HP Printer Out of Paper Error: Troubleshooting Guide | Expert Tips

HP Printer Says Out of Paper But There is Paper: Troubleshooting Guide

HP Printer Says Out of Paper But There is Paper

If you’ve encountered the frustrating ‘HP Printer Says Out of Paper But There is Paper’ error message, you’re not alone. This issue can be perplexing, but with the right guidance, you can get your HP printer back on track. Let’s dive into the heart of the matter and understand what this error signifies and the common scenarios that lead to it.

The ‘HP Printer Says Out of Paper But There is Paper’ error message is a notification from your printer that it’s unable to detect paper in the tray even when there’s paper present. Essentially, it’s a false alarm, and there are several factors that can trigger it.

Common Scenarios Leading to HP Printer Says Out of Paper Error:

  1. Incorrect Paper Loading: One of the most frequent causes is improper paper placement in the tray. Make sure the paper is neatly stacked, and the tray isn’t overloaded.
  2. Paper Type and Size Mismatch: If the paper in the tray doesn’t match the settings on your printer, it can trigger this error. Ensure that your printer settings align with the paper you’re using. Guide more at How to Choose the Right Printer Paper Size for Your Printing Needs
  3. Paper Jams or Obstructions: Even a tiny paper jam or obstruction in the paper path can confuse the printer’s sensors, leading to the error message.
  4. Sensor Issues: HP printers use sensors to detect paper in the tray. Any malfunction in these sensors can result in false ‘Out of Paper’ errors.
  5. Outdated Drivers or Firmware: Outdated printer drivers or firmware can cause communication issues between your computer and the printer, potentially triggering this error.

Now that we have a clearer understanding of the problem and its potential causes, let’s proceed with troubleshooting steps to resolve the ‘HP Printer Says Out of Paper But There is Paper’ error.

Basic Checks and Precautions

Before diving into more advanced troubleshooting, it’s essential to start with the basics. Often, the ‘HP Printer Says Out of Paper But There is Paper’ error can be resolved with a few simple checks and precautions. Let’s go through these steps:

1. Ensure the paper tray is loaded correctly.

Proper paper loading is fundamental to preventing this error. Here’s what you should do:

  • Check Paper Alignment: Make sure the paper is neatly aligned within the tray. Misaligned or skewed paper can trigger the error.
  • Avoid Overloading: Don’t overfill the paper tray. Ensure it’s not packed to capacity, as an overloaded tray can lead to paper misfeeds.
  • Adjust Paper Guides: Most HP printers have adjustable paper guides within the tray. Align them to the paper’s width to ensure a snug fit.

2. Verify paper quality and type.

The type and quality of paper you use can influence your printer’s performance. Here’s what you need to consider:

  • Paper Type: Ensure you’re using the correct type of paper as specified by your printer’s settings. Using incompatible paper can lead to feeding issues.
  • Paper Size: Confirm that the paper size matches the settings on your printer. Mismatched sizes can trigger the error.
  • Quality Check: Inspect the paper for any damage, creases, or excessive moisture. Damaged or low-quality paper can cause feeding problems.

3. Check for paper jams or obstructions.

Even a small paper jam or obstruction in the paper path can disrupt your printer’s operation. Here’s how to address this issue:

  • Open the Printer Cover: Gently open the printer cover to access the paper path. Be cautious and follow your printer’s manual for guidance.
  • Remove Obstructions: If you spot any torn or stuck pieces of paper, carefully remove them. Ensure there are no foreign objects obstructing the paper path.
  • Clean the Rollers: Dust and debris can accumulate on the paper feed rollers, causing paper to slip. Clean the rollers with a lint-free cloth and a small amount of water or rubbing alcohol.

Once you’ve performed these basic checks and precautions, attempt to print a test page to see if the error persists. If the problem persists, proceed to the next section for more advanced troubleshooting steps.

HP Printer Sensors: How They Detect Paper

HP printers are equipped with sensors that play a crucial role in detecting the presence of paper in the paper tray. Understanding how these sensors work and their potential issues can help you troubleshoot the ‘HP Printer Says Out of Paper But There is Paper’ error more effectively.

Explaining the Role of Sensors

Sensors in your HP printer are responsible for detecting paper as it enters the paper path. Here’s how they work:

  1. Optical Sensors: Many HP printers use optical sensors to detect the presence of paper. These sensors emit a beam of light, and when paper interrupts this beam, the printer registers that paper is present.
  2. Mechanical Sensors: Some printers use mechanical sensors, which rely on physical contact with the paper. When paper touches the sensor, it triggers the detection mechanism.
  3. Electrical Sensors: Electrical sensors measure changes in electrical conductivity as paper passes through. When paper, which is typically less conductive than air, comes in contact with the sensor, it registers the presence of paper.

These sensors are strategically placed at various points along the paper path to ensure accurate paper detection. However, if any of these sensors malfunction or become dirty, they can lead to false ‘Out of Paper’ errors.

Potential Sensor-Related Issues

When dealing with the ‘HP Printer Says Out of Paper But There is Paper’ error, it’s essential to consider sensor-related problems. Here are some issues to be aware of:

  • Sensor Blockage: Dust, paper debris, or even ink buildup can obstruct sensors, causing them to malfunction. Regularly cleaning the sensors can prevent this issue.
  • Sensor Misalignment: Misaligned sensors may not accurately detect paper. If you suspect this is the case, consult your printer’s manual for guidance on repositioning the sensors correctly.
  • Sensor Damage: Physical damage to sensors can occur, especially if foreign objects accidentally enter the paper path. Inspect the sensors for any visible damage and replace them if necessary.

Now that you understand the role of sensors and potential issues related to them, you can incorporate sensor checks into your troubleshooting process. If you suspect sensor problems, we’ll cover how to address them in the subsequent sections.

HP Printer Drivers and Firmware

Outdated or incompatible printer drivers and firmware can often be the culprits behind the ‘HP Printer Says Out of Paper But There is Paper’ error. In this section, we’ll delve into the importance of keeping these software components up to date and how to do it.

Update Printer Drivers

Printer drivers act as intermediaries between your computer’s operating system and your HP printer. When these drivers become outdated or corrupted, communication issues can arise, leading to errors like the ‘Out of Paper’ problem. Here’s how to update your printer drivers:

  1. Visit the HP Website: Go to the official HP website and navigate to the “Support” or “Drivers and Downloads” section.
  2. Enter Your Printer Model: Enter your printer model number or use the website’s detection tool to find the correct drivers for your printer.
  3. Download the Latest Drivers: Download the most recent driver package compatible with your operating system.
  4. Install the Drivers: Follow the installation instructions to install the updated drivers on your computer.
  5. Restart Your Computer: After installing the drivers, restart your computer to ensure the changes take effect.

Firmware Updates for Error Fixes

Firmware is the software that controls the internal operations of your HP printer. Sometimes, outdated or buggy firmware can lead to issues like the ‘Out of Paper’ error. Updating the firmware can often resolve these problems. Here’s how to update your printer’s firmware:

  1. Visit the HP Support Page: Go to the HP Support website and locate your printer model.
  2. Check for Firmware Updates: Look for firmware updates available for your printer model. Download the latest firmware package.
  3. Install the Firmware Update: Follow the instructions provided with the firmware update to install it on your printer. This process may vary by model, so consult your printer’s manual if needed.
  4. Restart the Printer: After the firmware update is complete, restart your printer to apply the changes.

Updating both your printer drivers and firmware can address software-related issues that trigger the ‘HP Printer Says Out of Paper But There is Paper’ error. If the error persists, don’t worry; we’ll explore further troubleshooting steps in the upcoming sections.

HP Printer Paper Settings Configuration

Correctly configuring your paper settings on both your computer and your HP printer is vital for preventing the ‘HP Printer Says Out of Paper But There is Paper’ error. In this section, we’ll explore how to adjust these settings to ensure they match seamlessly.

Adjusting Paper Settings on Your Computer

Your computer’s paper settings need to align with those of your HP printer to prevent conflicts. Follow these steps to adjust the paper settings on your computer:

  1. Open the Print Dialog: When printing a document, open the print dialog box from the application you’re using (e.g., Microsoft Word).
  2. Select Your HP Printer: From the list of available printers, ensure you’ve selected your HP printer as the active printer.
  3. Access Printer Preferences or Properties: Depending on your operating system and application, locate the “Printer Preferences” or “Properties” option.
  4. Configure Paper Type: In the preferences or properties window, find the section related to paper settings. Here, you can specify the type of paper you’re using (e.g., plain, glossy) and its size (e.g., letter, A4).
  5. Confirm and Print: After making the necessary adjustments, click “OK” or “Print” to send your document to the printer with the updated paper settings.

Printer’s Paper Type and Size Settings

On your HP printer itself, there are settings related to paper type and size that must be configured correctly. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Access the Printer Menu: Use your printer’s control panel to navigate to the printer menu or settings.
  2. Locate Paper Settings: Look for the section that allows you to configure paper-related settings. It may be labeled as “Paper,” “Paper Handling,” or something similar.
  3. Set Paper Type: Select the appropriate paper type that matches the paper you’re using (e.g., plain, photo, or specialty paper).
  4. Set Paper Size: Specify the correct paper size (e.g., letter, legal, A4) to match the paper loaded in the tray.
  5. Save Changes: Once you’ve adjusted the paper type and size settings, save the changes, and exit the printer menu.

By ensuring that both your computer’s settings and your printer’s settings are perfectly aligned, you reduce the likelihood of the ‘HP Printer Says Out of Paper But There is Paper’ error occurring due to a mismatch.

Resetting the HP Printer

If you’ve tried the previous troubleshooting steps and the ‘HP Printer Says Out of Paper But There is Paper’ error persists, it might be time to consider resetting your HP printer. In this section, we’ll explore two levels of resets: a soft reset and a factory reset, the latter being a last resort.

How to Perform a Soft Reset

A soft reset is a simple and safe procedure that can resolve minor issues with your printer. Here’s how to perform it:

  1. Turn Off the Printer: Make sure your HP printer is powered on, then press the power button to turn it off.
  2. Unplug the Power Cord: Disconnect the power cord from the back of the printer. Wait for about 30 seconds to ensure all residual power is discharged.
  3. Plug in the Power Cord: Reconnect the power cord to the printer’s rear, ensuring it’s securely plugged in.
  4. Turn On the Printer: Press the power button to turn on the printer. Allow it to complete the startup process, which may take a minute or two.

A soft reset can often clear temporary glitches and restore your printer to working order. If the ‘Out of Paper’ error persists, consider a factory reset, but be aware that this will erase all customized settings.

Performing a Factory Reset as a Last Resort

A factory reset should be your last option when all other troubleshooting methods have failed. It returns the printer to its original factory settings. Here’s how to perform a factory reset:

  1. Access the Printer Menu: Use the printer’s control panel to navigate to the settings menu.
  2. Locate Reset Options: In the settings menu, find the option for resetting the printer. It may be labeled as “Restore Defaults,” “Factory Reset,” or something similar.
  3. Confirm the Reset: Follow the on-screen prompts to confirm the reset. Be aware that this action will erase all customized settings, including network configurations and saved preferences.
  4. Restart the Printer: After the factory reset is complete, the printer will restart. Allow it to complete the startup process.

Performing a factory reset should only be considered when all else fails, as it erases personalized settings. If the ‘Out of Paper’ error persists even after a factory reset, it’s time to contact HP support or consider professional assistance.

Cleaning and Maintenance the HP Printer

Maintaining a clean and well-maintained HP printer is essential to prevent the recurrence of the ‘HP Printer Says Out of Paper But There is Paper’ error. In this section, we’ll discuss how to keep the paper path clean and establish regular maintenance routines.

Keeping the Paper Path Clean

A clean paper path ensures smooth paper movement and accurate paper detection. Here’s how to maintain it:

  1. Power Off the Printer: Before cleaning, turn off and unplug your HP printer for safety.
  2. Open the Printer Cover: Gently open the printer cover to access the paper path. Refer to your printer’s manual for specific instructions.
  3. Inspect for Debris: Carefully examine the paper path for any debris, paper scraps, or foreign objects that may have entered. Remove them with tweezers or a soft brush.
  4. Clean the Rollers: Dust and residue can accumulate on the paper feed rollers, leading to feeding issues. Use a lint-free cloth slightly dampened with water or rubbing alcohol to clean the rollers. Allow them to dry thoroughly before closing the printer cover.
  5. Close the Printer Cover: Once you’ve cleaned the paper path and rollers, securely close the printer cover.

Regular Maintenance Routines

Establishing regular maintenance routines can significantly extend the life of your HP printer and reduce the likelihood of errors like the ‘Out of Paper’ problem. Here’s a maintenance checklist:

  1. Scheduled Cleaning: Set a regular schedule for cleaning your printer. Depending on your usage, monthly or quarterly cleaning is recommended.
  2. Update Firmware and Drivers: Ensure your printer’s firmware and drivers are up to date, as we discussed earlier. Regularly check for updates and apply them promptly.
  3. Use High-Quality Paper: Invest in high-quality, well-stored paper to minimize paper-related issues.
  4. Store Paper Properly: Store paper in a cool, dry place, and avoid exposing it to extreme humidity or temperature fluctuations.
  5. Replace Worn Parts: Over time, certain printer components, like rollers, may wear out. Be prepared to replace them as needed to maintain smooth operation.
  6. Maintain a Dust-Free Environment: Keep your printer in a clean, dust-free area to prevent dust buildup inside the printer.

By following these cleaning and maintenance practices, you can ensure that your HP printer remains in optimal condition, reducing the chances of encountering the ‘HP Printer Says Out of Paper But There is Paper’ error in the future.

Paper Tray and Feed Roller Inspection

Your HP printer’s paper tray and feed rollers play a critical role in ensuring smooth paper handling. In this section, we’ll guide you on how to examine the paper tray for issues and how to clean and maintain the feed rollers for optimal performance.

Examining the Paper Tray for Issues

The paper tray is where your printer stores and feeds paper into the printing mechanism. Regular inspection can help prevent problems like the ‘HP Printer Says Out of Paper But There is Paper’ error. Here’s what to do:

  1. Power Off the Printer: Always begin by turning off and unplugging your HP printer for safety.
  2. Open the Paper Tray: Gently pull out the paper tray to access its contents.
  3. Check Paper Alignment: Ensure that the paper within the tray is neatly stacked and properly aligned. Misaligned or skewed paper can lead to paper feeding issues.
  4. Avoid Overloading: Do not overfill the paper tray. Make sure it is not packed to capacity, as this can result in paper misfeeds.
  5. Clean the Tray: Dust and paper residue can accumulate in the paper tray over time. Use a clean, dry cloth to wipe away any debris. Ensure the tray is completely dry before loading paper back in.

Cleaning and Maintaining Feed Rollers

How to Clean Printer Rollers

Feed rollers are responsible for moving paper through the printer. Keeping them clean and well-maintained is essential for preventing errors. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Locate the Feed Rollers: Access the printer’s paper path to locate the feed rollers. Refer to your printer’s manual for guidance if needed.
  2. Power Off the Printer: As always, turn off and unplug the printer before performing maintenance.
  3. Remove Paper: Take out any paper from the input tray and the paper path to prevent accidental damage or injury during the cleaning process.
  4. Clean with a Lint-Free Cloth: Dampen a lint-free cloth with water or a mixture of water and isopropyl alcohol. Gently clean the feed rollers, ensuring you remove any dirt, dust, or residue. Be thorough but gentle to avoid damaging the rollers.
  5. Allow Rollers to Dry: After cleaning, allow the feed rollers to air dry completely before reassembling the printer and reloading paper.

Regularly inspecting the paper tray and maintaining the feed rollers will help ensure that your HP printer operates smoothly. These practices reduce the chances of encountering the ‘HP Printer Says Out of Paper But There is Paper’ error.


Congratulations! You’ve just completed your troubleshooting journey for the ‘HP Printer Says Out of Paper But There is Paper’ error. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you’ve gained the knowledge and skills to tackle this frustrating issue effectively.

As a printer expert in the field of printers, with years of experience in troubleshooting various printer issues, including the notorious ‘Out of Paper’ error. Carl Abel passion for helping individuals and businesses achieve seamless printing experiences has driven him to share his expertise through this comprehensive guide.

Before we wrap up, it’s essential to emphasize the value of a printer test page. After implementing the troubleshooting steps, we recommend printing a test page to confirm that your HP printer is now functioning correctly. This simple step can provide peace of mind and ensure that your printer is ready for your printing needs.

Remember, maintaining your HP printer in optimal condition by keeping it clean, updating drivers and firmware, and configuring paper settings correctly is key to preventing future errors. With these practices in place, you can enjoy smooth and hassle-free printing for years to come.

Thank you for choosing this guide as your go-to resource for resolving the ‘HP Printer Says Out of Paper But There is Paper’ error. If you have any further questions or encounter any challenges, don’t hesitate to reach out to HP support or consult with a professional technician.

Happy printing!

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. Q: Why does my HP printer frequently display the ‘Out of Paper’ error?
A: Several factors can trigger this error, from incorrect paper loading to sensor issues. This guide covers the troubleshooting steps to help you pinpoint the exact cause.

2. Q: Can using the wrong paper type or size trigger this error?
A: Yes, using paper that doesn’t match your printer’s settings can lead to ‘Out of Paper’ errors. Ensure your paper type and size settings are accurate.

3. Q: Is it safe to perform a factory reset on my HP printer?
A: Performing a factory reset should be a last resort. It’s generally safe, but it will erase all customized settings. Contact HP support if you’re unsure.

4. Q: How often should I clean my HP printer to prevent such errors?
A: Regular cleaning and maintenance, depending on your printer’s usage, can prevent many issues. A good rule of thumb is to clean it every few months.

5. Q: What should I do if none of the troubleshooting steps work?
A: If the error persists despite trying all solutions in this guide, it’s time to contact HP support for professional assistance.

About Author

Carl Abel
I am a printing expert with years of experience in various printing techniques. My expertise includes offset printing, digital printing, and screen printing. I am known for my attention to detail, problem-solving skills, and commitment to delivering outstanding results. I am dedicated to staying up-to-date with the latest developments in printing technology to provide cutting-edge solutions. I am passionate about collaborating with clients to transform their ideas into stunning prints. Read more about us