How to Unjam a Printer

A problem such as a paper jam in the printer is one of the most common. Sooner or later, every copier, printer, and MFP owner will have to deal with it. When the printer chews paper, the corresponding indicator lights up on its panel, after which the device refuses to continue the printing process. What to do in this situation and how to get a crumpled sheet? At first glance, this situation seems easy to resolve, but it is not. You need to remove the jammed sheet in the printer and find out how to unjam a printer.

How to Unjam a Printer

jam paper on printer

Possible Reasons

So, there can several reasons why the device jams paper, and one of the most basic is wearing parts of the printer, for example, the paper feed roller. Does the question arise why there is a reason for this kind? Its source is the long and careless operation of the printer when the resource of its parts has almost come to an end. Only the service center masters can fix the paper jam problem. Another main reason for paper jams in the printer is a violation of the rules for working with the printer. There can be many errors in this case, but even an ordinary user of such office equipment can eliminate most of them.

  • Thus, if the paper is jamming in the printer, the possible cause is poor quality paper. Perhaps you are using old and wrinkled sheets to print documents. You need to stop using draft copies and constantly buy a new one to solve this problem. Otherwise, it will be an order of magnitude more difficult to solve a problem like “the printer is jamming paper, what to do”!
  • Another reason for the printer to wrinkle paper may be that sheets stick to each other. How to solve such a problem? The way out of this situation is as follows: take a stack and knock it on the table, or flip through all the sheets to separate them in this way. Also, remember that when printing on the second side, be sure to let it cool for a while after printing the first side.
  • In addition, paper jams in the printer may be due to the wrong type. Perhaps it is too thick or thin, or the sheets do not fit your device with their standard. For this reason, the sheets begin to stick together and get stuck. In this case, you can replace it or use the printer settings. In the second option, you need to go to the properties of the device and specify the type of paper there, for example, thick, thin, cardboard, etc.
  • Sometimes users put the sheets into the tray unevenly, resulting in which, during the pickup, it goes crooked and starts to get stuck. If this happens, stop the printer immediately to remove the jammed sheet. It may also happen that too much paper was loaded in the tray. If the printer cannot pick up the sheet, reduce or increase the stack. Sometimes the problem can appear on its own due to false alarms of the paper jam sensors. In this situation, the printer jams the paper as if “virtually.” This can also happen due to incorrect print settings, for example, you are printing on A4 paper, and there is an envelope size.
  • Entry of foreign objects. Keep staples, paper clips, ballpoint pen caps, scraps of paper, and other items out of the printer compartments. To search for a foreign object, open the cartridge access door. Use a flashlight to explore the interior of the printer. Gently remove the foreign object, then close the lid. If you can’t do this kind of manipulation yourself, contact the experts.

How to Remove Jammed Paper?

If you are facing the need to pull the jammed paper out of the printer, you need to act very carefully. The fact is that too strong jerks can adversely affect the condition of the entire device as a whole. As a result, its reliability and print quality will never be the same.

To solve the problem related to pulling out a sheet, turn off the device and turn it on again if the printer chewed it up. If the jam turns out to be small, then the machine’s drum will scroll, and the sheet will come out by itself.

But how to pull out the paper if the printer has chewed it hard enough? In such a situation, pull the sheet slowly, holding it with both hands and without jerking. Please note that the extracted sheet may tear at the very last moment, and its fragments will treacherously remain inside the device. In such a situation, open the printer cover and inspect its insides. The remnants of the sheet can get into the area of ​​​​consumables, output rollers, input trays, from where the feed is carried out and in the bowels of the device. Even opening all the doors may not help you find and remove paper residues in the latter case. If its fragments fall into the consumable area of ​​the device, then open the door behind it and remove it by holding the handle.

When a jam occurs in the automatic document feeder, open the cover and carefully pull out the original to clear it. Then inspect the insides for damage and if there are none, close the automatic document feeder.

Thus, if you want to know the answer to the question “the printer chews paper what to do,” check out all the recommendations and tips from this article. Fixing the problem yourself will help you save a lot of money on the services of masters because such a malfunction can repeat quite often.

Methods for Removing Paper From the Printer

remove jam paper printer

Laser and inkjet printers differ in their structure arrangement of functional blocks and nodes. The opening of the main mechanism that advances the paper is carried out per general recommendations and clarifications from the instructions for a particular model.

Before removing jammed paper, turn off the printer from the mains – high-voltage blocks and assemblies may be in the zone of your “rescue” actions, fraught with the risk of electric shock to the user. The most challenging situation to resolve is when not the entire chewed leaf was pulled out – part of it came off when trying to extract it and remained inside.

The general instruction for removing jammed paper comes down to a specific sequence of steps.

  • In Windows 10, run the “Start – Control Panel – Devices and Printers – View Print Queue – Delete Print Queue” command.
  • Open the output tray and remove any sheets placed there for printing.
  • Return to the already familiar “Devices and Printers” software toolkit, select your printer from the list of installed devices, and give the command: right-click – “Printing Preferences.”
  • Go to the “Maintenance” tab and give “Cleaning rollers” to confirm the request. The printer will try to eject the rest of the paper by spinning it for a few seconds.

You can also use other methods to bring the printer back to normal by selecting the appropriate function.

1. From Inkjet

The device of inkjet printers is such that it will be possible to approach the rollers and the shaft only by dismantling the cartridge – they are closed by it. But not everything is so complicated – some manufacturers, for example, HP, allow users to cope with several issues on their own. The manufacturer writes in the instructions that HP models have a special sensor that monitors the position of the carriage at the beginning and the end of printing.

Having found that the printer is chewing paper, it makes sense to find out if this reader is working – if it is damaged or littered with print products (or foreign particles, objects), printing will stop. It is necessary to wipe the sensor photocell with an alcohol solution. Before cleaning the sensor, the paper is ejecting from the printer, and printing will continue from where it stopped unexpectedly.

2. From the Laser

It is possible to get paper from a laser printer in the same way as from an inkjet. However, it is not necessary to turn off the power. It is strictly forbidden to pull the stuck sheet towards you – it will simply tear. In the worst case, any parts directly involved in spraying the powder and advancing the sheet can break from a jerk. The User’s Guide also contains instructions on adequately removing the jammed sheet not to damage the printer.

If the sheet is stuck at the very beginning (did not go entirely under the drive shafts), try to pull it out against the movement of the rollers, i.e., through the slot into which it is fed. When a sheet appears at the end (at the exit), pull it, on the contrary, in the direction of the rollers so that it comes out in a “natural” way. If neither attempt is successful, open the drive cassette and pull out the sheet from the inside: most likely, you will succeed easily and on the first try. If pieces of the sheet are still stuck in the drive mechanism, you can remove them using tweezers, previously wrap with tape or tape.

What to Do So That the Printer Does Not Jam the Paper

  • Printer-jammed paper? You are likely giving more work than he can handle. Do not overload your device too much. After all, there is an established print resource. If the volumes are enormous, give the device time to “rest” – to cool down. Or distribute volumes across multiple printers or MFPs.
  • Do not load too many sheets in the paper tray. This increases the risk of jams.
  • Before loading the paper into the tray, try to separate (“fluff”) the sheets. Especially if you just took them out of a sealed package.
  • Check to see if you placed the sheets unevenly, which is why you caused a jam.
  • Also, pay attention to the paper size. Yes, yes, this can also cause problems with the printer. Be sure to look at what dimensions each specific device is designing for. Suddenly, you need a4 paper, and you accidentally try to use a completely different format.
  • And it’s not just the size. There is also such a parameter as paper density. It is also worth considering. You may be trying to use one that is too thick or thin. Before printing, ask what paper the manufacturer of the equipment recommends using.
  • Moreover, pay attention to the quality of the paper you buy and use. Do not print on very old or wrinkled paper. We recommend buying printer paper from trusted manufacturers. So you will save yourself from unnecessary waste of time and nerves. And your equipment will only say “thank you” and will last longer.

How to Continue Printing After a Paper Jam?

After the paper is removed, turn on the printer. Most likely, he will continue printing from the moment of the jam, repeating the same page, but just in case, check if it is printing. Select the desired sheets for printing and click print if the print job has not been saved.

If the paper was pulled out successfully, there are no pieces left inside; put the cartridge or print back.

  • Close the printer cover.
  • Connect the power cord to the mains.
  • Press the power button on the printer body.
  • Wait for the green indicator to light up.

If printing does not start from the location where the jam occurred, start the printout, but specify the page number in the window to print from the desired location.


Remember, nothing lasts forever, and your printer parts wear out over time! At the first sign of a paper jam, contact an engineer for preventive maintenance, possibly cleaning the inside of the machine or replacing the rubber pads on the paper pick rollers. I hope the recommendations will help you how to unjam a printer.

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