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How to Clear a Paper Jam

However advanced your printer, one piece of wrinkled paper can grind it to a halt. Most paper jams are straightforward mechanical problems. It can take patience to remove the paper, but once you've found it, you know the solution. If you can't find the issue or the printer still won't work after the paper is removed, consult your owner's manual or an expert repairman.


  • Turn off the printer. This reduces the chance of damaging the printer or injuring yourself. Wait for the printer to finish shutting down. Unplug the printer for additional safety.

Gently move print head sideways to free paper. In an inkjet printer, the print head is the component that moves across the paper, expelling ink from the attached cartridges. If the print head has not moved to the side of the printer, it is probably stuck against the paper. Gently try to move the print head sideways.


  • Using force may permanently damage the print head.

Slowly remove paper. To remove paper, grasp it firmly and pull very slowly. If the paper tears, it can spread paper fibers that interfere with printing. Pulling too roughly can also cause injury, as even a powered-off printer may pinch or scrape your fingers.


  • Use tweezers to reach narrow areas. Pull even more slowly when using tweezers, and alternate tugging from the left and right ends of the paper.
  • Whenever possible, pull in the direction the paper would travel through the printer.
  • If there's no way to avoid tearing, grab the paper from both ends of the jam. Try to catch hold of all torn pieces.

Remove the print head and try again. If the paper is still stuck, follow the instructions for your printer model to remove the print head or the ink cartridges. Gently tug out torn paper scraps, or grasp intact crumpled paper with both hands and pull gently downward.


  • If you don't have your printer manual, search online for "manual" and the name of your printer model.

Check the output tray. On inkjet printers, paper sometimes gets stuck in mechanisms near the output tray. Look into the slot feeding the output tray and gently remove any visible paper.


  • Some models have a knob that will enlarge this slot, making removal easier.

Try further disassembly. If the printer still will not function, you can try taking it all apart to search for paper. Because there are many different models of printer, you should look for specific instructions in your user manual. Search online or contact the printer manufacturer if you do not have a manual.


  • Some models have a knob that will enlarge this slot, making removal easier.
Our experienced and skilled technicians can provide support for all brands of printers including Ricoh, HP, Kodak, Konica, Dell, IBM, Brother, Toshiba, Lexmark, Epson and many more.