How to fix a printer paper jam can be really frustrating! Sometimes, printer paper jams, much to our bitter resentment and no matter how well we’ve treated it. This seemingly inevitable error often seems beyond help but fear not, this guide will take you through how you can clear the paper jam and prevent them from happening ever again.

How to prevent paper jams:


Consider your paper

They say prevention is better than a cure, and when it comes to a paper jam you can lower the chances of it happening by using the correct printing paper. Printers dislike moisture so store your paper in a cool and dry place, so that it doesn’t get damp – it’s worth noting that older paper is likely to have absorbed moisture. Also make sure you’re using the correct paper thickness for your printer, most printer paper is labelled clearly but if it’s too thin, or too thick, you’ll have trouble with paper jams.


Where is your printer?

It might seem strange that one of the solutions to how to fix a printer paper jam is where your printer sits but it’s difficult for a printer to do its job properly if it is piled on top of documents or books and not level. A lot of the mechanisms rely on the printer being flat and level, so paper jams are more likely to occur if your printer is positioned badly. Give it a good area to work in and you’re less likely to come across difficulties. Also, regularly check that paper is in the right position in the in-tray, that it’s not overloaded or almost empty.


Keeping your printer clean

Another common cause of a paper jam is a printer that has built up residue on printer nozzles or cartridges from dust particles. You can clean the printer heads by following the instructions on your printer. You can also buy some electronics dusting spray and after unplugging the machine, routinely spray in and around the printer and wipe with a cloth to remove the dust particles that could cause the paper to jam. We recommend you use a microfiber absorbent cloth in your printer, as they’re less likely to leave residue behind. Find out more in our article: How to clean your laser printer in 5 easy steps.

You can also get to the printer rollers if you lift up the flaps. There are specialist cleaning wipes for this job that won’t leave a residue and you should wipe the rollers until they’re no longer leaving ink on the wipes.

Video: How to Fix a Paper Jam

Here are our video tips to help you with how to fix a printer paper jam:

How to fix a printer paper jam in your inkjet printer


If a paper jam as been unavoidable, follow this procedure to try and un-jam it:

  • Switch your printer off at the power socket and unplug from the wall.
  • Remove the rest of the paper from the paper tray.
  • Open up the printer flaps to see where the paper has become jammed.
  • Be sure to always remove paper from the way it has gone in, do not pull it out of the front, as this could damage the mechanism.
  • If you cannot reach the paper, find some tweezers and ease it out gently with those. Equally, if the paper has become ripped use tweezers and rotate the rollers until you have freed every little scrap of paper from the machine.

When you start up your machine again, you will have cancelled all printing orders. We suggest that you print a test run prior to returning to your original document to check that your printer is working effectively again. If your printer is repeatedly faulting, you may want to contact a printer repair service.


Fixing a paper jam in a laser printer

We recommend you follow a similar routine to un-jamming an inkjet printer, however, once you’ve switched off and opened up the flaps you will need to give your laser printer time to cool down.

Wait at least 30 minutes for the rollers and fuser to cool down before you start fiddling around to get the lodged paper out. With a laser printer, to find the paper jam, you may also have to remove the toner cartridge to find the stuck paper but be sure to rest it on something you don’t mind marking, such as waste paper.

Next time you experience a paper jam, follow these tips and get back to printing as soon as possible!

Bonus: How not to fix a paper Jam

Now this might seem familiar. We all get frustrated and want to unleash the wrath of Zeus on our printers but definitely don’t do this: