Whether you’re printing important documents or family photos, your HP printer shouldn’t get jammed. A jammed paper feed is a surefire way to ruin your half-printed papers and pictures, and it can also cause significant mechanical issues if left unfixed.
HP printers can become jammed or experience paper feed problems when the fill tray is overloaded, dust gets caught in the feed rollers, or if the printer paper is too thick. You can fix paper jams and feed problems by reducing the amount of paper below the feed and cleaning the rollers.
Fortunately, HP printer paper jams and feed problems are some of the most manageable printer problems to troubleshoot and fix. Use this guide to help you determine the precise cause of your printer feed problems and select the best possible solution.
HP Printer Keeps Getting Jammed
Paper jams can be frustrating, especially if they happen consistently. If your HP printer paper continually gets jammed inside the feed during printing, there could be several things going wrong. From too much paper in the feed to faulty rollers, let’s explore the many reasons why your HP printer keeps getting jammed.
HP printers can jam from time to time, but a printer that consistently stops during printing is likely suffering from one (or several) common problems. These issues include:
- An overfilled feed tray that’s causing the printer to latch onto multiple sheets at a time
- Debris caught inside of the paper rollers
- A broken ribbon that’s ripping the paper as it travels through the printer
- Too-thick printer paper that’s too heavy for the rollers
You’ll need to do some quick troubleshooting to discover which of these issues is causing your endless paper jams. If you’ve been careful to insert a single sheet of paper into your printer, you can immediately discount the first potential cause.
Additionally, if your printer is brand-new and fresh out of the box, there likely isn’t any dust, hair, or dirt caught inside the printer. After checking that your printer’s ribbon is in excellent shape, you may want to consider your chosen printer paper’s thickness. Most HP printers cannot print on heavy cardstock or thick paper.
If the problem is an overfilled feed tray, then the solution is simple: Remove all of the paper from your feed tray and begin using single sheets at a time (or fill the tray with a small stack of printer paper). However, if the problem is debris, you might struggle.
Many of the small components inside of an HP printer are challenging to reach and clean. Still, you can use a small electronics vacuum or pressurized air canister to dislodge any debris around the rollers.
Hair might be the most challenging type of debris to remove, as it often ends up wound around internal gears and metal parts. A small pair of sewing scissors could help you cut through any hairy areas, but you’ll want to use them carefully. A wrong move could result in a clipped wire, and as a result, a non-functioning HP printer.
You can replace a broken ribbon, though in some cases, it might be more affordable (and straightforward) to replace the entire printer! This is especially true of printer owners that aren’t comfortable with the idea of performing at-home printer maintenance and repair. Still, you may be able to contact a local electronics repair technician to help you replace your printer ribbon.
Finally, if you’re using heavy cardstock or thick printer paper, switch to a thinner and lighter paper variety. Most printers list their minimum and maximum paper width range within the owner’s manual. The information you need should be in the Paper Handling subsection of your manual.
HP Printer Won’t Stop Saying Paper Jam
Household printers used to be single-purpose machines that could only handle perforated sheets of lined printer paper. Nowadays, they’re multipurpose devices capable of faxing, scanning, printing, and photocopying documents and photos.
However, this technological advancement does come with a few potential downsides, including the occasional glitch. What on earth do you do when your HP printer doesn’t stop telling you that there’s a paper jam?
If your HP printer won’t stop saying paper jam, there’s one of two things happening. You might be:
- Experiencing a legitimate paper jam, or
- Seeing an unfortunate software glitch
Luckily, fixing this issue is often pretty simple. You might be able to solve this message error in as little as one minute.
The first thing you’ll want to do after seeing this message is to see if there’s a paper jam. If there is, you’ll want to go ahead and troubleshoot the jam to find a proper solution.
However, if you’ve gotten the paper jam message for no apparent reason, you can simply unplug or shut-down your printer and count to thirty. Plugging it back in should be enough to reset your printer, and the message should immediately disappear.
If it doesn’t, you’re likely dealing with a mechanical issue that’s triggering your printer’s feed sensors. In this case, you’ll need to take a closer look at your paper feed and feed rollers.
HP Printer Paper Jam Error But No Paper Jam
If your HP printer keeps telling you that there’s a paper jam error, but you can’t see any such paper jam, you might be dealing with a software glitch. However, you may also be seeing signs of a much graver (and physical) issue.
Why would your printer tell you that there’s a paper jam error if there’s no paper jam? Well, the most straightforward reason is a glitch. Even the most hi-tech printers can experience technical issues from time to time, and an incorrect error message isn’t the rarest HP printer issue.
However, if this message persists after a printer reset, you’re more likely dealing with internal debris. When hair, dirt, and dust get caught inside your printer, they can cause the rollers to stall and stick. This, in turn, triggers the printer’s sensors to declare a paper jam error.
The easiest solution to this problem is a simple printer reset. However, unplugging your printer, waiting for several seconds, then plugging it back in doesn’t always fix this issue. In some cases, you may need to clean your printer.
Be sure to unplug your printer before cleaning your printer feed rollers. Additionally, do not use cleaning chemicals when removing dirt or dust. A dry cleaning cloth (preferably microfiber) is a far safer and more effective solution.
HP Printer Paper Jam Won’t Clear
There might not be a more frustrating problem than having an HP printer paper jam that just won’t go away. Still, even the most brutal jams have clear-cut solutions.
Paper jams that don’t go away with gentle pulling or prodding can be challenging to resolve, but they’re not impossible. In most cases, tough paper jams result after users ignore multiple warning signs.
Printers that consistently jam or malfunction are more likely to suffer from severe and difficult-to-clear paper jams. As such, poor user maintenance and cleaning may be one of the most significant causes behind nasty printer paper jams.
To get rid of tough paper jams, you’ll want to unplug your printer. After that, try pulling at the paper that’s stuck within the printer. If possible, pull it toward you in the direction that it would naturally move during printing.
If the paper is torn and you cannot easily access it, you may need to disassemble your printer and access the underside of the paper rollers, where bits of paper might be gunking up the works. Naturally, you can also choose to hire an electrical device repair technician to help you repair serious paper jam problems.
HP Printer Not Recognizing/Detecting Paper
Is your HP printer not recognizing or detecting the paper you’ve put in the feed? Sadly, this issue is relatively common, and it seems to stem from a combination of factors.
Paper quality is one of the most significant reasons you might experience paper detection problems, though printer mechanical issues may also be to blame. A wrinkled or torn paper might not trigger the printer feed mechanism, causing your printer to signal that it’s out of paper.
However, a faulty or broken paper feed can also contribute to a printer’s failure to detect paper. Troubleshooting this issue is relatively straightforward.
Be sure only to use clean, flat, smooth printer paper to avoid this problem. If you are using brand-new, unwrinkled printer paper but you’re still struggling to get your printer to recognize that it has access to paper, you may need to clean your printer’s rollers, feed system, or ribbon.
HP Printer Not Taking/Loading Photo Paper
HP printers are often designed to handle multiple types of printing projects. It’s not uncommon to find HP printers that produce simple black-and-white documents alongside bright, photo-finish pictures. But occasionally, HP printer paper feeds can struggle with photo paper.
The first thing you’ll want to do when experiencing this problem is to confirm that your HP printer can take photo paper. Some HP printers are explicitly designed for basic document printing. The ribbon and guide bar’s width may be far too small to run photo paper, causing significant user issues.
If you’re using an HP printer that can print high-quality photos, you’ll want to check that your photo paper is the correct size and thickness for your printer. You can find this information in the Paper Handling section of your printer’s user manual.
When an HP printer refuses to take or load photo paper, the most common culprit is a sizing problem. To fix this, you’ll simply need to ensure that the photo paper you’ve chosen is the correct size and type for your printer.
HP Printer Not Feeding Paper Properly
HP printers can jam when the paper feeding fails to catch paper, or it catches too many sheets at once. If you’re handling printer feed problems, you’re not alone. Fortunately, you’re also not without solutions.
The primary cause of HP printer feeding problems is an overfilled paper tray. If you’ve overloaded your printer’s paper tray, the feed may pick up multiple sheets at once, causing unwanted bunching and jamming at the ribbon.
Always read your HP printer’s user manual before stocking it with paper or ink. Most HP printers have clearly labeled paper stocking limits, and it’s crucial to pay attention to these limits.
Larger printers may have an internal, drawer-like paper feed tray with a small sticker or mark to show the fill line. Smaller, compact models typically only handle a sheet or two at a time.
There are several reasons why you might experience an HP printer paper jam or feed problems. Common culprits include an overfilled feed tray, thick printer paper, and small debris caught in the feed rollers. The best way to solve a jammed paper feed depends on the precise source of the problem.
Paper that is too thick will consistently cause jams and feeding problems. Small bits of dirt, dust, or lint that get trapped within the printer may also lead to blockages. Be sure to keep feed rollers clean and your paper feed tray at an adequate level.