What to do if the printer does not pick up the paper

Updated: May 12, 2023
6 min read
What to do if the printer does not pick up the paper
by Jessica Miller
Tech Expert & Writer
Checked by
Quality Control team

A very common problem is when MFPs and printers do not pick up paper after you send a document to print. This occurs from time to time with both laser and inkjet devices, various models of HP, Epson, Samsung, etc. To get rid of this type of problem, you should first determine the cause of its occurrence. The problem is often associated with minor software failures, the use of paper of inappropriate quality, the wear and tear of rollers over time, and the ingress of various objects inside the printer. Such problems can usually be solved very easily, even without the help of specialists.

Before we start

Save your time and let professionals resolve your issue in minutes!
Want to start solving your problem immediately? Experienced Howly troubleshooters can fix your issue ASAP. They’re already waiting for you in the chat!

The benefits you’ll get while troubleshooting your issue with Howly experts:

    • Qualified help with laptops HDD
    • Quick advice right in your device 24/7/365
    • Expert reply within 60 seconds
    • Clear step-by-step guidance
    • Limitless number of follow-up questions
    • Understanding and empathetic help till your laptop HDD issue is fully resolved
    • All answers you need in one place

General check of printer and software operability

You should start by checking the printer to see if it is working properly and if there are any software failures. You should immediately find out if the rollers are rotating. To do this, proceed as follows:

  • Turn on the device;
  • After a while, the green indicator should light up;
  • Then send the document to print, there will be a sound caused by the movement of the carriage, and the rotation of the axis;
  • If everything is okay, the sheets should be fed to the printer, there were no software failures, and the mechanism is functional.

If after plugging in and pressing the power button on the printer Xerox, Brother, Canon or any other model does not light up the corresponding indicator, it is better to contact the professionals.

The same should be done if you lack practical experience in repairing such equipment.

You will also need the help of service professionals if the rollers and carriage do not move after being sent to print. But first, you can try to reset the settings to rule out the possibility of a software failure. To do this, proceed as follows:

  • Turn on the printing device until it is completely ready for operation;
  • Completely turn off the power by disconnecting the corresponding cord;
  • Wait for about 15 seconds;
  • Plug the cord back in;
  • Power on, the printer should start automatically, if not – press the corresponding button;
  • Print a proof document using the control panel or by pressing the button of your choice for 4 seconds (this does not work on all models).

If the parts (roller, carriage) start moving and the check document prints out, you can continue working. The cause of the problem is the malfunction in the control program. When everything is working, but the paper does not come in at all or the sheets are only taken in half, then you should look for the cause by carrying out further checks.

Checking the paper

What to do if the printer does not pick up paper

Another common reason for your issue can be poor paper quality. To troubleshoot the problem in this case, proceed as follows:

  • Take the previously inserted sheets out of the tray;
  • Remove the crumpled and damaged ones;
  • Check the conformity of the paper in terms of size and density (is 80 g/m²);
  • Align 20 sheets by tapping their edges on the table;
  • Load the stack into the tray as far as it will go, adjusting its position with the guides;
  • Send the validation file to the printer.

If the document is printed normally, then this is your cause, and you can continue to work as usual. If it fails, you should consider other possible problems.

Foreign objects inside

banner 3

One possible reason for a printer not picking up paper, or not doing so well, could be foreign objects inside it. To get them out, you can do the following:

  • Turn off the power;
  • Remove the paper and remove the feed tray and output tray, if possible;
  • In a laser printer, you take out the cartridge;
  • Open all covers, inspect the unit for foreign objects, and if found, remove them;
  • The printer is assembled;
  • Insert paper into the tray (20 sheets are enough);
  • Turn on the device;
  • Print out a test text.

Small pieces of paper can also cause a problem. If any pieces of paper are found, they should always be removed. If the result is unsatisfactory, it is necessary to continue with the repair.

Checking the rollers and cleaning them

A common problem with the lack of paper grip is a malfunction in the internal components of the machine. Most often it happens due to the fact that the roller responsible for the paper grip has become very dirty and no longer performs its functions. This is a natural process associated with the long use of the machine.

In this case, the problem is solved by cleaning the rollers. To do this, you should prepare the following:

  • Cotton swabs;
  • A lint-free rag or cloth;
  • Clean water (ideally distilled water).

It is advisable to avoid the use of any cleaning agents or alcohol-based products. It is best to use special products for cleaning rubber. As an option, "Copikliner" is a good choice. If there is nothing at all, then water will do. The process of cleaning rollers:

  1. Se-energize the printer.
  2. Moisten the cloth with the liquid and use it to clean the rollers. In the process, the cloth should be changed several times until the dirt spots stop appearing on it.
  3. When you can't reach some of the rollers with a rag, you use cotton swabs.

When cleaning, it is important to make sure that no liquid enters the printer itself. To make it easier to clean the rollers, you can first loosen the clamps slightly. Some models allow you to remove them from the device altogether. That way, cleaning will be much easier.

The second reason for the lack of paper grip can be a worn roller. A simple solution to this problem is to replace the rollers. However, there is another way to solve the problem.

  1. Gently slide the roller and turn it over.
  2. Pull out the roller and wrap it tightly with several turns of duct tape. After that, install it back. This simple procedure can prolong the life of the old roller for some time.

However, these measures are temporary, and it would be best to replace the old rollers.

Breakdown of the paper feed unit

Manipulation with the rollers may not have the desired effect. The fact is that they are not the only ones responsible for picking up paper. In every printer, there are other paper feed units. With frequent use, they may be too worn out and no longer perform their functions. There is too much gap, so the paper simply does not grip.

There are several ways to deal with this problem.

  1. Try replacing the tray fasteners. Sometimes it is enough just to swap them.
  2. Place plastic or cardboard pads.
  3. To get rid of the bushing backlash, you can make a couple of coils of metalized tape around the base of the bushing. The main thing is not to overdo the number of layers. If you wrap a lot of tape around it, it will create excessive resistance and the paper will not grip.

Rollers and paper feed sensor

banner 6

Canon model printers have another weakness. Very often the paper sensor gets dirty. It is needed to control the flag which is raised when a sheet of paper is fed. If the sensor is defective, a jam occurs and further paper feeding becomes impossible.

Setting up the driver

The printer or multifunction device does not pick up paper even if you change the settings of the drivers that are responsible for printing documents. The procedure to correct the problem, in this case, is as follows:

  • By opening any text file, go to the print window;
  • There, choose the device you want to use;
  • Use the "Functions" tab to set the type of paper used and the sheet size;
  • Save the changes made;
  • Perform a test printout of the selected document.

Other reasons

It is worth remembering that lack of paper grip is the most common problem among all printer owners. This problem can be related to a large number of non-obvious causes. Therefore, in order to be completely sure of the cause of the malfunction and fix it, it is not recommended to make repairs with your own hands.

It is important to note that in some models when you turn on the manual paper feed, the grip is disabled. Usually, users activate this function and then forget about it. To return to automatic mode, you must enter the menu and select the appropriate option.

In any case, if this problem occurs, you can try to clean the rollers or use the other given tips. However, if they do not help, it is better not to make further repairs yourself. You should take the printer to specialists who can make an accurate "diagnosis" and repair the equipment.

Howly expert is ready to help you with your Printers problem

No comments yet...

What about starting a discussion? Be the first to share your thoughts!

Write a comment

Trusted & Secured

We use cookies to improve your browsing experience on our site, show personalized content and targeted ads, and analyze site traffic.
More info