Preventing Paper Jams – Quick Tips and Tricks

Paper jams are frustrating and happen at the worst times. However, there are plenty of easy preventative measures you can take to keep your copier running smoothly and your sanity intact!

Here’s our quick guide on how to prevent paper jams.

Paper Storage Matters!

Paper jam prevention starts before you even look at your copier.

  1. Store paper in a cool dry place. Moisture causes paper to expand which increases the chances of a misfeed or jam occurring.
  2. Don’t open a ream of paper if you aren’t going to use it right away! Moisture is your enemy when it comes to paper jam prevention. Moisture in the air over time is enough to cause paper to expand.
  3. Use the same kind of paper! Switching paper weights without changing the settings on your copier can cause misfeeds.

“Our paper is stored properly. Now what?” I’m glad you asked. How you load paper into your copier is important.

Load Paper Properly!

You’ve opened your ream of paper and you have opened the paper tray on your copier. Here are your next steps to prevent paper jams.

  1. Fan paper before inserting in the tray! This separates the paper’s edges, ensuring they won’t stick together. This helps prevent misfeeds.
  2. Make sure the tray is adjusted correctly! Ensure the paper fits snug within the guides to prevent misfeeds.
  3. Don’t overfill your copier! On your tray, there will be a line marking the maximum capacity. If you overfill, you are increasing the likelihood of a misfeed.
  4. Stack old paper on top of the new ream! Your copier is running low but isn’t completely empty. Don’t stack the new ream on top of the old paper. Remove the old paper, place the new paper in, and stack the old paper on top. (Remember above when we talked about moisture combined with paper over time? Use the oldest paper first to prevent the paper from expanding.)

Now that your paper is loaded correctly, close the tray gently and you should be all set!


Did you drop something important behind the copier? It happens! However, moving a copier even a short distance can cause paper jams.

  1. Don’t move the copier yourself! When a copier is moved, the finishers may not be aligned correctly which can cause paper jams. Leave copier moves to our technicians.


Remember, jams happen! Don’t panic.

No matter what, do not yank on the jammed paper! Pieces could fall into the machine causing damage. Or the force of yanking on the jammed pages could damage the delicate inner workings of your copier. If you can’t remove a jam by following the instructions on your machine, call us! We can often help you resolve a jam over the phone.

Our techs are here to help!

Call our office at 780-538-4128 for assistance.


Check out our reel demonstrating a hack for opening paper reams!