Clipboard problem in Excel 2016

I am running Excel 2016 on a Windows 10 Machine.

When I copy a cell (or cut a cell, or move a cell) I get one of two error messages:

"Cannot open the Clipboard"

"We couldn't free up space on the Clipboard.  Another program might be using it right now." 

I am then able to successfully paste what Excel told me it could not copy.  To restate for clarity...Excel throws error messages, but I am able to successfully copy and paste.

The problem is that it throws the error messages every single time I try and copy or cut or whatever.

Things I have tried:

I've ensured all other programs are not running (or using the clip board)

I've cleared the %temp% folder

I've cleared the Clipboard within Excel

Word does not have this problem...

Please help.



I have an update on this error dialog: “There's a problem with the clipboard, but you can still paste your content within this workbook."

When Excel shows this dialog after a copy (CTRL+C) action, it means that another app has a lock on the system clipboard.  In this situation you can still paste within Excel.  However you cannot paste to another app like Word or Outlook which uses the clipboard.

Last year we made some improvements to Office365 users so that this error message only shows once per Excel instance.  This is based on customer feedback - the design change prevents it popping up multiple successive times when the clipboard is locked.  We have also considered never showing the error dialog, but there was user feedback that this message is informative and helpful in some cases. 

We hope this helps shed some light on this error message.  For any design suggestions or new ideas on improving the Excel copy-paste experience, please post to Excel UserVoice.

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Question Info

Last updated September 3, 2021 Views 44,283 Applies to: