IBM Printer Error Codes

IBM designs reliable printers that generally require little maintenance, but from time to time, problems may occur, and your IBM printer may display an error message to alert you of an issue. Here is a list of the most common errors and potential solutions to help you resolve the problem:

Error 12: Check Paper Path

Some printers have more than one output tray. This error indicates that the wrong paper path is selected, or the selected path has no paper.

Error 21: Paper Jam

There is a paper jam in the machine. Open any access panels and check for jammed paper, then slowly remove it. If there is not paper jam, check for small bits of paper or debris stuck near the sensors, as this may also trigger the error message. For more detailed instructions for clearing a paper jam, visit this IBM page.

Error 22: Out of Paper

Check the paper tray. If there is paper already loaded, try unloading the paper and reinserting it to make sure it is being recognized. If you have multiple trays, the printer may be set to an alternate tray that is currently empty.

IBM Printer Manual Feed Slot

Make sure the printer is set to the manual feed slot before inserting paper.

Error 24: Incorrect Manual Feed

If a user has attempted to use the manual paper feed slot while the printer is using the automatic feeder, this error will come up.  Be sure to only use the manual feed option when the printer is specifically set for it.

Error 31: Paper Settings

This error usually means that the size of the paper in the tray does not match the paper configuration that is set in the paper settings.  Change the setting or the paper type.

Error 89: Overloaded Output Tray

Once too many documents have been printed but not taken off the tray, the machine will stop printing because the output tray is considered overloaded.  Clear the printed pages off the tray and continue.

Error 9920: Incorrect Temperature of Fuser

This could be an issue with the lamp, fuse or thermostat.  Some models allow the user to change the fuser temperature settings. If your model does not support this feature, or it doesn’t resolve the problem, contact technical support.

Printer Fan Vent

The cooling fan and vent are essential for properly cooling some devices.

Error 970: Fan Not Working

This error indicates that the cooling fan is not working.  Fans are important because they keep  hard-working machines from overheating.  Contact technical support or a repair shop.


These are the most common errors you are likely to encounter with an IBM printer. In many cases, these are simple to resolve. If your error message isn’t listed, consult the manual for your device, or contact technical support for more help.

Robyn Warner
Robyn Warner has been writing since she learned how to hold a pen. She wrote her first book of poems before the age of 10. Though creative writing is her preference, she is enjoying life in the technical blog world. Robyn’s goal in her 30s is to use her writing to inspire fellow cancer survivors and have a job that gives her the flexibility to live anywhere and never wear shoes.

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