How To Unjam A Printer?

Who wouldn’t love to have a printer without paper jams, right? Sadly, this isn’t possible.

No matter how top-notch your printer is, an uneven paper can jam it and bring the printer to a halt. It is an inevitable situation while using any type of printer. However, the unjamming process will be slightly different for each type.

To clear a paper jam, you will need a little patience. If it is not done in the right method, you might damage the input or output tray of the printer.

Eager to know how to unjam a printer without damaging it? We have discussed all the essential steps to help you out. Keep reading to find out!

Why Do Printers Get Paper Jams?

Why Do Printers Get Paper Jams?
Why Do Printers Get Paper Jams?

Before you get to know how to unpause printer, you should understand the reason behind paper jams. Understanding this is important to stop paper jams from happening in the future.

Let’s take a look at the major causes of printers’ jam.

1. Incorrect Loading Of Paper

This is the most common reason for jams in the printer.

The pieces of paper on few paper reams can stick to each other due to constant pressure in the pack for a long period of time. If this paper is loaded into the printer, more than one paper will get into the roller, resulting in jamming.

So, you need to check if all the pages are separate from each other prior to loading them.

2. Roller Malfunction

Papers can become slightly askew after entering into the roller due to any malfunction, and the printer won’t be able to process them. This will cause a paper jam.

3. Damaged Paper

If the paper you load has tears, rough spots, creases, then it could also halt the printing process. This mainly occurs because the rollers are built in such a way that they can only withstand a particular paper width.

How To Unjam Different Types Of Printers?

It is necessary to know the right method of unjamming a printer to do it without damaging the printer.

The unjamming process of printers might not be similar for printers with distinct technology since their construction is unique. Check out the methods to unjam different types of printers.

Type 1: How To Unjam Laser Printers?

The laser printer is the finest kind of printer, isn’t it? It can print hundreds of high-quality images and documents in a matter of seconds without any mess.

However, paper can still get jammed in it for various reasons. You can unjam the laser printer effortlessly with a few simple steps. Take a look at how it is done.

a. Turn Off The Printer

One thing you shouldn’t do to unjam a printer is open it while it is still running. It could result in electrocution and permanent damage to the printer.

So, first shut down your printer and wait until it is turned off. Then, unplug it and open the cover of the laser printer.

b. Wait For The Printer To Cool Down

The laser printer has two rollers that are called the fuser through which paper passes during the printing process. This fuser heats up and reaches a high temperature to attach the toner to the paper.

In maximum cases, the paper jams in a printer occur due to the roller malfunction. Even if the paper is not jammed near the fuser, you can accidentally touch it while inspecting other parts. So, wait for at least half an hour before you start working on the printer.

c. Remove The Toner Cartridge

The first thing you will see after opening the cover of a laser printer is the toner cartridges. To find the exact location where your paper is stuck, you will have to remove the cartridge.

Take out the printer cartridge very carefully. Otherwise, you might break the connecting pins and damage the cartridge itself.

d. Check The Rollers

Paper usually jams in a laser printer while passing through the rollers. So, after removing the cartridge, check them for debris and dust.

e. Gently Remove Pair

After finding where the paper is stuck, you will have to remove it with utmost caution.

In the event that the paper is jammed in between the rollers, check if they rotate when touched. If yes, turn them until the paper comes off.

However, if the rollers don’t turn and if the paper jam has different overlays or tears, search for the component appending the rollers to the printer. Then, cautiously detach a roller, and it will free the paper.

Type 2: How To Unjam Inkjet Printers?

Unjamming the inkjet printers are reasonably easy since their construction is not that complicated. Check out the process of unjamming an inkjet printer.

a. Shutdown And Unplug The Printer

Turning off and unplugging the printer reduces the risk of any sort of accidents or damage. So, before starting to remove the paper jam, you should wait for the printer to turn off.

b. Remove The Cover

After the printer is switched off, remove the main cover of the printer. Do it with proper caution to prevent any damage to the body of the printer.

c. Remove The Jammed Paper

Clearing a paper jam depends on the part of the printer in which the paper is stuck. The process is different for various printer parts.

Remove The Jammed Paper From Rollers

To take off the paper stuck in between the roller, hold the paper with one hand and pull it slowly along with rotating the roller with the other hand.

Do not pull the paper or turn the roller with excessive pressure. If the paper doesn’t come off from the roller normally, you should read the manual and remove a roller, which will eventually free the paper.

Remove The Jammed Paper From The Output Tray

This step is reasonably easy because the jam is external, and you will be able to enlarge the output slot by using a knob that is present in most inkjet printers.

If there is no knob available in your printer, grab the paper with both hands and try to tear it. After getting the half part from outside, pull out the remaining part of the paper from the inside, which you can see after opening the main cover.

d. Close The Main Cover

Now that you have unjammed the printer, close the main covering of the inkjet printer. But, before that, try to clean the print heads since it will improve the quality of the printouts and will get rid of microfibers stopping the nozzles.

How To Unjam A Printer Without Any Visible Paper Jam?

It might happen that your printer will indicate a jam, but even after opening the main cover of the printer, you won’t be able to see the paper jam. In such a case, you will have to do the following steps patiently to unjam the printer. Have a look!

1. Unplug The Printer

If you haven’t already switched off your printer, then do it. Don’t forget to unplug it because there might be some flow of electricity even after turning the printer off.

2. Open The Main Cover

This is an obvious step, right? To get into the interior of the printer, you will have to remove the cover no matter what.

3. Check For Debris

The main reason behind the jamming of a printer without any visible paper jams is the debris on the rollers or any other interior part of the printer.

Use a flashlight to thoroughly check the input and output tray and the rollers of the printer. You should also look for debris below the ink cartridge after removing it.

4. Clean The Debris And Dust

After finding out where there is debris in the printer, you will have to clean it.

To clean the debris, you should use a microfiber cloth. It will help prevent any scratches in the rollers.

In addition to that, you should moisturize the cloth with a little bit of distilled water or isopropyl alcohol. It will stop any debris or dust from getting into the nozzles of the printer.

While cleaning the roller, you should snap the clips and take the rollers out of the printer for more convenience.

If there is debris in the out rollers, you can enlarge the output slot, which will make the cleaning process much simpler for you.

5. Contact A Professional

If the printer shows a “paper jam” error message even after cleaning the whole interior of the printer, you will have to contact the printers’ customer service.

You should call the professionals without any further ado because few errors can’t be solved without the help of specialized personnel and if you do something wrong you can damage the printer permanently.


Printers have become an essential device in our homes and offices. However, from time to time, your printer might face paper jams. This jam can’t be avoided since it happens for the slightest mistake while loading the papers.

By knowing the right process of how to unjam a printer, you will be able to free the paper jam in no time. We hope after reading our article you have no doubts regarding removing the paper jam of a printer.

About Dror Wettenstein

Dror Wettenstein is a software engineer and entrepreneur with more than 15 years of experience in the industry. He is the founder of TechTreeRepeat, a company that enables technical writers to publish their work faster and share it with readers across the globe. Dror has a master’s degree in computer science from San Diego State University and a bachelor’s degree in physics from UC Irvine.

When he’s not working on software projects, Dror enjoys writing articles and essays on various topics. He also likes playing guitar and spending time with his wife and two young children.

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