If you want to solve a paper jam problem in your printer, it’s fairly straightforward. However, recurring paper jams may be indicative of some other issue at play. Take a look at your owner’s manual and perform a little light troubleshooting before you give up on your expensive laser printer.

Printer Diagnosis:

Either the page was misaligned, the paper was too thick, or the paper took on moisture prior to use. No matter what caused the jam, the first thing you’ll need to do is remove the paper that’s stuck inside your device.

  • Check the pathway that paper travels through inside your printer. Some printers will indicate where the jam has occurred, while other models will require a bit of investigative work. You can usually get a decent assessment of the jam’s location and severity just by visually inspecting the interior.
  • Avoid sticking your fingers inside any of the gears. In order to prevent the possibility of getting your fingers caught, it’s best to turn the printer off before you begin trying to remove the jammed page(s).
  • When you find where the page is stuck, carefully grasp the paper and firmly pull it straight out. Avoid pulling to one side or tugging without a firm grip on the paper, as this may cause the paper to rip. A torn page will be even more difficult to remove, so try to keep it all intact!
  •  If the page is firmly wedged between the rollers inside your printer, check the owner’s manual for how to release a trapped piece of paper.

Printer Solution:

If you suspect that the page was misaligned (one of the most common causes of paper jams), open your paper tray and take out the stack of paper inside. Square the edges of your entire stack, line up the stack properly with the inside of your tray, and set the stack down in the correct position.

If you’ve done all this and you still experience paper jams, the issue could be your paper. Check your owner’s manual, browse an online resource, or contact the printer manufacturer to find out whether your printer was designed to use that type/stock of paper. If it isn’t, stop using it immediately and purchase paper that is supported by the specific printer model you’re using.

You should also keep your paper reserves stored in a cool, dry place. Environmental moisture can cause paper to warp or stick together, creating an unwelcome challenge to your usual printing routine.