Remove the pointless message “There's a problem with the clipboard, but you can still paste your content within this workbook."
The message shows up if you run in the background a program that keeps a peek into the clipboard, as for example the "Skype web plugin" and other telephone programs. A possible cause can also be the software "Audials".
You can find a thread with lots of complaints and a few flimsy justifications and non-answers here:
The message shows up with Ctrl+C, Ctrl+X, using the Format Painter and only taking whole cells. It does not show up if you copy a part of a cell content.
Contrary to some Microsoft officials’ posts, the error message shows up multiple times per Excel session. Usually it shows up at the second Ctrl+C after opening an Excel instance, sometimes on the third Ctrl+C and rarely on the first Ctrl+C. And after that randomly every few usages of Ctrl+C. That can be several hundred times a day!
Not everyone is lucky as I am to identify the cause (telephone) and be also able to switch off its feature "clipboard surveillance".
There is no reasonable reason for this message at all.
1. The message is incorrect in 100% of the cases. The copying operations in Excel are not affected by the access of any third-party program to the clipboard. After clicking the message away, all insertion processes in 100% of the cases worked absolutely as expected and error-free. I've tested this with many different contents (formulas, validations, formatting, connected cells, etc.), from and into Excel.
2. The message is pointless in 100% of the cases, because it shows neither causes nor solutions. Just as helpful as a message "There's a light on in the basement."
3. If there was any case where the access of a third-party program to the cache was actually an impairment to the copying process in Excel, one would notice this anyway by missing the insertion. But the message would be as well unnecessary because it only would have reported the obvious and does not reveal any causes or solutions.
4. If the access of any third-party program on the clipboard would actually be a problem, then why don't you also ‘protect’ Word, Outlook, PowerPoint, etc.?
This problem is discussed and complained in forums for about 4 years (since Excel 2013). Why don’t you comment out that one line of code, that calls the message? Or add a code bracket, issuing automatically “User has clicked OK”. No big work, I assume.
As mentioned in the answer to the post on Answers.Microsoft.com linked above, 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.
In Excel, go to File / Options / General and uncheck Enable Live Preview.
Windows 7 Pro
WHY DO I STILL SEE THIS AFTER TWO DECADES OF COMPLAINING ABOUT IT?
This is such an annoying error / bug. As UweC says in the original posting it is pointless as it offers no solution or causes and the actual paste in Excel always works. So, literally, what is it trying to tell me that I need to know or can do anything about?
In fact it is even less helpful than "There's a light on in the basement". More like "There's a light on in your neighbour's basement" - not something I need to know and not something I can do anything about.
Please fix it.
damien dambre commented
this needs to be fixed. the amount of time lost when using excel is really too big. 2 seconds minimum are necessary for the message to appear and be clicked out.
I've been having this issue for well over a year, even with an upgrade to the newest office suite.
While the copy / paste functions may still operate, the outline that lets you see the selected range of cells disappears. (And it will randomly reappear - could it have something to do with Autosave?) This makes working through separate sets of data on one sheet very painful.
This still needs to be fixed. The message does not disappear. Copy-paste operations are not interfered with.
And btw: the wording of the message may have been changed in the meantime. At least they changed the wording several times in the last 5 years without going to the core of the problem.
And at least in the German version it has been changed several times.
@ Anonymous: it has NEVER been a "locking". Only Excel thinks - wrongfully - that it was a locking. Because a real locking wouldn't have let through any copied content into the clipboard.
And due to that you wouldn't have been able to paste anything after clicking away the dumb message.
Does that sound logical?
[Deleted User] commented
It happened to me when I was running some tool "Beyond Compare" for file/directory diffing, it has some additional tool 'clipboard compare' which was locking the clipboard and causing the (very annoying) popup message from Excel, every time I try to drag some cells around a work sheet, and other tasks.
As other people have pointed out multiple times though - there was not a single case where this 'clipboard locking' actually interfered with the smooth running of excel in any way - other than making me mad at having to click a pointless error dialog dozens of times and disrupting my work time by having to search through everything I was doing to try and find the cause.
Found that if you use the copy and paste from the toolbar once, then the error message will not recur any more on that spreadsheet.
Same here, every time it crashes my excel
@Roman: it is rarer than rare. It is zero.
Roman Kogan commented
Confirming the issue on Office 365 pro plus on Windows 10 Fall Creator's Update.
Running VNC with bi-directional clipboard reliably causes Excel to complain on EACH drag-and-drop operation on cells.
As the original comment noted, this is unacceptable. This is a one-line fix, even if one thinks that the warning should be there (it should not be).
Please add an checkmark "never show this message again" on the pop-up to prevent it from being a nuisance to the 99.99% of the users who encounter it (if, somehow, you know about the rare cases where it is at all justified).
G. Dennis Long commented
This is such a big annoyance since I use Excel every day to get things done each day. And sometimes a couple times each day.
I repeat, Why won't you fix this stupid and utterly pointless message?
Why spend $106 for a program that keeps throwing up an error all the time? When Libre Office is open source. I will not do that again.
It just makes me want to stop using Microsoft software altogether!
Why won't you fix this stupid and utterly pointless message?
Over 5 years a bug, and still no fixing.
Dan Mclaughlin commented
This needs fixed. I am getting this message often. I used to get a version of of it in 2013 and in 2016 all that has changed is that the message text is a bit different. Still irritating and still pointless.I have no idea why MS choose to tell us this. It doesn't even tell you what it thinks is using the clipboard so what use is it?
This is such a big annoyance, you have to literally close/restart Excel every time you use clip/paste command. I have finally switched to Libre Office. Works same as Excel, does everything, regularly updated and FREE. Though some commands are not as easy but I am getting used to it and liking it a lot. Haven't use Excel in a month and don't miss it. I may not renew my subscription next year. Might as well donate that money to Libre Office developers.
Igor Liokumovich commented
I swear, that sort of thing may cause a deranged user go to MS campus with an assault rifle.
Cy Cohen commented
Having the same problem with 2016 in addition, the screen will freeze and not allow for any entries to be made unless you close and reopen the file or bank on your mouse and then it will be workable. Are these both problems with 2016. I just installed it several days ago and probably should return to 2013.