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Why does my Printer Keep Jamming?

We’ve all been there before. You’re in the middle of printing an important document when suddenly, your printer jams.

Why does this keep happening? Here are a few possible reasons why your printer keeps jamming, and how you can fix the problem.

Overloaded Tray 

Jamming can often happen when there’s too much paper in the tray. Make sure to insert the paper correctly and check for any errors before printing. The best way to avoid jams is by having the right size and type of paper for your printer.

Using the Wrong Paper

You might be having trouble with your printer because you’re using the wrong kind of paper. Cardboard, even the thinnest kind, won’t work in a printer. Office paper is compatible with most printer models, while the thicker or folded paper is more likely to cause paper jams.

Too Many Commands in a Row

If you send a print job to the printer and it doesn’t print, avoid sending the job multiple times. Wait for a bit, then try again. If it still doesn’t work, you can restart or unplug the printer. Sending multiple jobs could cause a paper jam.

Foreign Object in the Printer

One of the easiest ways to avoid a jam is by checking your printer for any foreign objects that may be causing the issue. There may be some paper leftover from the last time the printer jammed. This might include sticky notes or paper clips that can be stuck in the printer.

Rollers Are Dusty

The rollers may not be picking up the paper correctly because of the dust that has built up. To avoid paper jams, clean the rollers from time to time. Always unplug your printer first, and use a soft kitchen cloth and some water to clean the rollers.

Hardware Issue

There are times when you may have a hardware issue that you can’t fix on your own. If your printer is still under warranty, you should contact the manufacturer to repair it. Often, a part may need to be replaced or it might be easier to buy a new printer.

Software Issue

Sometimes it might be a software problem where the printer says there is a paper jam even if there isn’t one. Restart the machine and see if the message keeps appearing on the printer display screen

How to fix a paper jam in a printer?

If you ever have a paper jam while printing, don’t worry. This is a guide on how to troubleshoot and remove the stuck paper. Although each printer is different, these steps should work for most brands and models.

If you can, try not to pull the stuck paper out from under the front cover of the printer. If you have to, be very careful not to damage the printer. You’re better off pulling it out from the back or paper tray.

  1. First, turn off the printer before you start. Electricity can be dangerous, and you don’t want any parts moving around when you’re trying to fix the jam.
  2. If the paper is stuck, don’t pull on it. This might tear the paper and make the problem worse. Instead, follow the paper’s natural path. If the rollers are pulling it, keep pulling it through. Don’t try to push it back in the other direction.
  3. When the jammed paper has been removed, close all the access panels, replace any items you removed before turning the printer back on. The printer may need to recalibrate when it starts up again.

How to Avoid Paper Jams?

It is important to use high-quality printer paper if you want your documents to look good. If you skimp on the quality of the paper, you will actually be doing more damage to your printer in the long run. Make sure that you are using the right kind of paper for your printer. You can find this information by reading the instructions that came with your printer. 

Most modern printers have different settings that you can adjust to print on different types of paper. Sometimes you might need to print on thicker paper for certificates or glossy paper for photos. Before you print on a different type of paper, check your printer’s settings to see if it has the option to do so.

People sometimes make the mistake of putting different types of paper in the paper tray at the same time. This can cause inconsistencies between each print job.

Some more tips:

  • Update software.
  • Load the printer correctly.
  • Keep the printer clean by removing dust sitting inside the printer.
  • Align the paper properly.
  • Use a good-quality paper if possible.
  • Don’t overfill the paper tray. 
  • Download the correct printer driver from the official website.

How to reset a printer to fix a paper jam?

Sometimes resetting a printer can help troubleshoot paper jams and software issues. 

To reset the printer:

  • Turn it off.
  • Disconnect from the power source for 30 seconds
  • reconnect the power souce
  • Press and hold the power button for 10-20 seconds which will turn a yellow triangle light on.
  • Release the resume button and a green light will blink, which will reset the printer.

The reset procedure may differ depending on the printer you have. It is always a good idea to check the instruction manual.


Why is my printer jamming every time?

If your printer keeps jamming, it is probably because the paper is not loading in properly. The paper needs to go in smoothly and be completely flush with the tray. If you fill-up the tray too much, it will cause a jam. 

What do I do when my HP printer keeps jamming?

To troubleshoot your HP printer when paper jams:

  • Turn off the printer. 
  • Unplug the power cord from the electrical outlet.
  • Open the rear access door.
  • Clean the pressure rollers on the rear access door with a lint-free cloth lightly moistened with water.
  • Wait for the rollers to dry.
  • Remove any jammed paper that is accessible from the rear access door.
  • Carefully remove it from the front of the printer if you can’t remove it from the rear access door.
  • Discard any paper that is damaged and reload the paper into the tray.
  • Reinstall the rear access door.
  • Reconnect the power cord to the printer.
  • Turn on the printer.

You may need to remove some debris from inside the printer if the problem persists. 

How do I clean the rollers on my HP printer?

To clean the rollers of a HP printer:

  • Turn off the printer and unplug the power cord.
  • Remove the rear access door.
  • Clean each roller using a clean lint-free cloth moistened with water.
  • Rotate the rollers to clean the entire surface thoroughly.
  • Make sure the rollers are clean before attaching the rear access door.
  • Plug in the power cord and turn on the printer.

Can a paper jam ruin a printer?

When paper gets stuck in the printer, this can stop your printing completely. Paper jams are often easy to fix without damaging your printer.

Why does my Canon printer keep jamming paper?

If the printer tray is too full, it can cause a paper jam. This happens when there is too much paper for the printer to handle at one time. This can be caused by putting different types of paper in the tray or by using paper that is too big or small for the printer.

How do I clean the inside of my printer?

Cleaning your printer can be a tedious process, but it’s worth the time and effort. Make sure you have all of these items before getting started: rubbing alcohol, cotton swab for wiping down surfaces where ink may have leaked, vacuum cleaner or canned air to remove any leftover dust particles.

Do printers need to be lubricated?

Adding one or two drops of oil to each rod will keep your printer running smoothly. Simply move the printhead back and forth until it is evenly coated.

Why should rollers and gears on a printer lubricated?

If your printer is starting to make noise when it prints, you can try oiling the rollers. This will help reduce friction and extend their life!


Printers are notorious for jamming, but often it’s an easy fix. Make sure you are loading the paper correctly and that the tray isn’t too full. If you follow these simple tips, your printer will be up and running in no time.