Steve April 13, 2021

Copy and paste is one of the most often used shortcuts in Windows 10. It helps you drastically reduce the time you’d otherwise spend producing materials when doing a lot of word processing, rearranging, and formatting of documents on your computer.

Usually, simply using Ctrl + C to copy and Ctrl + V to paste is all you need to do. Alternatively, you can use the mouse method by highlighting the text, image, or area you want to copy and then right-clicking your mouse or trackpad and selecting “Paste.” But if none of that works, it’s time to fix copy-paste to get back to normal.

Common Quick Fixes

As with most Windows 10 issues, one of the quickest ways to fix copy and paste issues is to restart your computer. That doesn’t always work, but sometimes this fixes a temporary glitch.

Another option is to see if copy and paste works in any other app or program. If it’s working in your browser but not in Microsoft Office, try updating the problematic app or uninstalling and reinstalling it.

Finally, run a virus scan. Usually, viruses want you to use copy and paste, as this helps gather more personal data. However, some disable basic functions. Always check to see if a virus is the culprit when something’s not working right.

Update Windows

Certain system glitches can cause the copy-paste feature not to work. You can fix it by updating Windows, as Microsoft constantly adds new updates that come with critical patches. To do this:

1. Click Start and select “Settings -> Update & Security.”

2. Click “Check for updates.” Windows will check for available updates and download and install them once you restart your computer.

Fix Copy Paste Not Working Windows Settings Update And Security Check For Updates

Temporarily Disable Antivirus Software

A good antivirus software is critical to your computer’s security, but sometimes it causes conflicts with the system and may affect the copy-paste function. To resolve this, disable some features of your antivirus temporarily, but if it doesn’t help, disable it entirely.

If it does help, consider changing your antivirus software. There are many options available that won’t interfere with your system yet still offer great protection.

If you’ve been using the same antivirus for a while, it’s likely not the cause.

Run Check Disk Utility

Corrupt programs or system files can cause copy and paste not to work. A chkdsk scan can help resolve copy and paste issues. To do this:

1. Open File Explorer and select “This PC.”

Fix Copy Paste Not Working Windows Thispc

2. Right-click your hard drive and select “Properties.”

3. Go to the “Tools” tab.

Fix Copy Paste Not Working Windows Thispc Hard Drive Properties Tools Tab

4. Click “Check” under “Error checking.”

Fix Copy Paste Not Working Windows Thispc Hard Drive Properties Tools Tab Check

Alternatively, you can run Check Disk from Command Prompt. To do this:

1. Right-click Start and select “Windows PowerShell (Admin).”

Fix Copy Paste Not Working Windows Windows Powershell Admin

2. Enter the following command:

Replace X with the letter representing your system drive – usually C by default.

Fix Copy Paste Not Working Windows Windows Powershell Admin Type Command

3. When asked to schedule a scan, press “Y.”

4. Restart your computer and check whether the problem is gone.

Run rdpclip.exe

In order to fix copy and paste problems in Windows, you may need to end the rdpclicp.exe process and restart it. To do this:

1. Press Ctrl + Shift + ESC to start Task Manager.

2. Go to the “Details” tab.

Fix Copy Paste Not Working Windows Task Manager Details Tab

3. Right-click the “rdpclip.exe” process.

4. Select “End task.”

5. Go to the Windows/system32 folder.

6. Look for “rdpclip.exe” and run it.

System Restore

If an update or app you installed recently is causing problems with your computer, you can restore Windows back to a restore point. While a System Restore won’t change your personal files, it may remove recently installed drivers, updates, and apps.

It restores your computer back to an earlier point in time when the copy-paste function worked normally. Restore points are generated whenever you install new drivers, apps, or Windows updates, or when you create them manually.

To perform a system restore, follow the steps below:

1. Open Control Panel.

2. In the search box, type “Recovery” and press Enter.

3. Select “Recovery.”

Fix Copy Paste Not Working Windows Control Panel Recovery

4. Select “Open System Restore -> Next.”

Fix Copy Paste Not Working Windows Control Panel Recovery Open System Restore

5. Choose the restore point related to the problem driver, app or update.

6. Select “Next -> Finish.”

Note: if there aren’t any restore points, the system protection might be turned off. To enable it (turn it on), take these steps:

1. Open Control Panel and search for “Recovery.”

2. Select “Recovery -> Configure System Restore -> Configure.”

3. Select “Turn on system protection” box.

Scan for Corrupt System Files

Corrupted system files wreak havoc with how Windows 10 works. Another way to fix copy-paste problems is to run two built-in Windows utilities: System File Checker (SFC) and Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM). Start with SFC and if that doesn’t help, then run DISM. You’ll need to use a command prompt or PowerShell for both.

Use this SFC guide to learn how to use the tool and understand what the results mean. This guide on both SFC and DISM shows you exactly how to use both commands.

Set Up a New User Profile

Corrupted user profiles may cause the copy-paste function not to work in Windows. You can set up a new user profile and see if it helps. To set up a new user profile, do the following:

1. Click Start and select Settings.

2. Select Accounts.

Fix Copy Paste Not Working Windows Settings Accounts

3. Click “Family & Other people.”

Fix Copy Paste Not Working Windows Settings Accounts Family And Other People

4. Click “Add someone else to this PC.”

Fix Copy Paste Not Working Windows Settings Accounts Family And Other People Add Someone Else

5. Type a user name, password, and password hint.

6. Select Next.

If the problem persists with the new user profile, try the next solution.

Disable Send to Bluetooth Add-on

This add-on is associated with Microsoft Office and can be found under Add-ons in Office software. Check every installed tool for this add-on and disable it in each Office tool.

Disable Shared Clipboard in Virtualbox

Virtualbox helps you run a virtual machine on your computer, but some of its features may interfere with the system, such as the shared clipboard. To fix the problem, disable this feature and try the copy-and-paste function again.

Wrapping Up

Now that you have copy and paste working again in Windows, learn how you can cut, copy and paste text in PDF files or even copy and paste in the command prompt.


Crystal Crowder Crystal Crowder

Crystal Crowder has spent over 15 years working in the tech industry, first as an IT technician and then as a writer. She works to help teach others how to get the most from their devices, systems, and apps. She stays on top of the latest trends and is always finding solutions to common tech problems.

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