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Common Paper Jam Or Feed Problems  


We have produced a self-help guide to resolving common printer paper jam or feed problems.  This is applicable to most laser or inkjet printers. 

Printer feeds multiple sheets



The input tray is overfilled. Open the tray and verify that the paper stack is below the maximum stack height mark.

Remove excess paper from the input tray.

Print paper is sticking together.

Remove paper, flex it, rotate it 180 degrees or flip it over, and then reload it into the tray.



Do not fan paper. Fanning can cause static electricity, which can cause paper to stick together.


Paper does not meet the specifications for this product.

Use only quality paper that meets the paper specifications for this printer.

Trays are not properly adjusted.

Make sure that the paper guides match the size of paper being used.

Printer feeds incorrect page size

The correct size paper is not loaded in the input tray.

Load the correct size paper in the input tray.

The correct size paper is not selected in the software program or printer driver.

Confirm that the settings in the software program and printer driver are correct, because the software program settings override the printer driver and control panel settings, and the printer driver settings override the control panel settings. (See Checking Settings below).

The correct size paper for the tray is not selected in the product control panel.

From the control panel, select the correct size paper for the tray.

The paper size is not configured correctly for the input tray.

Print a configuration page or use the control panel to determine the paper size for which the tray is configured.

The guides in the tray are not against the paper.

Verify that the paper guides are touching the paper.

Printer keeps jamming regularly

General Warning

After any jam, always remove the paper in the direction it is travelling, do not pull it backwards as you may damage the sensors.

Drum or Toner Sticking

Examine closely your drum or toner. Make sure it is not causing a problem. Try a different one if you can to eliminate any doubt.

Dirt or starch on the rollers.

Use a cleaning detergent (or rubber roller cleaner) to clean & dry all the feed rollers along the paper paths.  Use a vacuum cleaner (with crevice tool) to clear out any excess toner.

If all the other above conditions have been eliminated it may be an application or driver setting issue.

See the guidelines in the next section.

 Checking Driver & Application Settings

This is an example of how to do this in MS-Word on a Windows-XP system.  The same procedures will apply with most operating systems.  In principal you need to make sure that the correct settings occur all through the process:-


1). Check The Paper Size

Open the Cassette tray & check the size is set correctly. Some printers have a display panel that allows tray sizes to be set.  Check that the size is correct and same as the actual tray setting.  If you are using a specific type of paper or card, make sure it is set in the printer panel and then later in the Driver & Application.

2). Open The Printer Driver On The PC

In the > Printers & Faxes Panel, choose the relevant driver & then > Right-Click & Select Properties.


3). Paper Size Settings

Examine the ‘Paper Available’ panel .. it should be set to A4, or the size you are using.  It should NOT contain the size ‘Letter’. 

Open the panel for > Device Settings and examine very closely EVERY LINE in this section.  Make sure that they are set to A4 (or the size that you use) and are NOT Letter (this is U.S. Letter size and is not a European size .. it causes many feed problems).

 4). Application Page Set-Up

Each document that you print will have attributes set to determine the way the page is to be printed.  You should check the details in your document to make sure they are correct.

The example here is in MS-Word .. selecting File > Page Setup, then setting the paper size to match that which you wish to use.  Again, make sure the size & type are set to that which is actually going to be used in the printer.

Most applications will have a similar set of print options that need to be set before printing.


 Again the wrong setting, in particular ‘Letter’ often causes printer problems.

5). Feed Roller Cleaning

Another common cause of paper jams can be issues with the feed rollers.  Download this PDF and try this simple cleaning process if you are having problems that may be down to this.





Cotswold Printers, Unit 5E Ashchurch Industrial Estate, Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire GL20 8NB
Email: Tel: 01684.276178  Fax: 01684.297083

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