Disable copy or cut and paste completely


From: kend_beledm

Is it possible on a windows based systems to turn off or disable completely the copy and paste function, no matter what program is being displayed on the screen.

From: Andrew McLaren<MVP>

You cannot do this for Windows as a whole (and even if you did, users could just use a Print-Screen instead, to pass on restricted data). But you can do it for specific applications: the key technology is Windows Rights Management Services ("RMS"). See http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/technologies/rightsmgmt/default.mspx

If you have an application which can take part in an RMS infrastructure, then you can indeed configure policies to selectively permit or prevent cut-n-paste, etc, to specific users and groups; or disallow cut-n-paste altogether, in that application.

Microsoft Office is the most common app which can plug into RMS. Once it is all set up, it is extremely effective ... you really want to cut-n-paste confidential info from that juicy email or Word document; but dammit, you just can't! You also cannot forward protected emails, etc.

There is a public SDK, so anyone can write an application which subscribes to RMS and restrict access to the app's data. However if you have a legacy application (ie, an already-existing application) which you cannot re-engineer, then I think you are kind of stuck. You may need to approach the security question from a non-computer perspective, such as HR policies, etc.

You might also take a look at Software Restriction Policies ("SRP"), a similar security feature in Windows. SRP won't stop users from cutting and pasting, as such; but it does let you create a very controlled environment. You can stop users from doing many things you don't want them to. See:



Hope it helps,


Andrew McLaren
amclar (at) optusnet dot com dot au

Another community answer from the Windows Vista newsgroups

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Question Info

Last updated May 9, 2022 Views 45,417 Applies to: