Printer Says Out of Paper But Has Paper? Fix It Quickly

I understand how frustrating it is when your printer says out of paper but has paper. Printers are crazy machines and often act this way.

No worries though! A simple restart will most likely fix the issue. It will wipe away any glitches in the printer’s memory and solve the problem.

If that does not work, here are a few other things you can do.

Check the Paper Type and Paper Size

First things first. The paper type and paper size you insert in the printer should exactly match the paper settings in your printer.

Otherwise, it will fail to detect the paper and show the error.

  • Open Settings > go to Bluetooth & devices and open the Printers & scanners menu.
  • Select your printer name and open Printing Preferences.
  • In my case, it’s the HP printer and I am using A4 size plain paper. So, I am selecting it. You can do it accordingly.
  • Interestingly, you can also do it from the printer’s screen, if yours has one.

Pro Tip: Inserting papers with moisture, rolls, folds, and bends also causes the issue. In this case, the paper detection sensor fails to notice/detect the paper and your printer throws the error.

Please check if that’s the case. Do not forget to fasten the papers using the paper guide (a clip-like movable thing on the paper tray)

Are You Printing From the Right Paper Tray?

How many paper trays do you have in your printer? One, two, three, or more?

Make sure you choose the Paper Tray where you have inserted the papers.

For instance, one of my Brother printers has two trays. Putting paper in Tray1 and selecting Tray2 in PaperSource will show the “Out of paper” error.

You can change the paper source of your printer from the Printing preferences or the touchscreen. It’s your choice.

Do not Put Papers More/Less than Printer’s Capacity

All the printers have a pre-specified paper capacity. For instance, my printer can only take 50 papers (at max.)

Overstacking the papers throws the out-of-paper error. Similarly, putting too little paper also gives the same error.

I suggest you put about 15-25 papers in the tray, restart the printer, and check if that works.

Fix Problems With Paper Detection Sensor

If every other thing seems fine, the paper detection sensor is the culprit. Remember, the sensor is not repairable so you need to replace it. Kindly seek assistance from a hardware expert.

Having said that, I often see cases when the sensor gets blocked by dust, gunk, and debris and fails to detect the paper.

So, before taking your printer for repair, I strongly advise taking a blower/compressed air and cleaning your entire printer (mainly the paper tray area).

Well, that’s all you can do when your printer says out of paper despite having papers fully loaded in the paper tray.

Do let me know what works for you. Also, don’t hesitate to comment down below if you need any assistance. I will reply ASAP.

Meet Deependra Pangeni, the printer expert and founder of With a background in Computer Engineering and a huge collection of printers, Deependra knows all about printing. He shares his how-to guides, solutions and tips on to help everyone print perfectly.

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