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FIX: there’s a problem with the clipboard by Bas Wijdenes

There’s a problem with the clipboard, but you can still paste this content within this workbook.

Excel and other Microsoft Office applications have their own clipboard function. Within Microsoft Office you can copy the formatting or paste it as plain text. Excel displays this message “There’s a problem with the clipboard, but you can still paste your content within this workbook” after you try to copy something because another program is using your clipboard. You can still copy and paste you can only copy to other programs, but no Microsoft Office programs.

There's a problem with the clipboard, but you can still paste your content within this workbook
There’s a problem with the clipboard, but you can still paste your content within this workbook

There is no complete solution to this problem unless you can find out which program kidnapped your clipboard. I did find a workaround to turn off the notification in Excel.


Workaround

For the techies among us.

  • Start Excel.
  • Go to File in the upper-left corner.
  • Click Options.
  • Go to General.
  • Under User Interface Options un-check Enable Live Preview.

You shouldn’t be getting the message now.


With screenshots for the dummies among us.

Click on Start and search for Excel.

There's a problem with the clipboard, but you can still paste this content within this workbook
There’s a problem with the clipboard, but you can still paste this content within this workbook

Go to File in the upper-left corner.

There's a problem with the clipboard, but you can still paste this content within this workbook
There’s a problem with the clipboard, but you can still paste this content within this workbook.

Open Options at the bottom of the menu.

There's a problem with the clipboard, but you can still paste this content within this workbook
There’s a problem with the clipboard, but you can still paste this content within this workbook.

Find Enable Live Preview under User Interface Options and uncheck it.

There's a problem with the clipboard, but you can still paste this content within this workbook
There’s a problem with the clipboard, but you can still paste this content within this workbook.

If you do have a real solution , please let me know this in the comments and I’ll update the blog post.

Published by

Bas Wijdenes

My name is Bas Wijdenes and I work as a Senior Services Engineer @ Wortell. In my spare time I write about the error messages that I encounter during my work. I am currently occupied with Azure infrastructure and automating with PowerShell.

13 thoughts on “FIX: there’s a problem with the clipboard by Bas Wijdenes”

  1. For me, the application interfering with the clipboard was HashMyFiles, which is a utility for computing file checksums. The way I narrowed it down was by using Process Explorer. (you could also use task manager, but the former gives you a lot more info) Close out any work that you care about, and start carefully killing one process at a time, going back to your Excel sheet and hitting Ctrl+C a few times in between each task. When the dialog stops appearing, you’ve found the problem. Modal dialogs are so 1999, and it’s such a crude, half-job remedy. It’s like MS just slapped a band-aid on it and called it done. After years and years of this you’d think they’d come up with something a little more elegant. (Like a checkbox, at least, that says, “Do not show this dialog again.”)

  2. This fix is all very well for papering over the crack, but what I find is that if I do not immediately save, close and re-open there is the danger that all the cut and paste changes I have made since the last open are undone – with the lying error message being shown each time. Even intermediate saves do not help.

  3. This worked for me. Additionally, after getting the clipboard error, the pointer would disappear which made knowing its location in the table next to impossible. That’s fixed too now! Thank you so much!!!

  4. My problem is not the comment it’s the fact once I complete the paste it freezes the spreadsheet and I cannot do anything further such as click into another cell without saving the spreadsheet, closing it down and then opening it again. I have to copy and paste a lot and it’s impossible to save, close and open after each copy and paste.

  5. Looks like the response is faster and so far solved the issue. The problem with this is that once this happened, any worksheet trigger event in my VBA will stop from functioning. I need to close not only working workbook but all Excel application and re-open the workbook to get trigger event to work again. However, the issue will not stop macro from running.

  6. This fix may get rid of that annoying message, which I get all the time in Excel, but I like Live Preview, and use it a lot. So for me, it is not something I want to do.

    This is a problem unique to Excel, no other Office product. To me, that means Microsoft should fix it. We shouldn’t have to find hacks to get around it.

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