Paper jam

Updated: 04/30/2020 by Computer Hope
printer paper jam

A paper jam is a term used to describe when paper or other printed material gets stuck or lodged into a printer and cannot eject. When this occurs, the printer will not function properly until the paper is manually removed.

Causes of a paper jam

A paper jam can occur due to any of the following reasons.

  • Dirty paper rollers inside the printer.
  • Damp paper.
  • Paper with dog-eared corners or torn edges.
  • Too much paper in the paper tray.
  • Paper pushed too far into a printer's top-loading paper tray.
  • Back panel of printer not attached properly or closed completely.

How to prevent a paper jam

Below are some ways to prevent a paper jam in a printer.

  • Make sure the printer paper is not damp, and is kept in a dry location.
  • Using canned air or an air compressor, gently blow out any dust, dirt, or tiny paper shards from inside the printer.
  • Remove the back panel of the printer and clean out any debris, like shredded pieces of paper.
  • Do not load the paper tray completely full of paper. Fill about 1/2 to 3/4 full to prevent overloading.
  • If the printer has a top-loading paper tray, gently set the paper in the tray until you feel resistance. Do not force the paper in or push it down into the printer.

Printer, Printing terms