How to fix a paper jam on your printer
Many printers continuously print many printed pages, single and double-sided, in black and white or in color. In the business area in particular, inkjet and laser printers and the corresponding multifunctional devices also have to cope with larger print jobs. If a lot of paper feeds into the printer from the paper tray, it can sometimes cause an annoying paper jam.
Such a paper jam usually occurs when your printer is no longer able to pull in the printer paper correctly by itself. The user manual for your printer does not always provide you with sufficient help. In the following we would like to show you how to clear such a jam.
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How does the printer report a paper jam to you?
Modern inkjet printers as well as laser printers have an integrated touchscreen display. If a paper jam occurs, this will be shown on the display. Other printers use a colored LED display. Depending on the device, this can indicate both a paper jam and a lack of paper. Older devices, on the other hand, do not display an error message. The only way you can tell from the noise is that the paper is not being fed in properly. Printing stops.back to menu ↑
Load the paper correctly
It is especially important to understand the causes of a paper jam. Always load the printer paper correctly in the paper cassette or in the rear paper tray. Side guides on the rear paper intake and in the cassette prevent the paper from being drawn in at an angle. However, these guides can be moved individually according to the paper format. If the paper is not loaded straight and is then drawn in at an angle over the guide rollers, a dreaded paper jam can occur.
Likewise, you should never place the guides in the cassette or on the rear paper tray too close to the paper stack. This can cause the paper to compress or several sheets of paper to stick together too tightly. In this case, too, a traffic jam can occur. It is ideal if you fan a new stack of paper before loading it. The air in the gaps separates the individual leaves from each other better. It should not be left unmentioned that damp paper can also lead to a paper jam. This sticks to each other and can therefore not be drawn in properly.back to menu ↑
Avoid using too full a paper cassette
Unfortunately, most home office printers only come with relatively small paper cassettes. When you buy new printer paper, it is usually delivered to you in packages of 500 sheets. However, only 100 to 200 sheets fit into a small cassette. Avoid pushing too much paper into a cassette. The paper cannot be fed properly if the paper cassette is overfilled. The sheets are held too tightly in the cassette. In addition to a paper jam, it can also happen that the rubberized transport rollers cannot pull any sheet out of the cassette. Solution: Remove a few sheets of paper so that the rest of the stack is loosely on top of each other.back to menu ↑
Wrong printer paper can cause a paper jam
A paper jam can also be caused by using the wrong printer paper. Not every printer processes every paper. For example, if the paper is too thin, it can jam as well as if it is too thick. This usually occurs when paper that is too thick is pulled through the duplex unit. But many printers cannot pull thick paper in the paper cassette through the printer mechanism either. In addition, many use cheap paper, which causes increased dust generation due to fine paper fibers. These settle in the printer and in the area of the guide rollers. Solution:
- Only use paper that has been approved for your printer
- Regularly clean the rubberized guide rollers
- Use a brush or vacuum cleaner to clean
Paper jams due to dirty or hardened rollers
At the beginning of a print job, your printer can make strange and creaky noises. In this case, the printer paper will not be fed properly from the paper cassette and the paper jam status indicator will light up. As mentioned earlier, it could be because the rollers are dirty. In the case of older printers, these are also hardened. Normally, soft rubber rollers ensure that the paper feeds smoothly. Hard rollers are often slippery and cannot properly grip the next sheet of paper from the cassette. Solution:
- First, clean the rubber rollers
- You should replace hardened rollers
- With fine sandpaper you can get old rollers handy again
Tip: While your printer is trying to pull in new paper, hold some sandpaper against the spinning rollers . In this way, the cured coating is roughened and therefore easy to grip. Note that with older printers it is usually not worth having them professionally repaired.back to menu ↑
Foreign objects cause paper jams
Foreign objects in the printer or photocopier can cause the printout to be cracked or even frayed. It becomes really fatal if parts of the paper are missing from the printout. These are still inside the printing unit and cause a paper jam. Refer to your printer’s instruction manual to find out which covers, if any, you need to open to get inside. Most of the time you have to operate a release lever and loosen the transport rollers. With multifunction laser printers or multifunction inkjet printers, it can be a little more difficult to get to these scraps of paper. Search meticulously the smallest scraps of paper and remove them with plastic tweezers, if possible. Avoid metal objects. Be sure to unplug the power cord as there are live parts inside your printer.
The internal components are also very hot, especially in laser printers. Pull any scraps of paper out of your printer. Close the covers again and send a print job. This should be flawless. In rare cases, one or the other scrap of paper will be printed out with the next printout. Tip: When you print labels, it can happen in rare cases that one of the labels accidentally detaches from the carrier film and remains stuck inside the printer. Often these labels stick to the transport rollers. After that there is always a paper jam to be expected. Sticky labels are very difficult to remove from the printer. You have to be careful here and you can usually only pull out this label in pieces. In the worst case, your printer has to be sent in for repair.
Another tip: When you remove scraps of paper, they usually get stuck between the rollers. If a damaged page comes out of the printer, please do not tear the sheet out by force. In this case it could tear off, so that the rest still remains in the printing unit and can only be removed with great difficulty.back to menu ↑
Paper jam after changing the cartridge
You need to replace printer cartridges at regular intervals. If you from discounters ink cartridges used, they can from the start to leak in. The escaping ink ensures that the printer paper sticks to it. A printer cartridge or a replaceable print head with ink can therefore also be responsible for a paper jam. Solution:
- Gently clean the printhead
- Use distilled water and a lint-free rag
- replaceable ink printheads should be replaced with new ones
Tip: Play it safe and buy your printer cartridges cheaply at Copiac. We can offer you both original cartridges and compatible models that are precisely tailored to your printer. You are not taking any risk as the manufacturer’s warranty is not affected. You also receive a guarantee of up to 7 years on our products. You also benefit from our 356-day money-back guarantee, should something go wrong with the printer cartridges. In any case, we would like to recommend our compatible printer cartridges, as they also minimize your printing costs without any loss of quality can.back to menu ↑
Paper jam after changing the toner
Replacing new toner cartridges can also cause a paper jam. Especially with cheap non-name cartridges, the consistency of the toner can mean that the printer paper is not accepted. Perhaps it is also due to the mechanics in the toner cartridge being too sluggish. It is also possible that you accidentally forgot to remove the transport lock. In this case, a paper jam will also occur.
Solution: Use only high quality toner cartridges. You can find these, for example, in the original or as a compatible version cheaply here at Copiac. Do not forget to remove the transport lock. Please note that our toner cartridges have a smooth-running and functioning mechanism that does not lead to a paper jam.back to menu ↑
The imaging drum can also be responsible for a paper jam
The imaging drum is the heart of every laser printer. This can also cause a paper jam. As a rule, the surface of the imaging drum is extremely smooth. Over time, however, this can also show slight scratches. The printer paper also sticks to it. Possible contamination by residual toner adhering, which could not be completely removed, should not go unmentioned.
Solution: After reaching the maximum printing capacity, also change your imaging drum. You can also find these here at Copiac. You can also gently clean the drum with a lint-free cloth. Never use pointed or sharp objects.back to menu ↑
Here’s how to clear a paper jam
The following steps will help you clear a paper jam.back to menu ↑
First turn off the printer
If a paper jam occurs, you will usually receive a message on the printer display or via a signal lamp. Modern printers can also show you exactly where the jam originated. Please switch off your printer as this way you can reach inside your device without an electric shock. Note that some parts can still be very hot. Open one of the printer flaps concerned and see where the paper has gone.back to menu ↑
Now remove the remains of the paper
Carefully pull scraps of paper or the entire page out of the printer slot. Maybe the paper was skewed or creased. Pull as slowly as you can to avoid tearing the sheet unnecessarily. Also watch out for very small scraps of paper, which can still trigger a traffic jam message. You can access it either via a special printer flap or directly in the area of the paper cassette or the rear paper compartment.
In the case of laser printers, you may have to remove the toner cartridge and, in a few cases, the image drum beforehand. If the printer paper tears, you can easily grab the small remnants with plastic tweezers. Also check whether there are any other foreign objects such as paper clips or staples in the printer.back to menu ↑
The restart of the printer
When you have removed all of the torn paper that caused a paper jam, you can turn your printer back on. After a restart, no more error messages should appear. In some cases you will also have to restart your PC again. Sometimes a paper jam can reappear immediately after restarting. In this case you have probably forgotten some scraps of paper in the printer. Go ahead and search again and repeat the entire procedure. Only when the next printer page has been printed out completely and without any problems can you be sure that the paper jam on your printer has finally been cleared.