What to do when the paper jams in your printer

8. November 2011 09:07 by Calvin Yu in Troubleshooting and Printer Tips  //  Tags:   //   Comments

Paper jamOne of the most frustrating things that you can experience when printing a document is a paper jam. This problem always seems to occur at the most inopportune time. People typically try to yank the paper out of the printer or cancel the print. The problem with yanking the paper out is that it can make the situation even worse, especially if the paper rips. The next time paper jams in your printer, follow these steps.

The first thing you will need to do is to determine how much of the page has made its way out. If a good portion of the paper is showing, you can try to gently ease the page out manually. It is important not to rip the paper. If this does not work, you should shut-off the printer and allow it to cool down for a few minutes. From there, you will want to open the printer's lid, remove the toner cartridge and paper tray and see if you can remove the jammed paper. Typically, once the lid is open the paper will be showing enough to easily pull out and there may be some levers you can lift to release the pressure on the paper. Once the paper is out, you will want to ensure that there are no other sheets jammed or little pieces of paper stuck in the paper from a prior jam. Also, inspect all of the other sheets in the paper tray to ensure that they are not bent. You should also not fill the paper tray to capacity, because this can lead to a paper jam. Lastly, make sure the type of paper is supported by your printer. If the paper is too thick and you have a U-Shaped paper path, this may be the cause. The printer paper path varies by printer and typically dictates the type of paper supported.

While it is extremely rare, some jams may actually be a hardware issue, which would require repairing the printer. If the printer is a home or small office printer, many times the cost of repairing the printer is more than purchasing a new printer.

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