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How to Fix a Paper Jam

How to Fix a Paper Jam

Count yourself lucky if you’ve never dealt with a paper jam! Even the best printers jam from time to time, often with no fault on behalf of the operator. Paper jams are caused by many different things, like incorrectly loaded paper or even subpar quality paper. Being able to diagnose what happened and take care of it correctly will be the difference between your printer’s life. Save yourself a headache and check out our guide on how to fix a paper jam!


What Causes a Paper Jam?

As we mentioned, paper jams happen for a litany of reasons. Most have to do more with the paper itself instead of the device. A piece that is too thin or of low quality runs the risk of sticking together as it feeds through the machine. If more than one sheet goes in at the same time, you risk having one of those crumpling up. One sheet crumpling will then freeze up the whole machine. You could also have a paper that is too thick to run through your machine. The same thing happens when the document is too thick; it cannot push the form correctly. The last major cause of a paper jam is user error. If you load the paper incorrectly in the feed tray, it can enter crooked. This improper loading technique won’t let the paper pass through the machine properly, resulting in a jam.


Tackle That Paper Jam the Right Way!

Oh no! Your computer notifies you the print job you sent recently won’t be coming out because there’s a paper jam. How do you fix this? It’s not that hard to fix a paper jam! The first thing you must do is turn off and unplug the printer. You do not want to run the risk of catching your fingers by trying to continue running the print job. After the device is unplugged, remove the paper from the feed tray. Many times this alone will help free up the paper jam. From there, look to see where the sheet is stuck. If it’s still sticking out of the feed tray, you can gently pull it out from there. Always try to pull a stuck sheet from the feed tray whenever possible, as it’s still in the earliest stages of printing there. If the sheet has already wholly entered the printer, pop open the main component and try to spot where it got stuck. Find the opening closest to the feed tray and try to gently rock the paper out, using both hands to grip it. Do not force or try to tear the paper! With a gentle hand, you should be able to pull the sheet out slowly. If there are multiple sheets stuck, try to pull one at a time from the center of the stack. Only remove from the end tray whenever necessary!


Prevent Future Paper Jams

A well-maintained machine should naturally avoid jams. While paper jams may sometimes be inevitable, keeping your device in top shape is the best way to minimize your risk. You can always sign up for a maintenance program with a professional print supply company like Vegas Ink & Toner to ensure your machine runs smoothly. Otherwise, try to keep it clean using compressed air and a microfiber cloth. Always use the minimum amount of paper required to fill the feed tray. Don’t stuff it! Your printer can handle a lot, but you still need to treat it gently if you want to avoid multiple paper jams. Should you find yourself facing numerous paper jams within a set time, like a month, consider calling a repair shop to find the underlying cause.


For more common printing and other related tips, please contact Vegas Ink and Toner.

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