Copy and Paste not working by any means

I cannot copy and paste, neither by right clicking nor by ctrl-c and ctrl-v. I first noticed it in Excel, and I cannot use the buttons under Home to do it either. I tried the cmd /c"echo off|clip" that is suggested by people on the internet, but it doesn't help. (It may only help with the mouse method anyway.)

When copying in Excel, it allows me to choose copy, and the border of the cell block goes dashed for a bit, but it stops and Paste is not available. If I open up the clipboard I can Paste Values, but that is not helpful for what I am doing. The clipboard doesn't have much in it. Clearing it does not help.

I am also using Gmail and I can't copy from there. I can't copy or paste in this window. I'm using Firefox. I can't copy, or certainly not paste, in Word.

I don't know if Ease of Access is the correct Windows Topic, but I don't see one for general getting things done. Maybe Performance and System failures.

I've tried rebooting. I emptied my Recycle Bin.

Hello Gretchen,

One of the possible causes why you can't copy and paste on your Windows 10, is due to some program components are corrupted and that update is necessary. Having said that, we suggest trying the below mentioned troubleshooting steps and check if they helps:

Method 1:

If an app or update that you recently installed caused problems with your PC, you can restore Windows back to an earlier point in time, called a restore point. System Restore doesn’t change your personal files, but it might remove recently installed apps and drivers.

This option takes your PC back to an earlier point in time, called a system restore point. Restore points are generated when you install a new app, driver, or Windows update, and when you create a restore point manually. Restoring won’t affect your personal files, but it will remove apps, drivers, and updates installed after the restore point was made.

  1. Right-click (or press and hold) the Start button, and then select Control Panel.
  2. Search Control Panel for Recovery.
  3. Select Recovery > Open System Restore > Next.
  4. Choose the restore point related to the problematic app, driver, or update, and then select Next > Finish.

Note:

If you’re not seeing any restore points, it might be because system protection isn’t turned on. To check, go to the Control Panel, search for Recovery, and then select Recovery > Configure System Restore > Configure and make sure Turn on system protection is selected.

Method 2:

Sometimes corrupted User Profile causes this kind of behavior. We suggest setting up another User Profile to see if it makes any difference. Refer the article Set up accounts on Windows 10. Once you set up another User Profile, check and see if the same thing happens there.

Feel free to update us with the results.

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The only restore point is the January 6 critical update, i.e. after I asked the question. (Turn on System Protection was chosen when I looked just now.) My husband had suggested the problem could be an indication that I needed an update. 

The problem went away after the update, but only very briefly. In fact it may have gone away before the update, but then came back before the installation.

Are you suggesting I remove the update and then reinstall it? I am wary of removing a critical update.

I'm going to shut down now. If I have the problem in the morning I will try creating another profile.

Thank you.

Thank you. - look at that, intermittently it works! I have as many browsers open as I've had most of the day (2), possibly fewer tabs, and I had closed Excel and Remote Desktop Connection.  

Earlier today it wouldn't work on most of my windows, but it would work in Remote Desktop Connection, at least copying and pasting within it. Then even that stopped working.

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The inability to copy and paste seems to be correlated with having Remote Desktop Connection running. Unfortunately, it is what I use for my work, and I use Excel to track my time. I can think of a few work-arounds. I'll just have to decide which is best for me until some other update ends the problem (she said, optimistically).

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You may want to consider you have a larger problem with the last critical update.  My Surface Pro 4 no longer has a working clipboard after the update.  Even as a professional Windows developer, I am reticent to perform any fixes myself given that this appears to be to cause.  Please pass on this report to the dev or QA team responsible so this can be fixed soon.

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I signed off the server that I was remoting to and have not had a problem since logging back on. 

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Last updated April 13, 2021 Views 70,674 Applies to: