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How to Fix a Paper Jam

3 min read

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Learn how to unjam a printer with these tips

Knowing how to fix a paper jam is invaluable to the working world. After all, how often have you been working under a tight deadline, hit the print button, and.....nothing. It's incredibly frustrating and can derail a day's work, while projects in the queue keep building.

For most business technology issues, it's best to work with a technology partner like EO Johnson so you can tap the expertise of the professionals who know printers, scanners, copiers, and multi-function devices best. But you can't always do that—for reasons ranging from lack of time to midnight projects or remote work.

It's time to DIY.

The experts at EO Johnson Business Technologies feel your pain. We've all been there. That's why we're putting together a series of blog posts about the most common questions we get from our clients. We call it our February Fix-It blog series. Our goal is when trouble strikes, you know exactly what to do or where to turn. In this installment of our February Fix-It series, we answer the question: how to unjam a printer. Read on for tips to get you out of this jam and on your way.

Causes of paper jams

Learning how to unjam a printer starts by gaining a better understanding of how jams get started in the first place. Here are some of the most common causes of issues and how to fix a paper jam.

1. The paper itself can cause a jam.

Having the wrong paper for your printer, copier, or multi-function device can lead to all sorts of problems, including printer jams. The paperweight can vary widely, and depending on your print device, a heavier-weight paper, like card stock, can muck things up. Some printers allow you to adjust settings to make your device compatible with the paper you've chosen. Likewise, if you've chosen low-quality paper, you may discover the cost savings aren't worth the headaches. lower quality paper can leave debris behind and that paper dust can get in the way of sensors doing their job. Even paper conditions can cause jamming. Dry paper can cause the build-up of static, which we've written about in the past. And moist paper can cause excessive curling in the humid summertime. The result: you're in a jam.

Pro tip: try keeping paper in closed containers, fanning the paper before loading it into the tray, and opening up a fresh ream of paper to determine if the paper itself is problematic.

2. Damage to the print device.

If components of your print device are damaged, it can lead to major printing problems. In particular, the rollers of the device are essential to ensuring the paper moves smoothly through the printer. A damaged roller, or other critical parts of the printer or device, can make your print job a non-starter.

3. Improperly loading the tray.

Reoccurring paper jams can sometimes be caused by improperly loading the paper tray. You may be tempted to fill that tray to the top, especially when there's a big job at hand. Yet an overfilled tray can cause problems. In addition, be sure to check that the side guides are snug against the paper without being too tight. And don't forget to check to make sure that the paper settings match the size of the paper that's been loaded into the paper tray.

Here's how to fix a paper jam

Here are our top tips for how to unjam a printer.

  • Take a hint from the display panel. Your device may show you the location of the paper jam via the display panel. Examine the instructions or illustrations your machine provides and follow them to remove the jammed paper.
  • Restart the machine. It's cliche, but it often works: shutting down and restarting your machine might provide just the push it needs to get going again. If you use a laser printer, wait about a half minute to let it cool down before trying again.
  • Jams often happen as the paper is being fed into the printer. So, unload the paper tray and reload it. Check to make sure no paper is stuck at the entrance, and if it is jammed, gently pull the paper out a sheet at a time. Look for paper shreds or other debris that may be in the paper path of the machine. Then take care to reload the paper tray properly.
  • Examine the rear access door. There's a lot you can do via the rear access door or any other door that allows you access to the paper's pathway. Carefully and gently remove any paper that is stuck. Using too much force could damage your device. And be sure to check for debris like torn paper that may cause additional problems.
  • Check out the paper jam code. If it doesn't make sense to you, try searching for the code number in your internet browser to get details on what it means.
Unjam a printer with these tips

Knowing how to fix a paper jam isn't easy, but armed with these tips, you will be better prepared for your next printer emergency. Of course, if jamming still occurs, you can reach out to your servicing dealer, like our experts at EO Johnson Business Technologies for further assistance and service.

Stay tuned! Next week in our February Fix-It blog series, we straighten out your questions about how to fix lines on paper.

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