Copy and paste is one of the most basic functions in Windows 10. This is a time saver when moving files from one directory to the other or duplicating content within various applications. Whether using the “Ctrl + C” and “Ctrl + V” combo on the keyboard or choosing the option from the right-click menu, the function makes life easier for any Windows 10 user. However, copy and paste may stop working on your computer making it hard to complete even the simplest tasks. In our earlier article, we have explained how to fix missing copy and delete functions in Microsoft Excel. If you encounter problems copying and pasting files or texts in Windows 10, you can try one of the following solutions.
The ‘copy paste’ problem could result from several issues and performing basic troubleshooting could quickly fix the problem. We strongly recommend trying the basic troubleshooting options before checking other fixes.
Restart your Computer
Restarting your PC can solve many Windows 10 issues including the copy paste not working issue.
- Click the Windows Start button or press the ‘Win’ key on the keyboard.
- Select the power icon on the start menu and select the “Restart” option.
- Once the computer boots up check if you can now perform the function.
Ensure Windows 10 is Up-to-Date
- Click the gear icon on the Windows start menu or press ‘Win + I’ keys to open the settings app.
- Go to “Update & Security” settings and under “Windows Update” click the “Check for updates” button.
- Windows will check, download and install available updates. You may need to restart the computer to install some updates.
Scan and Remove Virus and Malware
Viruses and malware infect your PC, causing some of the functions to stop working. You can use the Windows 10 built in ‘Windows Defender’ or any other reliable third party antivirus program.
- To remove malware with Windows defender, navigate to “Windows Settings > Update & Security > Windows Security” and click the “Virus & threat protection” option.
- Under “Threat history”, click the “Run a new advanced scan” link.
- On the resulting window, check the “Full scan” option and click the “Scan now” button located at the bottom of the window.
- Wait as Windows Defender detects threats in your PC and if threats are found, select “Remove” to clean the computer.
Troubleshooting Your Keyboard
Most people find it easier to press “Ctrl + C” for copying and “Ctrl + V” for pasting. If your keyboard is not functioning properly then you will not be able to use the function. Therefore, troubleshooting your keyboard can also help in fixing the copy paste not working issue.
Keyboard Quick Check
To confirm or rule out keyboard issues, it is advisable to perform a quick check.
- Right-click the file or the object you want to transfer and see if you can copy and paste from the context menu. If the right-click option works, then your keyboard could be faulty.
- If you are using an external keyboard, try disconnecting and connecting the keyboard or check the Bluetooth connection in case you have a wireless keyboard.
- You may try a different keyboard or connect an external keyboard if you have a laptop.
- Cleaning your keyboard to remove dust or any materials under the keys may also help.
Fix Keyboard with Windows Troubleshooter
- Navigate to Windows “Settings > Update & Security > Troubleshoot” and under “Find and fix other problems” expand the “Keyboard” option.
- Click the “Run the troubleshooter” button and wait for the tool to scan for potential issues.
- Follow the suggested fixes to resolve any identified problem.
Reinstall Keyboard Driver
- Right click the start button or press “Win + X” keys and select “Device Manager” from the resulting menu.
- Expand the “Keyboards” device, right-click the driver and select “Uninstall Device”.
- Go to the “Action” menu and select “Check for hardware changes” to reinstall the device.
- Alternatively restart your computer and the keyboard driver will be reinstalled when the computer boots.
Fixing Windows Remote Desktop Clipboard
A particular process manages each Windows function. The copy-pasting function managed by the ‘rdpclip.exe’ is the process and starting or resetting the process may fix the error.
Starting RDP Clipboard from the System32 Folder
- Open the file explorer and type ‘C: \Windows\System32’ as your file path to open the folder.
- In the search bar, search for ‘rdpclip’, right-click the option from the results and click “Run as administrator”.
- In the same way search for ‘down.exe’ and run the process as administrator.
- Restart your computer and when the computer boots the problem should be resolved.
Reset the RDP Clipboard
- Right click the Taskbar and select “Task manager” or press “Ctrl + Shift + Esc” keys to launch the task manager.
- Under the “Processes” tab, scroll down to locate “RDP Clipboard” or “rdpclip.exe”.
- Right-click the process and select “End task” to stop the process.
- To restart the process, go to the “File” menu and click “Create new task”.
- On the dialog box that appears, type ‘rdpclip.exe’ and check the “Create this task with administrative privileges” box. Click the “Ok” button to complete the reset.
Clearing the Windows Clipboard Cache
When the Windows 10 clipboard is full, you may encounter the copy paste problem. Luckily, you can use the command prompt to delete the clipboard cache.
- Search for Command Prompt and open the click the option to “Run as administrator”.
- Type the following command and hit the Enter key, ‘echo off | clip’.
- Close the Command Prompt and test whether the copy paste function works correctly.
Check and Fix Disk Errors
Fixing disk errors can resolve a number of Windows 10 mischiefs including the copy paste not working issue. You can check disk error in two ways:
Run the Windows Check Disk Utility
- Open the Windows file explorer, right click “This PC”, located on the left pane, and select “Properties” from the resulting menu.
- Go to the “Tool” tab and click “Check” under the “Error checking” section.
Run Check Disk in Command Prompt
- Open the Command Prompt console with administrator rights.
- Type the ‘Chkdsk C: / f’ and press Enter. Remember to replace ‘C’ with your disk label.
- Press “Y” when prompted to schedule the disk scan.
- Restart your PC and allow Windows to scan and fix errors. Now the copy paste functionality should work.
Run the Windows File Checker
Sometimes copy paste not working issues may be caused by corrupt or missing system files. If this is the case, you can run the system file checked to fix missing and corrupt files.
- To do so, open the Windows Command Prompt, type ‘sfc /scannow’ and press the Enter key.
- Wait for the file checker to scan and repair corrupt Windows 10 system files on your computer.
- If the issue is not resolved, type ‘dism /online /cleanup-image /restorehealth’ in Command Prompt and press Enter.
- Once the command executes successfully, restart your computer and try the copy paste function.
Fix Application Related Issue
The copy paste not working problem is not always related to system errors. Problems with a specific application could be the cause. If copying and pasting only fails when working with selected programs, you may try the following fixes:
- Open the Windows task manager, end and then restart the file explorer process.
- You may try to close and reopen the affected applications and if this fails, update the application to the latest version available.
- You can also navigate to “Control Panel > Program and features”, look for the program and click the “Uninstall” button. Run the executable file to reinstall the application.
- On your browser, remove the ‘Skype click to call’ plugin. The Skype Click to Call is a browser add-on that users make Skype calls by simply clicking the number in the browser but could be the reason the copy and paste functionality stopped working.
- Disable ‘Send to Bluetooth add-on” under the add-on section in Microsoft Office applications. Disable the add-on in all individual MS. Office application installed on your PC.
- As a security measure, your antivirus may block the copy paste feature in Windows 10. In order to resolve this issue you should disable any temporarily disable third party anti-virus programs and if this solves the problem, consider uninstalling the anti-virus software completely.
Being unable to use the Copy & Paste function can be a big challenge when you are working with Windows 10. I hope that with the above fixes you can restore your freedom to move files and duplicate content in your PC. It is advisable to try the solutions one at a time and check whether the applied fix has resolved the copy paste problem.