Copy not working in excel

Copy not working in excel DEFAULT

Message about a Problem with the Clipboard

When Rod is working with Excel, he sometimes receives an error message stating "There's a problem with the clipboard, but you can still paste this content within this workbook." He wonders what causes this message and how he can get rid of it.

This is an odd little error message that, it seems, doesn't have a lot of purpose in Excel. As noted in the error message, if you can still paste the contents of the Clipboard, then the message is nothing but purely informational (as it doesn't really impede Excel). Even though it seems informational, it still slows down the use of Excel.

The message is apparently caused if you try to use Ctrl+C, Ctrl+X, the Format Painter tool, or a drag-and-drop operation and Excel detects that the Clipboard is locked by a non-Office application or, in some cases, simply accessed a non-Office application. You can find through a search of the Web that this problem has affected many users. (I did a search for "there's a problem with the clipboard, but you can still paste"—with the quote marks—and found lots of discussion about the issue.)

It also appears that this problem has been around for quite some time and that Microsoft has been playing whack-a-mole trying to track it down and fix it. Different reports indicate that it first cropped up in Excel 2013, but most experienced it beginning with Excel 2016. A potential fix that has worked for some people is to follow these steps:

  1. Display the File Tab of the ribbon.
  2. Click the Options button at the left side of the screen. Excel displays the Excel Options dialog box.
  3. Make sure that General is selected at the left side of the dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Excel Options dialog box.

  5. Clear the Enable Live Preview check box.
  6. Click on OK.
  7. Restart Excel.

If you experience the error and the above steps don't fix it, we may need to be content to know that Microsoft is aware of the problem and is trying to get it fixed. (I know that knowledge doesn't provide a whole lot of contentment to those experiencing the problem; it can be very frustrating.)

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (10691) applies to Microsoft Excel 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365.

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With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. Learn more about Allen...

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Does anybody know if there is a way to make copy/paste in Excel (2010, but saw same behavior in 2007) work like it is supposed to?

Problem: I copy (or cut) something. Then I do /anything/ besides immediately pasting and when I try to CTRL-V paste it does nothing. Have to copy again and then paste immediately.  

What ever happened to storing things on the clipboard?!

Best Answer




Oh, now I got ya. It's still on the clipboard and usable, I can assure you that. it's more as if the control, V, Control Insert, or right clip paste is gone. But, if you open the clip board, you will see it is still there, clicking a cell and clicking the item in the clipboard will paste it.

Not the best option compared to what it used to be I know.


View this "Best Answer" in the replies below »

10 Replies

· · ·




The default is to store it. So what you are saying is, you have Excel already open. You go out some place and copy something to the clipboard, then you maybe go open an email, go surf the web for a minute, then go back to Excel, try to paste and it doesn't work, unless you copy, then go to Excel and paste?

If that's what you are saying this is NOT normal behavior so if you are seeing it on multiple machine then possible you have a plugin conflict, if you are only seeing it on one machine, there is something wrong on that machine.



· · ·




Nope, you don't have it quite right for what I'm asking about.

Further explanation of problem:

I'm in Excel.  I copy a cell.  I then click in another cell and type something.  Then I click in another cell and hit paste and the cell I copied is no longer available to paste.


· · ·


Thai Pepper


I have seen the same behavior since 2007 as well, so I am guessing it is now "standard" behavior... and it stinks.

What happens is that you copy/cut something, and if you do to another cell and type in it before pasting, it cancels your copy/cut operation.

I have looked through the options and do not see anything useful to modify that behavior. :(


· · ·




Yeah, I haven't found anything in the options to fix it either.  I have this slight hope that out there, somewhere, someone who knows how to program in VB and hates that behavior came up with a script of some kind to fix it, and that somebody on Spiceworks knows about it...


· · ·




Best Answer

Oh, now I got ya. It's still on the clipboard and usable, I can assure you that. it's more as if the control, V, Control Insert, or right clip paste is gone. But, if you open the clip board, you will see it is still there, clicking a cell and clicking the item in the clipboard will paste it.

Not the best option compared to what it used to be I know.



· · ·




Here is an example,



· · ·




Wow, that is super annoyingly complicated. And, in testing that, sometimes it stays on the clipboard and sometimes it doesn't.  

Nice programming, Microsoft...


· · ·




LOL, yes, and for most power users (the ones that don't use the mouse, try coping and then hit enter to go to the next cell, it loses it's focus as well) it has been a nightmare. This has been the case since around the year 2003/2004 when MS made a change to handle coping and pasting formulas better which meant moving away from using the Windows clipboard which also cause major slowness when copying and pasting large items to switching to a built in Office clipboard that behaves much differently.

Sorry, wish I had a better answer for you.



· · ·




yeah, to come by such nice standard behavior i use ditto. It's a real timesaver when you happen to replace your super-complex 5-time if(if;;) formula with a screenshot of an error-message. ;)


· · ·




Add-ins are your probelm here.

Check your add-ins and disable all, then enable one at a time until you find the culprit


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Copy not working properly Excel 2010

  • 04-13-2012, 01:20 PM#1

    Flybridge is offline
    Registered User

    Question Copy not working properly Excel 2010

    I use 2 laptops and share spreadsheets between them. A problem I had on one laptop is now happening on the other.

    In some spreadsheets, the copy function does not work properly. When I right click to select copy I can see that the Paste options available are restricted. Then, when I try to paste I can only paste the contents (I only get the box with the letter A in it)- the options to paste formulae, format etc are not avaiable. If I select Paste Special I get a dialogue box with the options to paste as Unicode text or just text.

    More and more spreadsheets are falling foul of this. What causes it and how can I stop it? I hope I can because I have some complicated formulae I need to copy - rewriting long hand would be a nightmare!

    Any help greatly appreciated.


  • 04-13-2012, 01:26 PM#2

  • 04-13-2012, 02:18 PM#3

    melQ is offline
    Registered User

    Re: Copy not working properly Excel 2010

    I have the same problem for Excel 2003, and from what I can tell, I have no Skype addin installed. I can only paste the contents, no formulas. If I select Paste Special I get options to paste as Unicode text or just text.

    Last edited by melQ; 04-13-2012 at 02:18 PM. Reason: add info

  • 04-13-2012, 02:21 PM#4

  • 04-13-2012, 03:02 PM#5

    melQ is offline
    Registered User

    Re: Copy not working properly Excel 2010

    I'm having trouble just copying formulas on a single sheet! and it won't allow me to copy one cell & fill in multiple cells.

  • 04-13-2012, 03:05 PM#6

  • 04-13-2012, 03:59 PM#7

    melQ is offline
    Registered User

    Re: Copy not working properly Excel 2010

    It's for everything, everywhere.

  • 04-13-2012, 06:21 PM#8

  • 04-13-2012, 07:31 PM#9

    melQ is offline
    Registered User

    Re: Copy not working properly Excel 2010

    Brilliant! DGagnon & Cutter -- you rock!!! The Skype Click to Call seemed to be the culprit! (Of course, I needed to restart before I saw my Excel back to it's normal self) Thank you so much!

  • 04-23-2013, 04:30 PM#10

    Flybridge is offline
    Registered User

    Re: Copy not working properly Excel 2010

    Sorry for not closing down this thread. I didn't get any emails to say answers had been posted. (I see now I have to specifically ask to get the emails, strange as I started the thread). So I thought it wasn't answered. But one answer works so I have now given some rep for it.

    Many thanks, DGanon.


  • Sours:
    Excel Copy Paste Tricks

    Copy/paste no longer working in Excel

    Sometime in the last few months the copy/paste function within Excel (Office 365 version) stopped working for me.  I have updated Windows and all Office apps to the latest version but that hasn't fixed the problem.  I've also run the Office 365 


    The symptom is very strange.  When I hit Ctrl-C (or use the drop-down menus) on a cell in Excel the dashed lines that surround a cell selected for copying show up very briefly but immediately disappear.  If I go to another cell and paste it just puts a open parenthesis "(" in the cell.  Using Ctrl-X to cut exhibits similar behavior.


    If I repeatedly hit Ctrl-C it will occasionally work (the dashed lines remain and I can paste) but it typically takes 15-20 tries before it will work and if I try again it will fail.  This only seems to affect me when I try to copy cells.  If I select a cell and then edit the cell and manually select the content of the cell I can copy and paste with no issue.  It also appears to only be an issue when a cell is not empty.  If I select an empty cell I can copy/paste just fine.  If I select a cell that has been highlighted but has no content that also works properly.  It's only when there's text or a formula in the cell that this is an issue.


    This only affects Excel, I haven't observed the issue in any other app.


    Any ideas?


    In copy excel working not

    Copying and pasting can save you lots of time in Excel. Imagine if you had to manually re-enter all that data instead!. Occasionally though, you might run into problems. See how to fix Excel copy and paste problems when you’re working with multiple selections. One problem is sneaky, and you might not even know it’s happening!

    Copy and Paste Problems

    First, watch this short video, to see two problems you might have when copying and pasting multiple selections. The written notes are below the video.

    To follow along with the video, go to my Contextures site, and get the sample file.

    Video Timeline:

    • 0:00 — Introduction
    • 0:15 — Copy Error Message
    • 0:42 — Avoid the Error Message
    • 1:54 — Paste Problem
    • 2:40 — Copy 2 Ranges
    • 3:23 — Paste With Formulas
    • 4:13 — Get the Workbook

    Multiple Selections Copy Error

    First, here’s an Excel copy and paste problem that you might run into, if you select more than one group of cells on a worksheet, and try to copy them.

    Things might work smoothly for a while, then suddenly Excel shows a message that warns you, “This action won’t work on multiple selections.”

    This action won't work on multiple selections

    Why You See the Copy Error

    Excel will show that error message if you selected multiple ranges, and those ranges don’t “match up”.

    For example, Excel will show a warning message if

    1. you select cells in columns A:C
    2. then you make another selection in different columns, A:B
    3. Then you press Ctrl+C to copy (or use another method to copy)

    different columns selected causes Excel copy and paste problem

    Avoid the Copy Error

    Here’s how to avoid that Excel copy and paste problem, so you don’t see the multiple selections copy error.

    When you’re selecting the cells, be sure to select regions that are:

    • in the exact same columns
    • OR, in the exact same rows

    Even one wrong cell will cause that error message!

    So, be sure that each selection includes exactly the same rows or columns. The next example, won’t cause Excel copy and paste problems, because both selections are in columns A:C.

    same columns selected

    Paste Problem for Multiple Selections

    Next, here’s another problem you can run into, when working with multiple selections. And this problem can be worse, because Excel doesn’t give you a warning message!

    So heed this warning instead! If you copy more than one group of cells on a worksheet, and paste them in a different location, Excel might change your formulas to values.

    That could definitely cause problems later, if you don’t notice that it happened!

    How to Paste the Formulas

    To keep the formulas, follow these steps:

    • Copy the multiple selections
    • Right-click the cell where you want to start the paste
    • In the pop-up menu, click Paste Special
    • In the Paste Special window, click OK

    use Paste Special command to avoid Excel copy and paste problem

    That way, all your formulas will be pasted too, and you can avoid the fallout from Excel copy and paste problems later.

    Get the Sample File

    To get the Excel copy and paste problems sample file, and see more tips and videos, go to the Data Entry Tips page on my Contextures site.


    How to Fix Excel Copy and Paste Problems


    How to Fix Excel Copy and Paste Problems



    How to fix: Copy Paste commands Not Working in Word, Excel (2007, 2010) or other programs

    The "Copy and Paste commands not working" problem can happen for various reasons on a Windows computer. For example, if the computer becomes infected by a virus, then the clipboard stops working (CTRL+C or CTRL+V are not working and "Paste" command is greyed out). In other cases, the "copy-paste not working" behavior may occur after a Windows update, corrupted system files, improper shortcut key settings in Word application, etc..

    Copy Paste not working

    This guide contains detailed steps to troubleshoot copy/paste problems in Windows, Word, Excel or other programs.


    How to fix: Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V, Ctrl+X Not Working in Windows or Office applications.

    Step 1. Scan your computer for viruses and malware.

    Important: Before following the steps below, make sure that your computer is 100% clean from harmful programs like rootkits, malware or viruses. To accomplish this task, follow the steps in this Quick Malware Scan and Removal Guide, and then try to use copy/paste again. If the problem persists, then continue to the next step.


    Step 2. Check Copy & Paste shortcuts keys in various applications.

    To check the copy/paste shortcuts in Word:

    1. From Word's main menu (File), go to Options.

    word options


    2. Choose Customize Ribbon on the left.

    copy paste shortcuts


    3. Then click at Customize button next to "Keyboard shortcuts".

    copy paste not working


    At Customize Keyboard options, choose:

    • At Categories > Home Tab
    • At Commands > EditCopy
    • Now under Current keys you should have these two (2) shortcut keys by default:
    • Ctrl+C
    • Ctrl+Insert
    • word shortcut keys coammndsIf you don't have the above two key combinations, click at the "Press new shortcut key" box & then press the corresponding combination for the missing shortcut key (e.g. "Ctrl+C") and press Enter.Ctrl+C shortcut keyPerform the same operation for the EditCut * & EditPaste commands.*** In "EditCut" command you should have these two (2) shortcut keys by default:
    • Ctrl+X
    • Shift+Del

    ** In "EditPaste" command you should have these two (2) shortcut keys by default:

    4. When done, check if the "Copy Paste Not Working" problem is resolved. If not, continue to the next step.

    Step 3. Run Word (or Excel) without Plugins.

    Some times an extra plugin can cause serious problems in Word application. To ensure that you don't have a plugin that causes trouble in your Word functionality, run Word without any plugin. To do that:

    1. Close Word

    2. Press Window + R keys to open the RUN command box and type the following command: *

    • winword /safe
    • * Note: To start Excel in Safe Mode (without plugins) type: "excel /safe"run word without plugins - safe mode– Now Microsoft Word application should open in Safe Mode without any plugins loaded.

    4. From Word's main menu (File), go to Options.

    5. Choose Add-ins on the left.

    manage word add-ins


    6. At the right pane in Manage menu, choose the COM Add-ins and click Go…

    manage word com add-ins


    7. Now uncheck to disable all additional plugins & click OK.

    disable-enable add-ins word


    8. Close and re-open Word in normal operation.

    9. Check if the Copy-Cut-Paste commands are working normally.

    10. If the commands are working properly now, then go again at Add-ins and enable the extra plugins one by one to find out which one causes the problem.


    Step 4. Uninstall Windows Update KB3057839

    Sometimes Windows Security Updates can cause problems in your computer's operation. One of these updates is the KB3057839 security update that is reported to cause problems with Copy-Paste functions. So, follow the instructions below to uninstall the KB3057839 security update (if installed) and get back the copy-paste functionality in your computer.

    1. Press Windows + R keys to load the Run dialog box.

    2. Type the following command to open Windows Update and press Enter.

    open Windows Update3. Click at Installed Updates link on the left pane.view installed updates4. Select the KB3057839Update and click Uninstall.uninstall Windows Update KB3035583

    5. After the uninstall, check if the copy/paste commands are working. If yes, then prevent KB3057839 from being installed in the future. To do this:

    6. At Windows Update panel, click Check for Updates.

    check for updates

    7. Choose the Important Updates link.

    important updates

    8. Right-click at Update KB3057839 and select Hide update.

    hide Windows update

    8. Press OK.


    Step 5. Try to disable the security software.

    Some security applications likeWebroot SecureAnywhere can cause the copy/paste not working problem. To ensure that, a simple solution is to temporary disable your security application and then see if the copy/paste commands are working normally.

    In the case that you have Webroot SecureAnywhere installed on your computer, then open the program's interface and disable the "Identity Protection" for the programs where the copy-paste commands don't work. To do that:

    1. Double-click the "Webroot" shortcut icon on your desktop:

    2. Click the Identity & Privacy tab.

    3. Click Identity Shield on the left, then click View/Edit Protected Applications.


    4. At Protected Applications panel, set to DENY the application(s) that you have problems while pasting.



    Other tips to fix the copy-paste not working issue.

    1. Uninstall any recent version of IE.

    2. If you have the Skype Call to Click installed, uninstall it from Programs and Features in Control Panel. Additionally try to completely uninstall Skype and then re-install the latest version.

    3. Use the System File Checker (SFC) tool to fix Windows corrupted files and services: To do that:

    • Right-click at Command prompt shortcut (Start > All Programs > Accessories > Command prompt) and select “Run as administrator”.
    • In the command window, type the following command and press Enter.
    • Wait and do not use your computer until SFC tool checks and fixes the corrupted system files or services.
    • When SFC tool finishes, reboot your computer and check if copy/paste are working.

    4. If you use a remote desktop connection to connect to a remote machine and copy & paste commands are not working when connected, then kill and re-run the remote desktop clipboard process "rdpclip.exe". To do that:

    1. Right-click on the taskbar and select Task Manager.
    2. Click the Processes Tab
    3. Select rdpclip.exe
    4. Click End Process
    5. Click the Application Tab.
    6. Click New Process.
    7. Type rdpclip.
    8. Click OK.

    5.Repair your Office installation.

    6. Check with another keyboard.


    That's it!

    If this article was useful for you, please consider supporting us by making a donation. Even $1 can a make a huge difference for usin our effort to continue to help others while keeping this site free:
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    Similar news:

    How do I fix copy paste in Excel?

    How to fix: Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V, Ctrl+X Not Working in Windows or Office applications.

    1. Scan your computer for viruses and malware.
    2. Check Copy & Paste shortcuts keys in various applications.
    3. Run Word (or Excel) without Plugins.
    4. Uninstall Windows Update KB3057839.
    5. Try to disable the security software.

    Why does copy and paste not work sometimes?

    If, for some reason, the copy-and-paste function isn’t working in Windows, one of the possible causes is due to some corrupted program components. Other possible causes include antivirus software, problematic plugins or features, certain glitches with the Windows system, or a problem with the “rdpclicp.exe” process.

    Why is my Paste Special not working in Excel?

    To see if Paste Special is enabled: Go to: File > Options > Advanced. Under Cut, copy and paste, ensure Show Paste Options button when content is pasted is checked.

    How do I enable paste options?

    Turn on the Paste Options button Follow these steps to turn it on. Go to File > Options > Advanced. In the Cut, copy, and paste section, select Show Paste Options button when content is pasted. Select OK.

    How do I change the paste settings in Excel?

    The Quick Access Toolbar option in the Excel Options dialog box. Using the Choose Commands From drop-down list, choose All Commands. Scroll through the Commands list until you find “Paste and Match Destination Formatting” option. Select the command by clicking on it.

    What is the Paste Special command in Excel?

    Using Keyboard Shortcut: Use the Excel Paste Special Shortcut – Alt + E + S + V. Using Right-click Menu: Right Click in the cell where you want to paste, and then select paste special.

    How do I enable Cut Copy and Paste in Excel 2016?

    Cut-N-Paste Options Greyed Out In Excel

    1. Right click on a sheet tab and select “View Code”
    2. From the “View” menu select “Immediate Window” if it’s not already displayed.
    3. Paste the following into the “Immediate Window” and press enter: Commandbars(“Cell”).Reset.

    Why is my copy and paste not working iPhone?

    If you’re using a third-party web browser, install any available updates for it: Update apps or use automatic downloads. Also, restart your iPhone: Restart your iPhone. Test out copying and pasting text afterwards. Respond back if the issue persists.

    How do I enable right click in Excel 2016?

    2 Answers

    1. Click the File tab, and then click Excel Options.
    2. Click the Advanced tab.
    3. Click to clear/unclear the Show Insert Options buttons check box in the Cut, copy, and paste section, and then click OK.

    How do I enable right click in Excel?

    Enable Insert Button from Options

    1. Goto Excel File menu -> Options -> Advanced.
    2. Scroll to Cut,Copy, and Paste.
    3. Enable check box for Show Insert Options button.
    4. Scroll further down to “Display options for this Workbook”
    5. Check combobox ‘All’ under ‘For Objects, Show’

    How do I enable insert copied cells in Excel 2010?

    You can enable / disable add-ins in File > Options > Add-Ins. Select either Excel Add-ins or COM Add-ins fr4om the Manage dropdown, then click Go…

    How do I enable right click in Excel 2013?

    a) Click on File menu, click Options, Add-ins, Go button besides Manage: Com-in Add. b) Check if there are add-ins listed, clear the checkbox. c) Close the Office program and restart it. d) Disable each add-in one at a time, restart the Excel, and repeat the above procedure.

    How do I enable insert copied cells in Excel 2013?

    I usually:

    1. highlight the rows I need to copy.
    2. right click -> Copy.
    3. right click where I want to insert the cells -> Insert Copied Cells.

    How do I enable illustrations in Excel?

    Buttons for inserting images or charts are greyed out in Excel?

    1. Go to File and click on Options.
    2. On the left side click on “Advanced”.
    3. Scroll down to the “Display options for this workbook:”. The last bullet point says “For objects, show:”. Set the tick at “All”.

    How do you enable delete in Excel?

    Delete controls on a worksheet

    1. If one or more controls is an ActiveX control, do the following: Make sure that you are in design mode. On the Developer tab, in the Controls group, turn on Design Mode .
    2. Select the control or controls that you want to delete. For more information, see Select or deselect controls on a worksheet.
    3. Press DELETE.

    How do I enable insert and delete in Excel?

    Insert or delete a row

    1. Select any cell within the row, then go to Home > Insert > Insert Sheet Rows or Delete Sheet Rows.
    2. Alternatively, right-click the row number, and then select Insert or Delete.

    Why is insert option disabled in Excel?

    Insert key is Greyed-out in Excel Print They are unable to do that because of Insert key is Grey-out. If you are facing this issue then follow the below steps to resolve this: Step 1: Close your all Excel workbook which is currently opened. Step 2: Go to your Windows Explorer and open “C” drive.

    How do I enable macros in Excel?

    Enable macros just for the current session

    1. Click the File tab.
    2. In the Security Warning area, click Enable Content.
    3. Select Advanced Options.
    4. In the Microsoft Office Security Options dialog box, click Enable content for this session for each macro.
    5. Click OK.

    Why are my macros not showing up in Excel?

    5 Answers. Macros that take arguments are not visible in the macro box because there is no point in having them there. User-defined functions, which are quite useful in Excel, are not displayed in the Macros dialog box because they are, after all, functions. The macro is a subroutine with parameters.

    How do I enable macros on my phone Excel?

    Click Customize Ribbon and under Main Tabs, check Developer. Doing this, the Developer tab will appear on the main screen. So, once this is done, click Trust Center > Trust Center Settings > Macro Settings. This is where you choose the fourth option, Enable all macros that always let you run macros.

    How do I run all macros at once?

    How to run multiple macros by using a button in Excel?

    1. First, insert a button by clicking Developer > Insert > Button (Form Control), see screenshot:
    2. Then drag the mouse to draw a button on the active sheet, and in the popped out Assign Macro dialog box, click OK, and a button is inserted as following screenshot shown:

    Can two macros be assigned to one button?

    If you want both macros to run at the same time, that’s probably not possible. If you want to run one right after the other, simply call the second macro at the end of the first, or as Issun has pointed out, write a wrapper that calls both, and have the button call the wrapper.

    How can I run two Excel macros at the same time?

    Just type the word Call then space, then type the name of the macro to be called (run). The example below shows how to call Macro2 from Macro1. It’s important to note that the two macros DO NOT run at the same time. Once the Call line is hit, Macro2 will be run completely to the end.

    How do I run two macros at the same time?

    In order to have multiple macros running concurrently, you can:

    1. Start each macro on a timer event ( Application. OnTime )
    2. Ensure each macro calls DoEvents periodically to allow the other concurrent macros to run.

    How do I add multiple VBA codes in Excel?


    1. Private Sub Worksheet_Change(ByVal Target As Range)
    2. If Intersect(Target, Range(“F:G”)) Is Nothing Then Exit Sub.
    3. If Target.Column = 6 Then.
    4. Target.EntireRow.Copy Sheets(Target.Value).Cells(Rows.Count, “A”).End(xlUp).Offset(1, 0)
    5. Else.
    6. If Target = “Clouded” Then.

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