The first step in unclogging a jammed printer is to identify the underlying cause of the jam. A paper jam is the most common form of printer jam, caused by a sheet of paper getting lodged in the printer mechanism. This can be caused by incorrectly loading paper into the printer feed tray, using paper that’s too thick for the printer type, a problem with the pickup roller in the printer, or an issue with the paper feed mechanism inside the printer itself.
If it appears the paper jam is caused by improperly loaded paper, the user can check to make sure the paper was loaded correctly, and try reloading it if necessary. If the paper appears to be too thick, a thinner type of paper should be used.
If the issue appears to be related to a problem with the pickup roller or paper feed mechanism, the printer will need to be turned off and unplugged before any further action is taken. At this point, the user should refer to the product manual or contact the manufacturer/vendor for instructions on how to open the printer up to clear the jam.
Once the printer is opened, the user can often access the jam by manually removing the affected sheet of paper from the printer mechanism. Gently tugging on the sheet of paper should pull it out; if the page is too tightly lodged, a pair of tweezers can be used to carefully grab and remove it. Once the page is removed, the user may be able to restart the printer and resume printing without any further issues. However, depending on the severity of the jam, the user may need to open the printer to make sure all pages are cleared from the mechanism.
In some cases, the jam may not be visible. In such cases, it is best to consult with a professional printer repair person who may need to take the printer apart and service it accordingly.
To help prevent a jammed printer in the future, the user can check to make sure the paper is loaded properly in the feed tray, and that only the type and size of paper that the printer is designed for is used. It is also important to ensure printed material is supported until it exits the printer completely, as fanning it can increase the risk of a paper jam. Additionally, regular maintenance and cleaning of the printer should be undertaken to reduce the risk of jams.