How to Remove Paper Stuck in a Printer?

Getting paper stuck in a printer is a frustrating experience that most people encounter at some point. However, removing jammed paper is often easier than it seems if you follow the proper steps. This guide will walk you through the process of clearing different types of paper jams so you can resume printing quickly.

How to Remove Paper Stuck in a Printer?

Why Paper Gets Stuck

Before learning how to remove stuck paper, it helps to understand some of the common causes of paper jams:

  • Worn or defective parts – Parts like rollers and belts wear out over time. When they become too worn, they fail to feed paper properly.
  • Dust and debris – Paper particles, toner, and other debris can accumulate in the paper path and cause obstructions.
  • Improperly loaded paper – If paper is loaded incorrectly or multiple pages go through at once, they can become misaligned and get stuck.
  • Moisture – High humidity can cause paper to absorb moisture and jam more easily.
  • Wrong paper type – Some printers are designed only to use certain paper types and weights. The wrong paper choice increases chances of jams.

By being mindful of these culprits, you can help prevent jams in the future while also clearing current obstructions more easily.

Preparing to Remove Stuck Paper

Before attempting to remove stuck paper, take a few preparatory steps:

  • Cancel Any Current Print Jobs: Using the display panel or your computer’s print queue, cancel any jobs currently in progress. Clearing any pending tasks can help resolve error messages related to jams.
  • Power Off the Printer: Turn off the printer before clearing jams to avoid any further confusion for the print mechanism.
  • Open All Access Doors: Most printers have multiple access doors and panels that open to reveal the paper path. Unlatch and open access doors to expose jammed paper.

Pro Tip: Refer to your printer’s user guide for exact locations of release levers, access doors, and paper paths.

Removing Paper Stuck in the Top Cover

Paper stuck inside the top printer cover is common due to the straight paper path here. Follow these steps to remove it:

  1. Press the cover release button on the side of the printer.
  2. Gently lift and lower the top cover to expose the rollers and paper jam.
  3. Carefully pull the stuck paper out towards you. Make sure no torn pieces remain inside.
  4. Inspect the rollers and gears for any obstructions. Remove torn pieces and debris.
  5. Close the top cover when the paper path is clear. Make sure the cover latches into place completely.

Clearing Paper From Inside the Bottom Paper Cassette

Jams can also easily occur at the opening of the bottom paper tray, blocking feeding. Here’s how to clear them:

  1. Pull out the paper cassette from the bottom of the printer.
  2. Remove any loose or jammed paper from the feed opening.
  3. Use both hands to carefully bend and slide jammed sheets out. Avoid tearing them.
  4. Replace the paper stack, pushing the cassette completely into the printer.

Removing Stuck Paper From the Back of the Printer

The rear paper path also prone to jams as paper makes tricky turns going through the printer. To clear, follow these steps:

  1. Locate the rear access door of the printer. It may have a green handle or button to press.
  2. Pull open the rear door and carefully remove any jammed paper inside.
  3. Check for any torn bits stuck in corners and remove them.
  4. Close the rear access door completely when the path is clear.

Troubleshooting Tips

  • Avoid pulling jammed paper from the front. Always pull either towards the back or up instead.
  • If paper tears, remove all fragments to prevent further jams.
  • When clearing multiple sheets, remove them slowly one by one instead of together.
  • After clearing jams, print a test page. Ensure pages feed smoothly before starting actual print jobs.

Preventing Future Paper Jams

While occasional paper jams are hard to avoid completely, you can take some steps to reduce their frequency:

  • Use only recommended print media. Avoid thin, thick, or irregularly shaped paper.
  • Fan the stack of paper before loading it to prevent sheets sticking together.
  • Load paper properly into the cassette, adjust edge guides. Confirm settings match paper size.
  • Clean the interior using compressed air or a soft brush. Wipe down rubber rollers with a lint-free cloth.
  • Replace worn parts like rollers and separation pads when needed.

Catching and clearing paper jams promptly is key too. Don’t ignore error messages indicating obstructions.

By understanding potential causes and following the right directions, you can clear print media jams easily without professional help. Just locate where sheets have gotten stuck in the paper path and gently remove them. Taking preventative measures can further help minimize occurrences over time too.

Key Takeaways:

  • Paper jams happen due to worn printer parts, dust buildup, misaligned paper, and other issues.
  • Before removing stuck paper, power the printer off, cancel print jobs, and open access doors.
  • Gently pull out jammed paper from the top cover, bottom cassette, rear path, and other locations.
  • Remove all torn fragments and clear obstructions from rollers or gears.
  • Prevent future jams by using the right print media, loading paper correctly, cleaning the printer interior, and replacing worn components.


Clearing jammed paper from your printer may be frustrating, but doesn’t need to be difficult. By understanding why sheets commonly get obstructed during feeding, you can take both reactive and proactive measures. Preparing the printer properly and methodically removing stuck sheets through all access doors gets everything back up and running. And keeping your printer maintained and using appropriate media reduces how often jams happen. Just remember to always pull gently rather than forcing torn pages that lodge further inside. With the right technique, you can get the printer cleared and resume printing in no time.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Q: Why does paper keep getting jammed in my printer?
A: Frequent paper jams often occur due to dried-out rollers, accumulated dust and debris in the paper path, or the wrong size/type paper being used. Replacing worn parts, cleaning the interior, and using the recommended print media can help minimize jams.

Q: Can using low quality paper cause more printer jams?
A: Yes, inexpensive copy paper is thinner and prone to misfeeds more often. For fewer jams, select thicker paper grades made specifically for printers.

Q: How do I stop paper tearing when pulled from jams?
A: Gently pull paper out towards you rather than tugging forward. Go slowly if removing multiple stuck sheets to avoid tearing. This prevents remnants getting lodged further inside the printer mechanism.

Q: Why does my printer show an error message about paper stuck even when empty?
A: The printer sensor continues detecting torn bits of paper stuck in the paper path somewhere. Check areas like corners, gears, and rollers thoroughly for fragments, and remove all pieces.

Q: Can I damage my printer by pressing rollers or components when clearing jams?
A: Avoid touching essential printer parts as oils from skin can damage rollers and interfere with feeding performance. Carefully remove paper without pinching wires or pressing delicate mechanisms.

Q: How should stacked paper be loaded to avoid misfeeds?
A: The paper stack should be fanned to prevent sheets sticking together before loading. Adjust the edge guides in the cassette tightly against the stack too. Improper media loading causes alignment issues.

Q: Why does my paper keep jamming underneath the printer?
A: The lower cassette likely has an obstruction near the opening where sheets feed into the mechanism. Gently pull out the tray and clear any stuck paper or fragments blocking entry.

Q: Paper jammed while printing envelopes. Is there a better way to load them?
A: Load only one envelope at a time in the center tray rather than stacking multiple. Also consider feeding envelopes in landscape orientation to avoid catching long edges.

Q: Can humid weather increase chances of paper jams?
A: Yes, moisture makes paper expand slightly. This increases friction against printer components, making multi-feeds and jams more likely.

Q: Are third party or refilled toner cartridges linked with more paper jams?
A: Possibly. Some non-OEM supplies and components cause paper handling issues. Stick to recommended cartridges to reduce jam frequency.

Q: Where can I find a detailed map showing the printer paper path and jam points?
A: Your printer’s service manual diagrammatically indicates components along the media route. This shows exact access points if paper gets obstructed while feeding.

Q: One paper corner is stuck deep in the printer. How can I remove it safely?
A: Use tweezers or needle nose pliers protected by tape on the grips. Carefully pinch the fragment and slowly pull it out without pressing other components.

Q: I cleared a paper jam, but now the printer won’t print. What should I check?
A: After removing stuck paper, the printer may need to be reset. Turn it off and then back on. Also make sure all access doors are completely closed and latched into place. The cover open sensor prevents printing when loose.

Q: What household items can I safely use to clean printer paper dust and debris?
A: Compressed air works well. A soft small brush like a makeup brush or clean paintbrush are other good options for gently sweeping out paper particles stuck inside.

Q: My printouts have lines through them after a jam. Is this caused by toner buildup?
A: Yes, media rubs toner off belts and rollers onto printed pages if not cleaned after jams. Wipe components along the paper path thoroughly using a microfiber cloth.

Q: Can wrinkled or previously printed paper cause jams when reused?
A: Yes, paper that already went through a printer, copier, or laser printer and has existing toner on it is prone to jamming. Always feed cleanly sheets instead with no wrinkles or damage.

Q: What paper thickness should I use for this printer?
A: Refer to the owner’s manual or manufacturer’s website for specifications on acceptable paper weights to prevent jams. Using too thin or too thick media frequently causes misfeeds.

Q: How often should parts like pickup rollers be replaced?
A: As a preventative measure approximately every 100,000 pages or after 1-2 years. However signs like recurring jams, multiple feeds, lines on prints indicate components should be changed sooner.

Q: Can I run very smooth or glossy paper through my printer safely?
A: Feed only recommended paper types as listed in the user guide according to weight and texture. Ultra smooth sheets often slip and slide causing misalignment then jams.


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