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HP Printers - Carriage jam or E3 error

During a print job, the ink cartridge carriage stalls in the printer, and a Carriage Jam or E3 error displays on the printer control panel.

Perform the following tasks in the order given. Use the printer after each task to see if the issue is resolved.

Check for obstructions in the carriage path

Remove any loose paper or obstructions that might be blocking the carriage path.

  1. If the Cancel button on the control panel is lit, press it and wait until the printer is silent.

  2. Turn off the printer and disconnect the power cord.

  3. Open the cartridge access door to get to the carriage inside the printer.

    Examples of a cartridge access door

    Examples of printer door locations
  4. Make sure the carriage is not obstructed by gently sliding the carriage side to side.

  5. Look for and remove any obstructions in the carriage path, such as crumpled paper or dislodged labels.


    Do not tilt an ink tank printer when attempting to remove obstructions as ink might spill.

    Example of a printer with an obstruction in the carriage path

    Example of a printer with paper debris in the carriage path
  6. If the carriage has a latch, gently press it down to make sure it is locked into place.


    If the carriage latch of an ink tank printer is secured, do not press down on it to avoid printer damage.

    Examples of the carriage latch

    Example of the carriage latches
  7. If the carriage is not locked in place, move it to each side, removing any obstructions blocking its path.


    Do not force the carriage to move if it is locked or stuck. This can damage the printer.

  8. Close the printer door.

  9. Reconnect the power cord and turn on your printer.

Reset the printer

Reset the printer to recover from printer errors or failures.

  1. If your printer has a rechargeable battery, remove it.

  2. With the printer turned on, disconnect the power cord from the printer.

  3. Unplug the power cord from the power source.

  4. Wait 60 seconds.

  5. Reconnect the power cord to a wall outlet and to the printer.


    HP recommends plugging the printer directly into a wall outlet.

  6. Turn on the printer to complete the reset.

Service the printer

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.