The Copy and Paste feature in Windows 10 is a lifesaver for a lot of users. It’s one of the most used shortcuts when tackling various tasks on your computer. It is especially helpful when formatting and rearranging your documents.
To use the copy-paste function, you can utilize your mouse to highlight the text, image, or anything you want to copy. You can then paste the copied items to any location you want by right-clicking and selecting “Paste”. Alternatively, you can use the Ctrl + C (Copy) and Ctrl + V (Paste) keyboard shortcuts.
Since it’s something you’ve been used to, to the point of relying on it, we can imagine the frustration if the feature suddenly stops working. On several Windows forums, many users posted the question “Why won’t my computer let me copy and paste anymore?” Some of the users reported that the copy-paste function was not working on particular apps, while others said that it wasn’t functioning across the Windows 10 operating system.
If you are facing this problem, don’t panic. In today’s post, we focus on how to fix copy and paste not working in Windows 10.
How “Copy and Paste” Works
First, here’s a basic explanation of how the “Copy and Paste” feature works on your Windows machine. Every time you copy a piece of text or an image, it’s automatically saved on a virtual clipboard that’s usually not visible to you. You can enable the clipboard by pressing the Win + V shortcut and clicking on the blue “Turn on” button. The clipboard shows all copied items.
Now, when you paste the image or text, it’s pasted from the clipboard. The entire process is made possible by the rdpclip.exe and wdm.exe processes. If the copy-paste function is not working, it means something has interfered with how these processes work.
Why Is Copy and Paste Not Working in Windows 10?
Several triggers can cause the copy-paste function to stop working. Here are the most common ones:
- A third-party antivirus program is blocking the copy-paste processes.
- A third-party application could be interfering with the feature.
- A buggy Windows update may affect the copy-paste feature.
- Some Windows applications, like Skype, could be conflicting with the feature.
- Corruption of system files or malware could have interfered with the function.
- Corrupt files in the Registry may have triggered the problem.
How to Fix the Copy and Paste Feature If It Is Not Working
Before we start reconfiguring the system, here are a few common troubleshooting steps that you could try first:
- Restart Windows. The quickest and easiest solution to the “copy-paste not working” problem is to restart your computer. A glitch in the system can cause minor system errors that can cause some core system functions to stop working. A restart will refresh all these processes and services, and the feature should work again.
- Update the problematic program. If the copy-paste feature is not working on a specific program but works fine on other applications, the affected program could be having issues. For example, if the feature works on Word but fails to work in your Google browser, try updating the browser to check if the problem gets resolved. If this doesn’t work, try reinstalling the program. Corrupt program files could be causing the problem, and reinstalling it will fix the corruption and the error.
- Update Windows. System glitches are known to occur if you’ve not updated your Windows system in a long time. If the bug has been caused by a previous update, installing the latest updates may resolve the problem. Nevertheless, it’s important to keep your PC updated. To install the latest updates, go to Start > Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update, and click on the “Check for updates” button. If updates are available, Windows will automatically download and install them.
If these quick fixes don’t resolve the problem, try the solutions below one after the other until you get the issue fixed.
Solution 1: Temporarily Disable Your Antivirus
While using antivirus software is mandatory if you want to protect your system from malware attacks, sometimes it might cause conflicts that may trigger system errors. In this case, your antivirus application could be blocking the processes associated with the copy-paste function.
To check if this is true, try temporarily disabling it and check if the function is working. If it’s the culprit, try using an antivirus program that won’t cause any conflicts on your PC. However, if your antivirus software is not to blame, the problem lies elsewhere. Re-enable the security program to keep your PC protected.
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Solution 2: Reset the Rdpclip.exe and Dwm.exe Processes
The Remote Desktop Clipboard (rdpclip.exe) process enables you to copy and paste data on your computer. If the process stops or is faulty, the feature won’t work.
Try restarting the process to see if it gets the issue fixed. Here are the steps:
- Bring up the Task Manager using the Ctrl + Shift + Esc key combo.
- Click on the “Details” tab and search for the exe process. If you can’t find it, select File > Run new task. Type rdpclip.exe into the input field and check the “Create this task with administrative privileges” checkbox. Hit the “Enter” key or click on “OK”.
- Check if the service is already running. If it is, right-click on it and select “End task”.
- Now go to C:\Windows\System32 and look for the rdpclip.exe process.
- Right-click on it and select “Run as administrator”.
- Finally, reboot your system and try copying and pasting texts or images to see if the feature works.
You also need to reset the Desktop Window Manager (dwm.exe) process, which manages your interactions with the desktop. When this module freezes or hits a glitch, copy-paste is one of the affected functions.
To reset it, follow these steps:
- Access the Windows Task Manager using the Ctrl + Shift + Esc key combination.
- Once it opens, locate the exe process under the “Details” tab.
- Right-click on the process and select “End task”.
- Exit the Task Manager and reopen it again.
- Go to File > Run new task. Type exe into the dialog box, and hit “Enter”. This action will restart the service.
Now, check if the copy-paste function is working or not.
Solution 3: Restart Windows Explorer
Restarting Windows Explorer may help fix the copy and paste feature if it is not working. Be sure to save all your work first before you proceed.
Here are the instructions to follow:
- Open the Task Manager as shown above, and locate “Windows Explorer” under the “Processes” tab.
- Right-click on it and click on “Restart”.
You don’t have to reboot your computer to apply these changes, but it’s recommended. Once you’re done, check if you can copy and paste your texts or images.
Solution 4: Close All Open Applications
As we noted earlier, third-party applications can interfere with the copy and paste function in one way or another and conflict with the built-in clipboard.
To resolve this, close all running third-party applications. Here’s how:
- Launch the Task Manager (Ctrl + Shift + Esc), select the program you want to close under the “Processes” tab, and click on “End task”.
- Check if the copy-paste function is working. If it’s not, move on to the next application until you find the culprit.
If you are using third-party file-copying software, disable it as well to check if it’s responsible for the error.
Solution 5: Clear the Clipboard History Using the Command Prompt
A section of users reported that they had resolved the copy and paste issue by running a command line in the Command Prompt. This command clears your clipboard and, in the process, resolves whatever issues have been affecting the function.
Here’s how to proceed:
- You need to run the Command Prompt with elevated rights. To do that, press the Win + R keyboard shortcut, type CMD into the “Run” dialog box, and hit the “Enter” key.
- Click “Yes” on the UAC prompt to gain access to the console.
- In the Command Prompt (Admin) window, type the command echo off | clip and press “Enter” to execute it. If this command doesn’t work, use the following command: cmd /c “echo off | clip”.
- After the command has been successfully executed, restart your PC and check if the copy-paste feature is working again at the next startup.
If this fix fails, move on to the next solution below.
Solution 6: Run the Keyboard Troubleshooter
If your keyboard is faulty, some keys, such as Ctrl, C, and V, may stop working. Since you mostly use your keyboard to apply the copy-paste shortcuts, we recommend that you check if it has any issues and try to fix them.
To proceed, follow the guidelines below:
- Launch the Windows Settings app using the Win + I combination.
- In the “Find a setting” dialog box, type “Keyboard issues” (without quotes) and select the “Find and fix keyboard problems” option.
- In the pop-up window, click the “Advanced” link and check the box next to “Apply repairs automatically”.
- Click on “Next” and wait for Windows to check for issues with your keyboard. If it finds any, follow the on-screen instructions to resolve them.
Solution 7: Check for System File Corruption
If your system files have been corrupted or deleted, either by malware or third-party software, some system processes and programs may start to malfunction. For this reason, you should try scanning the system to check if any files are missing or damaged. Use the System File Checker tool, which comes built into all Windows systems.
To run an SFC scan, follow the instructions below:
- Run the Command Prompt with administrator privileges. To do so, follow the instructions in Solution 5
- Once the Command Prompt (Admin) window opens, execute the following command: sfc /scannow.
- A system scan should start immediately and might take some time. After it completes, restart your computer and check if the copy-paste problem has been fixed.
Solution 8: Update Your Device Drivers
An outdated device driver can cause a myriad of issues on your PC. Since drivers enable the system to interact properly with the installed hardware, any glitch or corruption in these drivers can affect some system functionalities.
Take the keyboard, for example. If its drivers are outdated, some keyboard functions or the entire keyboard might fail to work as expected.
PC issues aside, it’s recommended to always keep your device drivers up to date to ensure the security of the system.
There are two methods to update your device drivers – manual and automatic.
Updating Your Device Drivers Manually
To update your drivers manually, you need to check your system for the currently installed driver versions. After that, you’ll head over to the manufacturers’ websites to download and install the latest versions. The problem with this method is that if you install the wrong driver version or model, you will end up causing incompatibility issues.
Moreover, since you can’t tell which driver caused the problem, you’ll have to update all of them, one after the other. This can be a long and complicated process.
Updating Your Device Drivers Automatically
While driver updates are included in Windows updates in Windows 10, not all drivers may be automatically updated to their latest versions by the Windows Update service. Plus, Windows Update doesn’t always install the correct drivers.
The safest and quickest method to update your drivers is to use a reliable third-party driver updating application like Auslogics Driver Updater. Once installed, Driver Updater first scans your system to know exactly the type of drivers to install. It then runs a system diagnostic to check for outdated and missing device drivers. You can see a detailed summary of the results in the Diagnostics tab.
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With this tool, you won’t waste time updating the drivers one by one – you can update all at once with a single click of a button. The best part about using Driver Updater is that you don’t have to worry about the wrong drivers being installed. This tool works with precision and accuracy, and it only installs the latest official driver versions recommended by the manufacturers.
Additionally, it has a backup and restore feature that allows you to restore the previous driver versions if the newer versions cause issues. Generally, the program is simple to use and doesn’t come with annoying ads.
Once all the device drivers have been updated, reboot your computer and check if you can use the copy-paste function without issues.
Solution 9: Use System Restore to Undo Recent Changes to Your System
Have you installed any new applications or made any changes to your system recently? They may have conflicted with the copy-paste feature or changed certain settings, causing the copy and paste function to stop working.
Luckily, Windows 10 comes with the System Restore feature, which helps you to undo recent changes on your computer. Once enabled, System Restore creates restore points periodically, saving images of your system configuration.
The intention is to select a restore point that will take your PC back to a time when everything was functioning optimally. Here’s how to go about it:
- Use the Win + S keyboard shortcut, type “System restore” (without quotes), and select Recovery. In the window that appears, select “Open System Restore” click on “Next”.
- Select a restore point. It’s important to note that you will lose all the applications that you installed after the restore point was created. Likewise, programs that you uninstalled will be reinstalled. To check which programs will be deleted or reinstalled, click on the “Scan for affected programs” button.
- Click on “Next” once you’re done here, and then select “Finish”. Your computer will restart to commence the system restore process.
Let the process run uninterrupted. After it is over, the copy and paste feature should work as usual.
Solution 10: Check Windows Applications
Several users stated that the Sent to Bluetooth add-on, which is associated with Microsoft Office, could be conflicting with the built-in clipboard. Other add-ons could be to blame as well. The add-ons are located under “Options” in the “Add-Ins” section in Word.
Try disabling the Send to Bluetooth add-on and all other add-ons to check if it resolves the problem.
Solution 11: Disable the Skype Click to Call Plugin
Skype has a plugin called Skype Click to Call, which allows users to make Skype calls directly from their browsers. This plugin has been blamed for causing the copy-paste function to stop working.
Try disabling it as well to see if it helps.
Solution 12: Use a Third-Party Clipboard Manager
If applying all the solutions above doesn’t seem to get the copy and paste feature to work, you can resort to using a third-party clipboard manager. You’ll find several apps in Microsoft Store that can replace the built-in Windows clipboard manager. All you have to do is download the best tool that will suit your preferences.
Solution 13: Reset Windows
If you’re not for the idea of installing third-party applications, or if you simply like the way the Windows clipboard works, you can reset or refresh Windows to install a clean copy of the OS and remove all the apps. This will give your system a fresh start and is the best way to fix any errors that prove difficult to get rid of.
Here is how to reset Windows:
- Go to the “Settings” app by pressing the Win + I combo and select Update & Security > Recovery.
- Click on the “Get started” button under “Reset this PC”.
- You’ll be prompted to choose whether to keep your files or remove everything. If you want to perform a quick format of your drive, choose “Remove everything” and select “Just remove my files”.
Follow the on-screen instructions to complete resetting your PC.
The copy-paste function in Windows 10 simplifies the task of transferring data or formatting your documents. So, if the copy and paste feature is not working, we can understand your frustration. We hope one of these solutions helps you to resolve the problem.
If you need further assistance or have additional information on this topic, don’t hesitate to comment below.