How to Fix a Photocopier

By Sarah Morse

Updated July 21, 2017

Problems with photocopiers can occur even with high-quality machines and proper use. Over time, the machines wear and require maintenance and repair. The key to these problems is to know when you can fix them yourself and when you need to call a service technician. Paper jams, lines on the page or dark/light copies are problems you can fix, in most cases. There are other problems that are more technical and in-depth.

Figure out the problem plaguing your copier. In some cases, you will see the problem on the papers printing from the machine. In other cases, an error will show up on the screen.

Consult your user's manual or start troubleshooting the usual problems if you do not know what the error means. Cancel the job, turn off the power, leave it off for 10 seconds and turn it back on again to see if that solves the problem.

Try to fix the issue yourself once you determine the root of the problem. For paper jams, open the copier where it shows a jam and gently and slowly pull the paper out of the machine. For dots on your copies, clean the glass of the machine with a lint-free cloth. For light copies, replace the toner cartridge, following the directions on the package.

Call a technician if you cannot find the problem or if you cannot solve the problem. It could be that your photocopier has a difficult-to-fix mechanical problem. If you do not have experience with photocopier mechanics, you should not try to pull the machine apart yourself.


If your machine consistently jams, it could be because of poor-quality paper or paper that is too thick for the machine. Adjust the paper quality and substance accordingly to solve this problem.

Store paper in a dry area, as moisture can wrinkle the pages, making them jam more easily.