Fix the "There's a problem with the clipboard" issue
The issue with "There's a problem with the clipboard..." while copy and pasting is still as issue. I was using Office 2010 and there was no problem. I am now using Office 365 and this issue is prevalent. It manifests itself when pasting a value from a cell containing a formula and disappears when disabling Live Preview. I was able to copy and paste "normal" cell contents fine before the error message appears so the official response of "another program has locked the clipboard" doesn't really hold up. It looks more like Excel has locked the clipboard from itself.
There is no reason for this issue to have hung around as long as it has and it really should be fixed, especially if Microsoft wan't to keep selling Office as a subscription.
Thank you for voting for “there’s a problem with the clipboard” issue. I think this refers to 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.
A while ago we made some improvements for Office365 users so that this error message only shows once per Excel instance. This was 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.
Stephan Richter commented
What is happening is Excel is opening more instances of itself than you are telling it to do. The instances you did not open are locking the clipboard. So close all you Excel windows, then open task manager and close the other instances of Excel that it opened. Now reopen you sheets and you will no longer have the problem
This bug along with others is almost making the app unusable. I have been using Excel for 26 years and it is becoming increasingly frustrating because of niggly issues like this.....It certainly wasnt this unstable 26 years ago or even 10 years ago.
Just to cap things off, when I have this error all the ribbon selections on the home tab grey out and I have to close the app.
Please....please....please do something about this
This bug will never get fixed completely.
This bug is exactly the only thing that keep their jobs.
Why would they fix this?
I have the same issue on Office 365 (Windows 10) this pop-up occurred when dragging a cell with content (e.g. A2 to B2).
The fix that worked for someone here to go to File>More>Options>General>uncheck "Enable Live Preview" doesn't work for me.
I had the same issue on Office 365 (Windows 10) after an update (May 2021).
The fix that worked for me was to go to File>More>Options>General>uncheck "Enable Live Preview".
poof - problem solved.
Usually I get this issue when I am working exclusively in Excel, and usually in one workbook, so I don't see how another app could be putting a lock on the system clipboard.
(I close out all other apps so I can focus on my fun spreadsheets ;))
Then how do you diagnose and fix the lock on the system clipboard?
This happens repeatedly in Office 2019, program is unresponsive until file is closed & reopened, soon happens again. Occurs when copying formula
RS ITADM commented
We are experiencing the same issue as others reported here with several users.
Still a huge problem as of 2 June 2021... Every copy/paste in a small spreadsheet brings up this error, making it almost impossible to use the application!
Windows 10, 16 GB, Office 365, desktop instances.
There must be an scenario or two that the Excel team is not considering about this bug. Is not just the message (which the Admin suggested they considered not showing it up), but it's what happens to Excel after the message. You can no longer see what your selection. This cannot be just because another app had a lock on the system clipboard. This is not about the message, it's about the instability of Excel afterwards that you need to worry.
For me, I was able to resolve this by going into Settings --> Clipboard --> Clipboard history, and setting that slider to Off. FYI, I'm not using Office as a subscription, so this may not help you...
This error does not pop up just once, it pops up as many as 100+ times for a power query refresh causing a 5 min refresh to take hours or days with my continual pressing of OK on the error message.
My process is basically unrefreshable because of this issue.
Anonymous said on February 07, 2021 22:14 to try "Options - General Tab" and unselect Enable Live Preview. For me, I had to select Enable Live Preview, then unset it again and now everything's working fine!!!! - many thanks to the legions of anon.
This happens to me multiple times each day. After the clipboard message appears I often cannot actively select any cells. I can click in a cell and type in it or copy it or paste something into it, but I'm working blind because no cell or range appears to be selected.
I use a lot of pivot tables in my work and after the clipboard message comes up, the PivotTable Analyze and Design menus no longer show up when I click in the pivot table. If I manage to create a new pivot table, I won't see all of the available fields in the PivotTable Fields area.
When this problem occurs, it only affects the file I was working in when the message came up.
None of these problems occur in other files open at the same time. Occasionally I can get the file with the problem behave normally again if I open a second window for it. Most of the time, however, I have to close all files in Excel and reopen the one which had the problem.
For the record, I have done the same kind of work for years but the problem only started a few months back. So I don't think it is because I am putting more stress on the program than I used to.
This really is driving me nuts. I repaired the installation of Office but it made no difference.
This bug is extremely dumb and frustrating. Just fix it already!
Glenn Johns commented
please address this issue MS!
Our organization has been struggling with this issue since we went to Office 2019. We tried all listed Fixes... Just a note; When the error pops up you no longer can see what was highlighted to copy. Even if you try to highlight a cell to copy again - it doesn't appear to be selected but does copy. Once the message appears it appears multiple times while working on the same spreadsheet.
We made sure office is up to date, Re-installed, disabled Live Preview, disabled LinkedIn features, checked for plug-ins, disable copy between PCs on gotomypc (which is not on every PC experiencing the issue), and just about every other suggestion I could find documented or in comments on various sites... Seems to be a very old issue and my user feedback would be to ask for a fix. A fix for something like this would be more important to us then a new feature or other update.
Doug Stiebler commented
In addition to the error message that is displayed, the paste is extremely slow. The error message is not informative. Why not tell the user "Another app has a lock on the clipboard" and then notify the user which app it is so the user can close it and also offer an option to prevent the other app from locking the clipboard?
However, this is only a workaround; not a solution. The question is why other apps are allowed to lock the clipboard. The obvious real solution is to stop other app(s) from locking the clipboard.
BTW, I am using Office Pro 2019; not 365, so the issue is across all versions of Excel.
I also think, since the problem occurs in spreadsheets with lots of calculations, that the problem is actually within Excel itself.
Charley Kyd commented
This only happens to me when I'm using Power Query.