How to unjam a printer and stop it from happening again

Clearing a jam on the HP Smart Tank 5101 isn't easy.
Photograph by Tracey Really / Digital Tendencies

There are few issues as irritating as a paper jam. Sadly, it’s all too widespread for paper jams to occur while you rush to print labels for specific shipments or want laborious copies for a gathering. That’s true on even the very best printers.

A printer jam not solely stops your progress, but in addition calls for rapid consideration since you gained’t be capable to print till it’s cleared. It may very well be a severe mistake to disregard the difficulty and take a look at printing once more since that might injury the printer.

Right here’s how you can unjam your printer so you’ll be able to proceed along with your undertaking. We’ll additionally share ideas to assist stop this drawback from occurring.

The way to unjam a printer

Since paper threads by means of tight areas and wraps round a number of rollers, it may be tough to clear a paper jam. The web page that’s caught might be unworthy of saving, however forcing paper that’s tightly caught may injury your printer.

Printer producers use varied mechanisms for paper dealing with; even fashions inside the similar model can have totally different paper paths and entry factors. For instance, to clear a tough paper jam on HP’s Sensible Tank 5101 printer, the printheads have to be disconnected from the ink provide earlier than turning the printer on its face to open a panel on the underside.

Finally, it’s finest to seek out the particular directions on your specific make and mannequin to clear a tough jam. We’ll offer you some ideas and hyperlinks under that can assist you discover the guide on your HP, Epson, Brother, or Canon printer.

For many printers, an important factor is to decelerate and proceed fastidiously. First, flip off the printer so you’ll be able to safely attain inside. Open any paper trays or doorways which can be simply accessible and examine inside.

In case you see the paper and might attain it, gently pull it to examine if it’ll come free. It’s OK to make use of tweezers or needle-nose pliers. Simply chorus from pulling on the sheet of paper too laborious with a device.

In case you’re fortunate, the caught paper may slide out with out forcing it. If it doesn’t transfer simply, it’s finest to cease and skim the producer’s directions for clearing a paper jam earlier than continuing.

The way to discover your printer guide

You can see the model number of your printer in Settings.
You possibly can see the mannequin variety of your printer in Settings. Picture used with permission by copyright holder

Most printers include a fast begin information, however full manuals are often solely obtainable from the producer’s web site. You’ll must know your printer’s mannequin quantity, which you’ll find in your pc’s printer settings or the producer’s app in your cellular system.

Listed here are the printer assist pages for the most well-liked manufacturers:

Hewlett-Packard (HP) (scroll down to seek out the search field)
Epson (use the search field or drill down by means of the classes)
Brother (select your printer kind, then proceed narrowing in in your particular mannequin)
Canon (choose Printers, then proceed narrowing in in your particular mannequin)

While you discover the assist web page on your printer, obtain the guide and discover the part on troubleshooting for extra detailed directions on how you can clear a tough paper jam.

In case you don’t see your printer model, strive an internet seek for the producer, then search for a hyperlink for assist or assist.

The way to stop paper jams

Riffle printer paper to help prevent sheets from sticking together.
Riffle printer paper to assist stop sheets from sticking collectively. Photograph by Tracey Really / Digital Tendencies

After you’ve struggled by means of a tough paper jam, you’ll most likely be desirous to cease that drawback from occurring once more. There’s no foolproof strategy to stop this difficulty, however some ideas may assist:

  • Loosen a stack of paper earlier than loading it into the printer. Fanning or riffling the pages will assist take away static that causes the paper to stay collectively.
  • Don’t overload the printer with paper. Many printers maintain 100 sheets, whereas some have room for a full ream (500 sheets) or extra. Alternatively, some paper trays have a most of simply 50 pages. In case you’re uncertain, make sure that it isn’t a good match, or examine the guide to learn the way many sheets you’ll be able to load without delay.
  • Use the precise paper for the tray and on your printer. In case your printer has a couple of enter tray, every could have suggestions for the scale, kind, and thickness of paper. Ensure you aren’t loading paper that’s incompatible.
  • Align the sides of the paper and insert it fastidiously into the printer. Paper enters the printer on rollers, so if it begins at an angle, it’ll keep crooked all through the printing course of. Meaning your doc might be creased if it passes by means of, or it may turn out to be jammed.
  • Retailer paper in a cool, dry place to maintain it recent, straight, and clear.
  • If you wish to refill the paper tray earlier than it’s empty, take away the remaining paper first. A change in paper kind or freshness may cause jams.
  • Contact the producer if paper jams happen continuously regardless of following the following pointers. Most printers have a one-year guarantee. Even when your printer is previous that date, the producer may be capable to assist with particular ideas on your mannequin or direct you to get upkeep or repairs to resolve this ongoing drawback.

Fixing printer issues

Paper jams are annoying, however that’s not the one factor that may go mistaken along with your printer. Test our troubleshooting information to get your printer again on-line and dealing.

Laser printers are often constructed for quantity printing and have extra strong paper dealing with. That often means paper jams are much less frequent with laser printers than with inkjet printers. In case you’re shopping for a brand new printer, that’s a element value contemplating.

If none of those options assist, it is perhaps time to search for a brand new printer. We now have a listing of the very best printers obtainable. In case you want a fundamental printer that’s good however low-cost, this information to the very best cheap printers will assist.

In case you’ve given up on the outdated clunker, don’t neglect to get rid of your printer correctly to keep away from environmental hazards.

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