Printers generally need two things to do what you want them to do. First, they need paper, and then they need printer ink. So, it can be frustrating and confusing when you’ve loaded a printer paper tray, yet it says there’s no paper inside.
When your printer fails to detect paper inside, start by resetting the printer. That will resolve any minor issues causing that problem. If that doesn’t work, the problem is likely caused by incorrectly loaded paper, a foreign object stuck in the paper tray, dirty rollers, or outdated drivers and print software.
Keep reading to learn more about the issues mentioned above and how you can fix them quickly.
How Do I Fix My Printer Not Detecting Paper?
A printer will not work if it thinks it doesn’t have any paper. So, here are the reasons your printer fails to detect any paper and how you can correct them.
Perform A Printer Reset
What it is: Resetting your printer will often clear many minor issues it might experience. You can reset a printer by browsing its menus and looking for a reset or reboot option.
Alternatively, you can also power-cycle the device to reset it manually.
What happened: All electronic devices experience glitches from time to time. The simplest way to think of a glitch is as a short-term error that prevents the printer from behaving normally.
When your printer mistakenly says that there’s no paper, your first troubleshooting step should be to perform a reset on the printer. Doing that could clear the printer’s minor errors and save you time.
How to do it: You can reset any printer model through power cycling. In simpler terms, that means turning the printer off and on again.
Power cycling of a printer must be done correctly to be effective. So, firstly, disconnect the device from its power source. Then, leave it alone for at least 1 minute before reconnecting and restarting the printer.
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Refill Paper Correctly
What it is: You must consider several things when refilling a printer with paper. Firstly, the paper in an input tray or paper tray must be of the same type and size. You cannot mix paper sizes and types in the same input tray.
Besides that, the paper must be in good condition, free from crumples or folds.
Lastly, the printer’s input or paper tray must also be fixed correctly.
What happened: Another reason your printer fails to detect paper is something wrong with the paper supply. For example, the paper might be crumpled, folded, or arranged incorrectly in the paper tray.
Besides that, different paper types might be mixed together in the same tray. That might mean having a few pieces of A4 paper wrongly placed inside the A3 paper tray.
Lastly, the paper tray itself might not be installed correctly. The paper tray or its door is likely not closed firmly as it should be.
How to do it: Firstly, inspect the paper supply in your printer. Ensure all the paper is in good condition and arranged correctly. Next, follow your printer’s instructions when loading the paper tray.
Lastly, be sure to close the paper tray or its door firmly. Leaving it ajar even a little bit can cause your printer to say there’s no paper.
Foreign Objects In Paper Trays
What it is: Printers have different kinds of paper trays. For example, smaller desktop printers tend to only have a paper input tray. In contrast, larger ones have multiple removable paper trays to house several different types of paper at once.
What happened: When your printer won’t detect any paper, it’s also worth inspecting the paper trays a little closer. A foreign object that falls into the paper tray can be problematic for the printer.
For example, your printer won’t sense that the paper tray is inserted correctly if there’s a foreign object stuck in or around that tray.
How to do it: Printer paper trays are removable. So, it’s best to remove the tray that the printer thinks is empty and inspect it on all sides.
You must remove any foreign object stuck somewhere it doesn’t belong. Remember that this can also include crumpled pieces of paper stuck around the paper tray.
Check For Dirty Rollers
What it is: Printers rely on rollers to pick up paper from the paper tray and move it through the other components. Larger printers will also have several rollers to guide the paper to the printing section, where ink will be deposited onto individual sheets.
Those rollers will start turning when the printer receives printing instructions from your computer or other devices.
What happened: Dirty rollers can also affect the printer’s ability to detect paper. The rollers are likely dirty with dirt or paper scraps that might have come off during printing.
Naturally, each roller will get dirtier with time. So, the chances of this problem getting higher the more you use your printer.
How to do it: Firstly, remove any large pieces of dust, debris, or paper scraps that you find around your printer rollers. Next, you can apply small amounts of isopropyl alcohol (or rubbing alcohol) to clean the rollers.
Isopropyl alcohol is commonly used to clean electronic device components as it is effective at removing dirt and also evaporates quickly.
Update Printer Driver And Software
What it is: Printers receive data and instructions from your computer through drivers and other supporting software. Drivers convert your documents to data that the printer can understand and replicate by printing onto paper.
Overall, drivers and printer software control how a printer behaves.
What happened: Another overlooked aspect of printer maintenance is updating the printer driver and its supporting software.
Out-of-date drivers could contain bugs or errors that cause the printer to behave incorrectly. That also includes a printer failing to detect its paper supply even though its paper trays are full.
How to do it: Some manufacturers allow you to update printer drivers through their print management software. However, you can also do it by visiting the manufacturer’s website.
Printer manufacturer websites have a download section where you can find the latest drivers based on your printer model number. Download the driver that applies to your printer and install it.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Here are a few more helpful questions and answers for troubleshooting your printer:
How Do I Fix A Paper Error On My Printer?
You can fix most paper errors on your printer by ensuring that the paper isn’t jammed at the device’s moving parts. Then, check that the paper trays are correctly closed.
Is Printer Paper The Same As Copy Paper?
People often use the terms ‘printer paper’ and ‘copy paper’ interchangeably. However, copy paper tends to be thinner and therefore cheaper than printing paper. Copier paper is ideal for when you need to make multiple copies. However, you’ll want printer paper for a higher quality printout.
What Can I Use To Clean Printer Rollers?
You can use isopropyl alcohol (also known as rubbing alcohol) to clean your printer rollers. It’s effective for removing dirt and will evaporate quickly, protecting your printer from moisture damage.
Can I Use Any Paper In My Printer?
You can only use paper types and sizes that fit in your printer. So, check your printer’s user manual to know which paper sizes and types are compatible with that model.
What Causes Printer Problems?
Printer problems can be software-related or mechanical. Software-related issues are those that are caused by outdated drivers or software errors. Mechanical printer problems affect the printer’s moving parts, like paper jams.