?

How to open, edit, and convert FAX files

A file with the FAX file extension is a Fax file. They're usually in the TIFF format, meaning that they're basically just renamed image files.

Some FAX files may instead be a template file created with the Now Contact software. These kinds of files provide a layout for a fax document (an .NWP file) and may include options already loaded for the document, which is useful if you're creating several similarly formatted documents.

FAX files in Windows 10 that open with GIMP

An SFF Structured Fax file is a format similar to the FAX image file. Unrelated to this FAX file format is also the FaxFile mobile app that lets you fax documents using a phone or tablet.

How to Open a FAX File

Most image-management programs should be able to open FAX files, like Windows' default photo viewer, the Windows Paint program, XnView, InViewer, GIMP, and Adobe Photoshop.

If you have trouble getting a FAX file to open, change the extension to .TIFF or .TIF and then try to open the file. This isn't a trick you can usually do with most files, but since FAX files are almost always just TIFF files masked by a different extension, this workaround is likely to succeed.

Some FAX image files might be created with GFI FaxMaker (but they're still just TIF files), in which case you can use that program to open it.

Now Contact Fax Template files are supposed to open with the Now Contact software from Now Software, using the Use Template drop-down menu option.

If you have the Now Contact program, you can build new FAX files through the Define > Print Templates > Faxes menu. After naming the template, you can edit its dimensions and layout before it's created.

If you find that an application on your PC does try to open the file but it's the wrong application or you'd rather have another installed program open it, see our how-to on changing which program opens FAX files.

How to Convert a FAX File

There aren't any free file converters that can save a file with the .FAX extension to some other format but also work with TIF/TIFF files. Because your FAX file is almost certainly a simple image file, try renaming it to use the TIF or TIFF file extension.

Next, use a free image converter to convert that file to something else like PNG, PDF, or JPG.

Still Can't Open the File?

If your file won't open at this point, re-read the file extension. Since "FAX" contain letters common to many other file extensions, you might be confusing another file for this one.

For example, FXA files might at first glance look related in some way to FAX files, but they're really OC3 Entertainment FaceFX Actor files used by FaceFX.

XAF is another one with these same three letters but has nothing to do with the formats mentions on this page. This extension is reserved for 3ds Max XML Animation files and Affirm Deposition Transcript files.

If you're not looking for anything related to a .FAX file but rather a fax service for sending faxes, see our Free Online Fax Services list.