How to unjam a printer and stop it from happening again

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Alan Truly

By Alan Truly December 8, 2023 1:00PM

Clearing a jam on the HP Smart Tank 5101 isn't easy.Photo by Tracey Truly / Digital Trends

There are few things as arresting as a cardboard jam. Unfortunately, it’s all too accepted for cardboard jams to appear back you blitz to book labels for accurate shipments or charge adamantine copies for a meeting. That’s accurate on alike the best printers.

A printer jam not alone stops your progress, but additionally demands actual absorption because you won’t be able to book until it’s cleared. It could be a austere aberration to avoid the affair and try press afresh back that could accident the printer.

Here’s how to unjam your printer so you can abide with your project. We’ll additionally allotment tips to advice anticipate this botheration from happening.

How to unjam a printer

Since cardboard accoutrement through bound spaces and wraps about one or added rollers, it can be difficult to bright a cardboard jam. The folio that’s ashore is apparently base of saving, but banishment cardboard that’s deeply ashore could accident your printer.

Printer manufacturers use assorted mechanisms for cardboard handling; alike models aural the aforementioned casting can accept altered cardboard paths and acceptance points. For example, to bright a difficult cardboard jam on HP’s Smart Tank 5101 printer, the printheads charge be broken from the ink accumulation afore axis the printer on its face to accessible a console on the bottom.

Ultimately, it’s best to acquisition the specific instructions for your accurate accomplish and archetypal to bright a difficult jam. We’ll accord you some tips and links below to advice you acquisition the chiral for your HP, Epson, Brother, or Canon printer.

For best printers, the best important affair is to apathetic bottomward and advance carefully. First, about-face off the printer so you can cautiously ability inside. Open any cardboard trays or doors that are calmly accessible and analysis inside.

If you see the cardboard and can ability it, acclaim cull it to analysis if it will appear free. It’s OK to use tweezers or needle-nose pliers. Just burden from affairs on the area of cardboard too adamantine with a tool.

If you’re lucky, the ashore cardboard ability accelerate out after banishment it. If it doesn’t move easily, it’s best to stop and apprehend the manufacturer’s instructions for allowance a cardboard jam afore proceeding.

How to acquisition your printer manual

You can see the archetypal cardinal of your printer in Settings.You can see the archetypal cardinal of your printer in Settings. Image acclimated with permission by absorb holder

Most printers appear with a quick alpha guide, but abounding manuals are usually alone accessible from the manufacturer’s website. You’ll charge to apperceive your printer’s archetypal number, which you can acquisition in your computer’s printer settings or the manufacturer’s app on your adaptable device.

Here are the printer abutment pages for the best accepted brands:

Hewlett-Packard (HP) (scroll bottomward to acquisition the chase box)
Epson (use the chase box or assignment bottomward through the categories)
Brother (choose your printer type, again abide absorption in on your specific model)
Canon (select Printers, again abide absorption in on your specific model)

When you acquisition the abutment folio for your printer, download the chiral and acquisition the area on troubleshooting for added abundant instructions on how to bright a difficult cardboard jam.

If you don’t see your printer brand, try a web chase for the manufacturer, again attending for a articulation for advice or support.

How to anticipate cardboard jams

Riffle printer cardboard to advice anticipate bedding from afraid together.Riffle printer cardboard to advice anticipate bedding from afraid together. Photo by Tracey Truly / Digital Trends

After you’ve struggled through a difficult cardboard jam, you’ll apparently be acquisitive to stop that botheration from accident again. There’s no foolproof way to anticipate this issue, but some tips could help:

  • Loosen a assemblage of cardboard afore loading it into the printer. Fanning or riffling the pages will advice abolish changeless that causes the cardboard to stick together.
  • Don’t afflict the printer with paper. Many printers authority 100 sheets, while some accept allowance for a abounding burrow (500 sheets) or more. On the added hand, some cardboard trays accept a best of aloof 50 pages. If you’re unsure, accomplish abiding it isn’t a bound fit, or analysis the chiral to acquisition out how abounding bedding you can amount at once.
  • Use the appropriate cardboard for the tray and for your printer. If your printer has added than one ascribe tray, anniversary will accept recommendations for the size, type, and array of paper. Make abiding you aren’t loading cardboard that’s incompatible.
  • Align the edges of the cardboard and admit it anxiously into the printer. Paper enters the printer on rollers, so if it starts at an angle, it will break agee throughout the press process. That agency your certificate will be channelled if it passes through, or it could become jammed.
  • Store cardboard in a cool, dry abode to accumulate it fresh, straight, and clean.
  • If you appetite to bushing the cardboard tray afore it’s empty, abolish the actual cardboard first. A change in cardboard blazon or bloom can account jams.
  • Contact the architect if cardboard jams action frequently admitting afterward these tips. Most printers accept a one-year warranty. Even if your printer is accomplished that date, the architect ability be able to advice with specific tips for your archetypal or absolute you to get aliment or aliment to break this advancing problem.

Solving printer problems

Paper jams are annoying, but that’s not the alone affair that can go amiss with your printer. Check our troubleshooting adviser to get your printer aback online and working.

Laser printers are usually complete for aggregate press and accept added able-bodied cardboard handling. That usually agency paper jams are beneath common with laser printers than with inkjet printers. If you’re affairs a new printer, that’s a detail account considering.

If none of these solutions help, it ability be time to attending for a new printer. We accept a account of the best printers available. If you charge a basal printer that’s acceptable but cheap, this guide to the best bargain printers will help.

If you’ve accustomed up on the old clunker, don’t balloon to dispose of your printer appropriately to abstain ecology hazards.

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Alan Truly

Alan is a Computing Writer active in Nova Scotia, Canada. A tech-enthusiast back his youth, Alan stays accepted on what is…

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