How do I know which receive mode to select?

The receive mode you select for your Brother machine is determined by the devices and features on the same telephone line as your machine. Please review the information listed below to determine which receive mode best suits your needs.

The message DR mode in use or BT Call Sign On will appear on the display of the Brother machine if you attempt to change the receive mode from Manual to another mode when the Distinctive Ring feature (BT Call Sign) is turned ON. If you want to change the Receive Mode, set the Distinctive Ring feature (BT Call Sign) OFF.

  1. Press Menu or Menu/Set.
  2. Select Fax => Miscellaneous or Tel Service => Distinctive or BT Call Sign.
  3. Press the Up or Down Arrow key to select off. Press OK or Menu/Set.
  4. Press Stop/Exit.

Fax Only (Fax) mode is used when you have your FAX/MFC on a dedicated fax line. In this receive mode, the FAX/MFC automatically answers every call with receiving tones as if it were an incoming fax. If you select Fax Only mode, you cannot receive incoming voice calls on the telephone line your FAX/MFC is connected to, though you can make outgoing calls on the line.


In Manual (Mnl) mode, you control the telephone line and must answer every call yourself. If you answer the line and hear fax tones, wait until your FAX/MFC begins to respond with its own receiving tones, then hang up the phone. The FAX/MFC will receive the fax and print it out. You can receive incoming voice calls when using this receive mode just as you would if the FAX/MFC was not present on the line. This mode is preferable if you do not receive many faxes, if the FAX/MFC will be on the same telephone line as a computer modem, or if you are using Distinctive Ring.


In Fax/Tel (F/T) mode, the Brother machine automatically answers every call upon completion of the ring delay (unless you answer first). Ring delay is the number of times the unit and all extension phones will ring before the Brother machine answers the call. If the call is a fax, it prints the fax. If the call is voice, the machine signals you with a double ring that is different from the phone company ring. The special ring is the signal for you to pick up the call. Only the Brother machine will signal you with the double ring. In order to select this setting, you will need to set the Ring Delay and F/T Ring Time (the length of time the machine will signal you with a double ring).


When using the Fax/Tel mode, you cannot use the telephone company's Voice Mail feature, nor can you have an answering machine on the same line, even if it is on a separate wall telephone jack.


External TAD (TAD) mode is to be used when you have an external Telephone Answering Device (answering machine) on the same telephone line as the FAX/MFC. In this receive mode, the external answering machine automatically answers every call. Voice messages are stored on the answering machine while fax messages are printed. When using the External TAD mode, the following six guidelines MUST be used.

  1. (Only for USA)
    The answering machine must be connected to the jack labeled EXT on the back of the FAX/MFC. The External TAD mode will not function properly if you connect the external answering machine into a wall jack.

  2. The FAX/MFC's receive mode must be set to External TAD.

  3. We recommend you record 5 seconds of silence at the beginning of your answering machine's outgoing message. This allows your FAX/MFC time to detect incoming fax tones from a sending machine.

  4. Your answering machine's outgoing message must be no more than 20 seconds long.

  5. You must end your outgoing message by giving your Fax Receive Code for people sending manual faxes. For example: "After the beep, leave a message or send a fax by pressing *51 and Start."

  6. The answering machine must be set to answer in 4 rings or less. The FAX/MFC's Ring Delay setting does not apply in External TAD mode.

If your question was not answered, have you checked other FAQs?

Have you checked the manuals?

If you need further assistance, please contact Brother customer service:

Related Models

FAX-1360, FAX-1840C, FAX-1860C, FAX-1960C, FAX-2480C, FAX-2820, FAX-2910, FAX-2920, MFC-210C, MFC-230C, MFC-240C, MFC-3220C, MFC-3240C, MFC-3340CN, MFC-3360C, MFC-420CN, MFC-440CN, MFC-4420C, MFC-465CN, MFC-5200C, MFC-5440CN, MFC-5460CN, MFC-5840CN, MFC-5860CN, MFC-685CW, MFC-7220, MFC-7225N, MFC-7420, MFC-7820N, MFC-820CW, MFC-885CW, MFC-9420CN

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