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How To Fix Printer Roller Not Pulling Paper?

It becomes really frustrating when your printer roller stops pulling paper. Whether an inkjet printer or a laser printer, the issue of printer rollers not pulling paper can occur in almost any printer. When faced with such a problem, you would first need to inspect your printer to find the reason behind the paper jam. This way you can effectively resolve the issue in no time.

The most common reasons behind the printer paper feeding error are listed below. Once you know why your printer is facing paper jam issues, you can fix the problem easily. This article highlights all the ways you can easily resolve the paper jam issue in your printer.

Reasons For Printer Roller Not Pulling Paper

It is important to know why your printer is not pulling paper before you try resolving the issue. Some common reasons why your printer rollers may not be pulling paper are listed below.

1. Paper Out of Spec

When the paper you use for your printer is too thick or too thin, you might experience this issue. When you use the wrong type of paper, even then, you might face the problem of printer rollers not pulling paper.

2. Paper Not Loaded Correctly

The paper needs to be loaded correctly for the printer to function optimally. When the paper is not kept all the way into the paper feeding tray or when the paper is not within the reach of the printer rollers, you can face paper feeding issues.

3. Blocked Paper Path

The path in which the paper is fed to the printer may be blocked with foreign objects, due to which there may be paper jam issues. Several times small articles like stapler pins, post its, paper clips, etc., could have gotten stuck in the path.

4. Dirty Paper Feed Rollers

Paper jam issues are a very clear indicator that the printer rollers may be dirty and need cleaning. You can use a rubber rejuvenator or a wet rag or WD-40 spray for cleaning the rollers.

5. Worn Out Paper Feed Rollers

Sometimes even a quick cleanse of the printer rollers may not be enough to resolve the problem. You must inspect the paper feed rollers and replace them if they seem worn out.

How To Fix a Printer Roller That Won’t Pull Paper?

Once you know why your printer rollers are giving issues, you can resolve the problem using the methods below.

1. Feeding Tray Problem

The feeding tray in a printer holds the paper and feeds them to the printer during the printing process. The feeding trays have springs that push the paper from underneath for the printer to grab them. This constitutes the first step of the printing process.

You must ensure that the springs in the feeding tray are functioning properly. If your printer has a removable feed tray, ensure it is placed correctly so the printer rollers can pick up the papers from it effectively.

If you live in a place with a lot of dust or if you frequently use matte paper, the printer rollers can easily get clogged, which would make them ineffective in picking the paper from the tray. In such a case, you will need to clean the printer rollers.

2. Paper Thickness or Type Unsupported

When you use a paper that is either too thin or thick, you will face the issue of printer rollers not picking the paper. This happens even when a paper type incompatible with your printer is used.

When you use a very thin paper, it will be taken by the rollers till the leading edge but it will end up getting crumbled over there making it difficult to go further. To avoid this, make sure that you check the GSM of the paper you buy and check whether it is compatible with your printer.

Some printers have settings that can be adjusted according to your paper. In case you are using a textured paper, ensure that the printer settings are adjusted according to it.

3. High Humidity

If your printer is placed in an area with a lot of humidity, it may be unable to complete the printing process. Humidity can affect the printer paper, making it difficult to pass through the rollers. Humidity can also have an effect on the toner or ink. It would make the drying process a lot longer. Move your printer to a cool and dry area to avoid such a problem.

4. Feeding the Wrong Side of Paper

Although all the printers may seem similar, some of them come with a printing side. If you fail to load such a paper properly, it will not go through the printer. The paper might not even get picked from the feeding tray. Check the manufacturer’s instructions given on the printing paper pack and place it appropriately in the feeding tray. Some printers would require you to place the printing side of the paper facing upward while some may require you to place it facing downward.

5. Inappropriate Paper Feeding Angle

Some printers have a special feeder area for printing envelopes or any other special paper. When you feed such special papers by hand, there are chances that you may feed it in the wrong angle. When you feed the paper by hand, make sure that you hold the paper properly and place the edges of the paper equally in the feeder.

How Do I Clean Printer Rollers?

With constant use, the printer rollers get dirty or worn out and may need a thorough cleaning. The best way to clean the printer rollers would be by using cotton swabs dipped in distilled water. You can even use an alcohol based cleaning liquid, but avoid this since it may dry out the rubber sooner. Another way to clean the printer rollers would be by purchasing a rubber rejuvenator specifically formulated for your printer. You can rub this or even spray it on the rollers to clean them.

What Are The Signs That You Need to Replace the Printer Drum?

When the drum unit in your printer fades, you will observe that the text and images would start fading. This will lead to white patches on the paper you print. When the drum fails completely, the printed paper will look completely blank. If this happens, you would need to replace the printer drum immediately.

Printer Roller – FAQs

1. Why is my printer not grabbing photo paper?

Ans: If your printer is not grabbing photo paper, the photo tray in your printer may be overloaded. This can also happen if the paper is curled or if the shiny side or print side of the paper is not fed properly into the printer. If the paper width guide appears too tight, it can also cause this issue.

2. Why clean printer rollers?

Ans:  If the rollers in your printer are not clean, it can lead to streaky, splotchy, and patchy print outs.

3. How do you fix paper curling?

Ans:  When there is excess moisture on the paper, it can lead to paper curling. You can fix it in the following way.
* Ensure that you store your paper in a cool and dry place, with minimum humidity.
* Fan the paper before feeding it into the printer.
* Use an appropriately thick paper which is compatible with your printer.
* Try using a different feeder on your printer.

4. How do you increase moisture in paper?

Ans:  You can expose the paper to an artificial source of high humidity. Some people store the printer rollers in a room with high humidity for a prolonged duration of around 7-15 days.


Everybody with a printer would have experienced the issue of printer rollers not pulling paper at least once in their lives. If you are currently stuck midway through a project due to such an issue with your printer, this article will be very useful for you. You can first find out the reason behind the printer rollers not pulling paper and then move on to fix the issue using any of the methods explained above.

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