If copy and paste isn’t working on your PC, here’s how to fix it

In all probability, copy and paste they are the most used shortcuts in Windows, and by far. These utilities allow us to copy a text or image or even files and folders and paste them in a different place, and using it is as simple as using the shortcuts CTRL + C Y CTRL + V, or even with the conceptual mouse menu. However, there are times when copying and pasting it does not work for some reason, so if this is your case, in this article we are going to show you what you should do to solve it.

Copying and pasting is something we all use almost every day. Both to transfer texts from one place to another and to move or copy files from one folder to another, it is one of the most used utilities in the whole world on PCs, so if it stops working it can be quite a big problem when it comes to PC usability. Let’s see what we can do about it.

Make copy and paste work again on PC

There are times when copy and paste just doesn’t work in a certain app, so it never hurts to start by restarting that app and seeing if copy and paste works again. Of course, you can also completely reboot your PC, and in fact, this will fix the problem in most cases since these tools stop working in Windows is usually related to their service (we’ll get into this later).

Another thing you should try is alternative methods of using these tools. For example, if the shortcuts (CTRL + C and CTRL + V) are not working for you, try the conceptual menu (by right clicking on the elements, as you can see in the image above) or even, in the If this happens to you in any of the Office applications (such as Excel or Word), try the buttons you have in the menu bar.

If after trying the above copy and paste still does not work, we are going to practice a little more drastic solutions, and the first one is to restart the Windows explorer. To do this, right-click on Start and click on Task Manager (or press CTRL + SHIFT + ESC) and, in the processes tab, search for “Windows Explorer”.

Restart Windows Explorer

When you’ve located it, right-click on it and hit restart. You will see how for an instant even the Start menu disappears, but in a couple of seconds everything should be back to normal.

Another possible final solution if none of the above has worked is to try restarting the Windows clipboard process. Open a File Explorer (WIN + E) and go to This PC -> Local Disk (C:) -> Windows -> System32. Look for a file called rdpclip.exe, right-click it and select “Run as administrator”. Then do the same with the file dwm.exe.


Finally, if none of this worked, you may have a crashed clipboard (something that should be fixed by simply restarting your PC), so you can also manually empty it. Right-click Start and select Command Prompt (Admin) or Windows Terminal (Admin) if you’re on Windows 11.

In the window that opens, type echo off | clip and press ENTER.

clear clipboard

After doing this, check if copy and paste works again. And, if none of this worked, you may either have RAM issues, or you may need to repair your Windows installation.

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