What To Do With A Ghost Jam?

What To Do With A Ghost Jam?

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Have you ever gone to print something—whether at the office or at home—and received a prompt on the computer that the printer has a jam?  

Of course you have!  Anyone who uses a printer on a regular basis encounters this problem. It is usually pretty simple and quite an easy fix. Occasionally the paper gets stuck in the automatic feeder of the printer and you just have to remove it and realign it.  

But sometimes you receive this error message and you go to the printer only to find that there is, in fact, no paper jam.  This is called a “ghost jam” and it is among the most common problem associated with printers, today.  

And that is good news, of course, because it means that you won’t have to go looking for printers for sale at 123inkcartridges.ca just yet.  Instead, you can probably take care of the problem yourself.

You see, a “ghost jam” is typically the result of paper or other gunk getting stuck between the rear duplexer gears. When this happens, the roller will feel stuck and that will prompt the program to display, on your computer screen, that there is a paper jam error, even though there isn’t one.  Obviously, the program is designed only to respond to predictable outcomes, so it tells you there is a paper jam.

When you check the error and find there is not, in fact, a paper jam, this is when you can discern it is a ghost jam, and can proceed to fix it. To remedy a ghost jam you need to:

  • Take out the rear duplexer to reach the four rollers, which should move freely
  • If that does not help (or they do not move freely) then you should touch at least two of the contact points with a paper clip. This will bridge the electrical current between them, tricking the printer into thinking that a new duplexer has been installed. Continue to bridge this gap even after the printer and your computer respond.
  • Press OK on the printer’s control panel when you receive a prompt from your computer
  • Check for any white plastic gears. Typically they are on the left side of the printer.  If these white plastic gears feel frozen or stalled or jammed in any way—or if it seems like they might skip—clean them thoroughly
  • Next, find the furthest rubber roller and start to rotate it; you are looking for shards of paper to remove
  • Clean all teeth and restore rollers.


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