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HP Photosmart C4200 All-in-One Printer Series - 'Out of Paper' Error Message and the Printer Does Not Pick Up or Feed Paper

Issue

The product does not pick up or feed the paper from the tray. The product might make noises as though it is printing, but no paper moves through it.
A paper feed issue can occur for several reasons, such as dusty or contaminated paper rollers, the condition of the paper in the tray, or even issues with the software.

Video of resolving a paper pick issue

The following video demonstrates how to resolve a paper pick issue.
If you have trouble viewing the video or to view the video in a different size, click here to play the video on YouTube.

Solution one: Perform a reset

Sometimes, restarting the product can clear a paper feed issue. Follow these steps to perform a reset.

Step one: Reset the printer

  1. With the printer turned on, disconnect the power cord from the rear of the printer.
  2. Unplug the power cord from the wall outlet.
  3. Wait at least 15 seconds.
  4. Plug the power cord back into the wall outlet.
  5. Reconnect the power cord to the printer.
  6. Turn the printer on.

Step two: Print a self-test report

Printing a self-test report verifies if the hardware functions correctly.
  1. Load letter, A4, or legal unused plain white paper into the input tray.
  2. Press and hold the Cancel () button, and then press the Start Copy Color () button.
  • If the self-test report prints, try printing the original document again. If the issue is resolved, there is no need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If the issue persists, continue with the next solution.
  • If the self-test report does not print, continue with the next solution.

Solution two: Check the condition of the paper, and then reload it

Paper feed issues might result from dusty, torn, wrinkled, wet, or folded paper in the tray. The quality of the paper can also make a difference. Use only good quality paper that meets product specifications. Follow these steps to check the condition of the paper.
note:
For the purposes of these troubleshooting steps, use only 10 to 25 sheets of plain white, unused paper.

Step one: Check the condition of the paper

  1. Remove the stack of paper from the tray.
  2. Check for obstructions inside the tray. Use a flashlight to view the mechanism inside the tray to make sure that nothing blocks the paper from engaging with the rollers. Even small pieces of paper can cause paper feed issues.
    note:
    If you find obstructions in the paper path, skip to the section on cleaning the rollers.
  3. Examine the condition of the paper, and then replace any ripped, dusty, curled, wrinkled, or bent paper.
  4. Make sure that all the paper in the stack is the same size and type. Never load mixed types of paper in the tray. The product can only process one type of paper at a time.
  5. Tap the stack of paper on a flat surface to align the edges.
  6. Make sure that the stack of paper contains no fewer than 10 sheets and no more than 25 sheets of paper.
    note:
    You need to use 10 to 25 sheets of paper only for purposes of these troubleshooting steps. When the issue is resolved, you can resume loading paper according to the paper tray capacity specifications for your product.

Step two: Reload the paper

  1. Pull out the tray extender.
  2. Slide the paper width guide to its outermost position.
    Figure : Adjust the paper width guide
    Adjust the paper width guide
    note:
    If you are using letter or A4 paper or smaller, make sure the tray extenderis open all the way.
  3. Tap a stack of paper on a flat surface to align the edges, and then check the paperfor the following:
    • Make sure it is free of rips, dust, wrinkles, and curled or bent edges.
    • Make sure all the paper in the stack is the same size and type.
  4. Insert the stack of paper into the input tray with the short edge forward and the printside down. Slide the stack of paper forward until it stops.
    Figure : Load paper
    Graphic: Load paper
      caution:
    Make sure that the product is idle and silent when you loadpaper into the input tray. If the product is servicing the print cartridges orotherwise engaged in a task, the paper stop inside the device might not be inplace. You could push the paper too far forward, causing the product toeject blank pages.
  5. Slide the paper width guide inward until it stops at the edge of the paper.
    Do not overload the input tray; make sure the stack of paper fits within the input trayand is no higher than the top of the paper width guide.
    Figure : Move the paper width guides inward
    Graphic: Adjust paper width guides
    note:
    When using legal-size paper, leave the tray extender closed.

Step three: Print a self-test report

Printing a self-test report verifies if the hardware functions correctly.
  • If the self-test report prints, try printing the original document again. If the issue is resolved, there is no need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If the issue persists, continue with the next solution.
  • If the self-test report does not print, continue with the next solution.

Solution three: Clean the rollers

Dust or paper residue on the rollers inside the product can cause paper feed issues. Follow these steps.

Step one: Clean the rubber paper-feed and pick rollers

  1. Press the Power button () to turn off the product.
  2. Turn the product so that you can access the rear side.
  3. Disconnect the power cord from the rear of the product.
  4. Remove the rear access door. Press in the latch on the rear access door, and then pull it away from the product to remove it.
    Figure : Remove the rear access door
    Illustration of removing the rear access door
  5. Look for paper that might have jammed inside the printer. Use a flashlight to carefully view the areas around the rollers. Remove all traces of paper found.
  6. Wipe the rubber paper-feed rollers with a lint-free cloth lightly moistened with distilled or bottled water. Rotate the rollers up carefully to clean all the way around.
    Figure : Rubber paper-feed rollers
    Graphic: Rubber paper-feed rollers in the printer
  7. Look for the paper pick roller farther inside the rear access area.
    Figure : The paper pick roller
    Photo of the paper pick roller.
    IMPORTANT: The paper pick roller is a bit more difficult to reach; however, it is the most important part to clean. Make sure to clean it thoroughly. If this roller is not clean, the issue will likely continue.
  8. Clean the paper pick roller with a cotton swab moistened with distilled or bottled water. Apply a moderate amount of pressure to make sure that you remove all debris. Clean the roller thoroughly all the way around.
    Figure : Clean the paper pick roller
    Photo of cleaning the paper pick roller.
  9. Make sure that the rollers on the rear access door are clean and in good condition. If any are missing, stuck, or loose, replace the rear access door with a new one.
    Figure : Rear access door rollers
    Photos of the rear access door rollers
  10. Allow the rollers to dry completely, and then replace the rear access door.
  11. Slide the left side of the rear access door into place, and then gently push the door in until the door clicks or snaps into place.
  12. Reconnect the power cord to the rear of the product.

Step two: Print a self-test report

Printing a self-test report verifies if the hardware functions correctly.
  • If the self-test report prints, try printing the original document again. If the issue is resolved, there is no need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If the self-test report prints, but the original document does not, continue to the next solution in this document.
  • If the self-test report does not print, try printing the report again. Listen for the rubber paper-pick rollers; you should be able to hear them rotating. Then, try slowly pushing the paper farther in until the roller engages to pick up the paper. Be careful not to push the paper in too far, which can cause paper jams.
    • If the self-test report does not print when slowly pushing the paper farther in, repeat the previous steps to clean the rollers again. If the issue continues after repeated cleaning, skip the next solution in this document, and then service the product.
    • If the self-test report prints when slowly pushing the paper farther in, try printing the original document again. The paper might not have been loaded far enough into the product. If the issue is resolved, there is no need to continue troubleshooting.
    • If the paper only feeds through the product when you slowly push it farther in, repeat the previous steps to clean the rollers again. If the issue continues after repeated cleaning, skip the next solution in this document, and then service the product.

Solution four: Adjust the paper settings in the print driver

The product might not pick up paper if the paper size and type in the paper tray do not match the size and type settings in the print driver. This feature of the product helps to avoid wasting ink and paper if the paper is not what you expected.
  1. Return to the document you were trying to print when the issue occurred.
  2. Click File, and then click Print. The Print window opens.
    Figure : Click File, and then click Print
  3. Click the button that opens the Properties dialog box. Depending on the software program, the button might be Properties, Options, Printer Setup, Printer, or Preferences.
  4. Click the tab that provides paper type and size settings. The tab might be Features or Paper/Quality.
  5. From the Type is drop-down list, select the paper type that matches the paper in the product.
  6. From the Size is drop-down list, select the paper size that matches the paper in the product.
    For example, if you have 101.6 x 152.4 mm (4 x 6 inch) photo paper loaded in the paper tray, select 4x6in. or 4x6in. (tab).
    If the required paper size is not in the drop-down list, follow these steps to create a custom paper size.
    1. Select Custom from the Size is drop-down list, or the Custom tab.
    2. In the Custom Paper Size dialog box, type a name for the new custom size.
    3. In the Width and Height boxes, or the Width and Length boxes, type the dimensions.
    4. Select the unit of measurement, and then click Save.
    5. Click OK to close the Custom Paper Size dialog box, and then click OK again to close the Properties dialog box.
      note:
      You must exit the Properties dialog box to apply your changes.
    6. Open the Properties dialog box again, and then select the new custom size from the Size is drop-down list.
  7. Click OK, and then click OK again to print the document.
  • If the document prints, the issue is resolved, and there is no need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If the document prints on plain white paper, but not a special paper type, there is no need to continue troubleshooting. The problem is probably related to the paper that you were trying to print on, or possibly a connectivity problem. Review the Cause and Prevention sections at the end of this document to check other possibilities.
  • If the document does not print, continue with the next solution.

Solution five: Service the printer

If the product printed a self-test report with plain white paper, the printer is functional and does not need to be replaced. Other issues, such as connectivity, print driver settings, special paper, photo paper facing shiny side up, or slick or damaged paper might cause the problem. Review the Prevent paper feed issues andCauses sections at the top of this page to learn about the common causes and how to prevent the issue.
IMPORTANT: Only service the product if you have already tried all of the previous solutions and the product will not print a self-test page on plain white paper.
Service or replace your HP product if the issue persists after completing all the preceding steps.
Go to Contact HP Customer Support to schedule a product repair or replacement. If you are in Asia Pacific, you will be directed to a local service center in your area.
To confirm your warranty status, go to HP Product Warranty Check. Repair fees might apply for out-of-warranty products.

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