How can I stop paper jams from occurring?

Paper jams can be very frustrating and time consuming to fix, however there are many steps you can take to ensure they do not occur in the first place.

1. Installing Paper Properly
When setting up a new printer or replacing a paper tray, make sure to check the instructions manual for the proper way to install that particular paper. Different types of paper should be loaded slightly differently and not all manuals will tell you to do the same. If loaded incorrectly, this can cause jams.

2. Remove Dust or Debris
Dust and small debris can easily accumulate on the rollers or other parts of printer which can lead to paper jams. Regularly check inside the printer for any dust build-up and remove it with a dry cloth or canned air. Cleaning the inside of the printer approximately every six months should help reduce the risk of paper jams.

3. Feed Just One Sheet at a Time
Many people will try to feed multiple sheets into the printer at once in order to save time, however this can cause a jam. Make sure to only feed one sheet at a time when printing.

4. Avoid Heavy Paper
Heavy cardstock paper can cause more jams than regular paper. If possible, avoid using heavy paper types as much as possible and stick with regular paper such as copy paper or light cardstock.

5. Adjust Your Printer Settings
Your printer settings may need to be adjusted in order to accommodate heavier paper. This can be done in the printer’s software and is usually labeled as “media type”. Try changing the settings to a heavier paper type and see if that helps reduce jams.

6. Check Printer Placement
Make sure your printer is placed on a flat, level surface. Printer placed on an uneven surface can lead to paper jams due to the uneven feeding of paper.

7. Check Paper Condition
High humidity can cause paper to curl which can lead to paper jams. Make sure to store paper in an area where humidity levels remain low. Also, check for any tears, wrinkles or creases in the paper before feeding it into to the printer.

8. Place Ream of Paper in Printer Correctly
When inserting a new ream of paper into the printer tray, make sure to insert it properly so that the paper feeds correctly. Doing so will prevent the paper from becoming jammed.

By following these eight simple steps, you can greatly reduce the chances of experiencing a paper jam in your printer. While these steps may not completely eliminate the occurrence of paper jams, they should help reduce the number of times you experience them, saving you time and frustration.