How to fix a printer paper jam

Canon printerFixing a printer paper jam

When working with any printer it's inevitable that you'll encounter a paper jam. Below are the steps you'll want to follow when this occurs.

Tip: To manually remove paper pull on the paper with both hands being careful not to tear the paper while pulling it. If you're unable to get to an edge of the paper that allows you to pull it you may need to manually rotate the gears that feed the paper through the printer.

  1. Turn off the printer.
  2. Inspect the location or tray the printed paper ejects to. If the stuck paper is visible manually remove it.
  3. Remove all paper trays and any paper that may be stuck between the tray and the printer. If the stuck paper is visible manually remove it.
  4. Open the printer door that allows you access to the printer ink cartridges or toner and look for any stuck paper. If the stuck paper is visible manually remove it
  5. Turn the printer back on. If you continue to receive a printer jam error try repeating the above steps again. If issue still persist and you see no paper that is stuck in the printer it's likely your printer is experiencing another hardware issues and we suggest contacting the printer manufacturer for additional assistance or repair.

Preventing a printer paper jam

As mentioned earlier it is inevitable that you will encounter at least one paper jam during the life of your printer. However, if you're encountering frequent paper jams following the steps below can help prevent paper jams from occurring.

  1. If your printer has a paper tray do not fill the tray to capacity. If you're encountering frequent paper jams, reduce the amount of paper you place in the tray each time it is filled.
  2. Make sure you or the tray feeding the paper into the printer is aligned properly and the slider used to hold the paper in place in the tray is snug with the paper. Many printers have sliders that allow different types and sizes of paper to be fed into the printer. If the slider is not properly positioned it can cause paper jams.
  3. Use standard office paper; folded paper, paper with labels, and specialty paper such as hard bound paper can often cause paper jams. If you're uncertain with what paper you should use with your printer your printer documentation will list the paper compatible with your printer.
  4. Do not mix the paper you're feeding into the printer at one time. If you need to change the paper or size of paper being used removed any other paper currently in the printer before inserting the new paper.
  5. If your printer uses a slot or tray for the paper make sure to not push the paper too far into the slot or tray.
  6. Examine the printer for any previous stuck paper in the printer. Previous paper jams, torn paper, printing labels or other foreign objects in the printer can cause reoccurring printer jams.

Additional information

  • See our paper jam definition for further information and related links.