How to Find Out If a Fax Modem Is Installed on My PC?

By Alan Sembera

Fax modems enable you to fax documents directly from your computer.
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You can usually find out if your PC has a fax modem by looking for two side-by-side telephone jacks on the back or side of the computer. But before you can use the modem to send and receive fax documents, the modem must also be installed in Windows. In most cases Windows automatically detects fax modems and installs the correct drivers. You can view a list of any fax modems installed in Windows using the Device Manager application.

Click the “Search” option on the Charms bar and type in “device manager” (without the quotations). Select “Device Manager” from the results, and then click “Yes” to allow Windows to run the app.

Click the “View” menu in the Device Manager window and make sure “Devices By Type” is selected.

Look for a Modems category. If you don’t see the category, it means no modems are installed on your system.

Click the arrow next to the Modems category to display a detailed list of modems installed in your computer. Fax modems usually include the word “fax” in the device description.


Select “Scan For Hardware Changes” from the Action menu in Device Manager if you recently added a fax modem to your computer but it doesn’t appear in the list. If you have an external modem, connect it and turn it on before running the scan.

If you installed a fax modem and Windows can’t detect it, run the installation software that came with the modem. You can also use the Add Hardware Wizard to manually install modem drivers by selecting “Add Legacy Hardware” from the Action menu in Device Manager.


Information in this article applies to Windows 8. It may vary slightly or significantly with other versions or products.