Written by Rosalie

How do you solve a paper jam and how do you prevent it?

A paper jam. There's nothing more annoying than paper getting stuck in your printer. Not ideal, but it happens to the best of us. In this article, we'll explain what causes a paper jam, how to solve the problem, and last but not least, how to prevent it.

What's a paper jam?

A paper jam refers to a situation when the paper gets stuck in your printer, so the printer can't continue printing. Maybe the paper was fed into the printer at an angle, so it tore. Or perhaps it wasn't the right type of paper. Paper that's too thin or too thick can make it difficult for your printer to guide the paper through, so it gets stuck. The paper can get stuck at the input side of the printer, the output side, or in the middle.

Remove the jammed paper

Paper jam

Note: Only attempt to remove the paper via the output of your printer as a last resort. This method can damage your printer. Try the following steps first:

  1. Turn off your printer and unplug the connector.
  2. Does your printer have a paper tray at the front. Open the paper tray and remove all of the paper inside, so the jammed sheet is the only paper that's left.
  3. Use 2 hands to carefully pull out the paper in a slow, smooth, and straight motion. Is the paper still stuck? Try the next step.
  4. Check if your printer has a hatch at the back of the printer. Open it and see if you can remove the sheet this way. Once again, make sure you're careful. If possible, always pull on the sheet with 2 hands to keep it from tearing.
  5. Does your printer not have a hatch at the back? Carefully pull on the paper from the hatch at the front. You should only do this if you've tried everything else. Do you need more space to reach the paper? You can temporarily remove the cartridges or toner cartridges from your printer to give yourself more space.
  6. Reconnect your printer and check if it works again. Make a test print to see if the paper is fed through the printer smoothly again.

Prevent a paper jam

Prevent paper jam

You've managed to remove the jammed paper from your printer. Great! But now you want to know how to keep it from happening again. We'll give you a couple of tips that help prevent a paper jam.

  1. Make sure the paper is always fed into the printer straight. If the paper is fed into the printer at an angle, it's bound to get stuck at some point. Make sure the clamps in the input tray that keep the paper in place are properly positioned.
  2. If your printer has a paper tray, don't fill it up completely. Too much paper in the tray can cause the printer to draw in 2 or more sheets at once, so the paper gets stuck.
  3. Have a look at the printer manual to see which paper weights are suitable for your printer. Usually, the manual will indicate a minimum and maximum weight, expressed in g/m².
  4. Only use special types of paper like photo paper or folded paper if your printer supports these.
  5. Keep the printer nice and clean on the inside by opening the hatch every now and then and removing the dirt.

Problems during or after installation

You've solved your paper jam and you know how to prevent it. Do you still experience a problem? Have a look at our support page to see how to solve the problem. For example, if you want to know how to avoid stripes when you print or how to fix error codes.

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