Copy and Paste is Not Working in Excel (9 Reasons & Solutions)

The most common operation we perform in Excel datasheets is copy and paste. But sometimes, problems may arise when we try to copy and paste. So, this article will show you the effective solutions to the problem Copy and Paste is not Working in Excel.

To illustrate, I’m going to use a sample dataset as an example. For instance, the following dataset represents the Product, Price, Quantity, and Total of a company.

Copy and Paste is Not Working in Excel


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9 Reasons and Solutions If Copy and Paste is Not Working in Excel

Reason 1: Copy and Paste 2 Ranges with Formulas

We all have faced problems whenever we want to copy and paste the separate ranges of cells including Formulas in the dataset values. We notice that only the values get pasted but not the formulas involved in them. For this reason, the result doesn’t change even if we change the cell values present in the argument.

Solution:

Follow the steps to get rid of this issue.

STEPS:

  • First, select the range of cells to work with.

Copy and Paste 2 Ranges with Formulas

  • Then, select cell G4 or any other place where you want to paste.

Copy and Paste 2 Ranges with Formulas

  • After that, right-click on the mouse and select Paste Special from the context menu.

Copy and Paste 2 Ranges with Formulas

  • Subsequently, a dialogue box will pop out, and there select All from the Paste options.
  • And then, press OK.

  • As a result, you’ll get your desired output.

Read More: [Fixed]: Right Click Copy and Paste Not Working in Excel (11 Solutions)


Reason 2: Error in Copying Different Rows and Columns in Excel

Excel shows errors when we copy different rows and columns. See the steps below to know about the problem.

STEPS:

  • Firstly, select different rows and columns as shown in the red-colored boxes in the following picture and try to copy them.
  • And immediately, an error message will pop out.

Error in Copying Different Rows and Columns in Excel

Solution:

This happens because the Excel copy command doesn’t operate on different rows and different columns at the same time. The solution is given below.

STEPS:

  • Select any range of cells in columns B and C and copy them. It’ll work.

Error in Copying Different Rows and Columns in Excel

  • Additionally, select any cells present in rows 4,5,6, and 7 and copy them. The above-mentioned problem won’t arise.

Error in Copying Different Rows and Columns in Excel

Read More: How to Copy Rows in Excel (4 Easy Ways)


Reason 3: Copy and Paste Area Size Doesn’t Match in Excel

Moreover, if the copy area and paste area don’t match, Excel will show an error. Follow the steps below to know about the problem.

STEPS:

  • First of all, select column B and copy it.

Copy and Paste Area Size Doesn’t Match in Excel

  • Then, select cell F4 and try to paste. An error message will pop out.

Copy and Paste Area Size Doesn’t Match in Excel

Solution:

The possible way to solve it is given below.

STEPS:

  • Select the entire column F.
  • Then paste. You’ll get the result.

Copy and Paste Area Size Doesn’t Match in Excel


Reason 4: Excel Conditional Formatting Issue

Sometimes, Excel doesn’t allow copying and pasting or slows down the process due to the application of Conditional Formatting in the datasheet.

Solution:

To learn how to clear the issue, see the below steps.

STEPS:

  • First, select Clear Rules from Entire Sheet from Clear Rules options in the Conditional Formatting drop-down list under the Home tab.

Excel Conditional Formatting Issue

  • Here, it’ll remove all the formattings. And then, save the file as a new file. Finally, you’ll be able to copy and paste without any issues.

Read More: Use VBA to Paste Values Only with No Formatting in Excel


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Reason 5: Excel DDE Causing Problem in Copy and Paste

Additionally, the DDE (Dynamic Data Exchange) option can create problems during copying and pasting.

Solution:

Ignoring DDE (Dynamic Data Exchange) can solve the ‘Excel cannot paste data’ issue. Hence, learn the process to ignore DDE.

STEPS:

  • First, click File.

Excel DDE Causing Problem in Copy and Paste

  • Then, select Options, which you’ll find on the bottom-left side.

Excel DDE Causing Problem in Copy and Paste

  • Consequently, a dialog box will pop out. There, in the Advanced tab uncheck the box Ignore other applications that use Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE).
  • At last, press OK.
  • Now, you’ll be able to copy and paste ignoring this issue.

Read More: How to Copy a Cell in Excel Using Formula(7 Methods)


Reason 6: Copy and Paste a Large Amount of Data in Excel

We know, the traditional XLS sheets have 65,000 rows. This will create problems in copy-paste.

Solution:

If you want to copy more than that, just switch to the XLSX sheet. There you’ll have a million rows to input data.

Copy and Paste a Large Amount of Data in Excel

Read More: How to Copy and Paste Thousands of Rows in Excel (3 Ways)‌


Reason 7: Excel Add-ins Disable & Enable

Add-ins can freeze Excel sheets when we try to copy and paste.

Solution:

Therefore, follow the steps below to disable & then enable the add-ins.

STEPS:

  • In the beginning, open the Excel file in safe mode.
  • Then, go to File and select Options.
  • As a result, a dialog box will pop out. There, in the Add-ins tab, select Go, which is beside the Manage box.

Excel Add-ins Disable & Enable

  • Subsequently, to disable the add-ins, uncheck all of them. After that, enable them again. Finally, the issue will disappear and you can copy and paste without any issues.

Read More: How to Paste From Clipboard to Excel Using VBA


Reason 8: Activate Hardware Graphic Acceleration in Excel

Sometimes activating Hardware Graphic Acceleration can create problems.

Solution:

Deactivating the Hardware Graphic Acceleration will solve the freezing issues when copying and pasting data.

STEPS:

  • Firstly, click File and select Options.
  • In the pop-out dialog box, check Disable Hardware Graphic Acceleration and press OK.


Reason 9: Need to Reboot the PC in Clean Boot State

Moreover, rebooting the PC in a clean boot state will show you if the Excel sheet is corrupted or not.

Solution:

So, see the steps below to reboot.

STEPS:

  • First, select the Windows icon and search for Run.
  • Then, type msconfig in the Open box and press OK.

Need to Reboot the PC in Clean Boot State

  • As a result, a dialog box will pop out. There, under the General tab, uncheck Load startup items in the Selective startup.

Need to Reboot the PC in Clean Boot State

  • After that, go to the Services Here, check to Hide all Microsoft services and select Disable all.

Need to Reboot the PC in Clean Boot State

  • Subsequently, in the Startup tab, select Open Task Manager.

  • At last, disable each and every startup process.

  • Finally, go back to the System Configuration window and press OK to save the changes. It’ll reboot in clean mode after you restart your PC.

Read More: How to Copy and Paste in Excel and Keep Cell Size (7 Examples)


Other Possible Solutions When Copy and Paste in Excel is Not Working

1. Restart Excel Workbook for Solving Copy and Paste Issues

At times, simply reopening the Excel workbook can solve the issues related to copying and pasting. So, before jumping into other solutions, first, just restart the workbook.


2. Launch Excel in Safe Mode

Opening an Excel file in safe mode can solve the problem related to the damaged add-in that may restrain the users from pasting data. For launching Excel in safe mode, at first, press and hold down the ‘Ctrl’ key and open the Excel file. A dialog box will pop out and press Yes.


3. Cache Files Deleting

Clearing the overloaded cache files can solve the freezing issues. So, delete the cache files and the Excel will work fine.


4. Virus Scanning

Sometimes, Virus causes issues in Excel copying and pasting commands. Try to remove that malicious virus in order to solve the problems.


5. Office Installation Repairing

Other times, repairing the office installation can solve the copying and pasting problem.


6. Macro Express Application Disabling

Macro Express is a Windows-based application that runs in the background and sometimes it may cause problems in Excel. So, close this application to solve the issue.


Conclusion

Henceforth, you will be able to solve the Copy and Paste in Excel not Working problem with the above-described methods. Keep using them and let us know if you have any more ways to do the task. Don’t forget to drop comments, suggestions, or queries if you have any in the comment section below.


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Aung

Aung

I'm Aung. Recently I earned my B.Sc. Degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering. From now on, I will be working in Microsoft Excel and other useful software, and I’ll upload articles related to them. My current goal is to write technical contents for anybody and everybody that will make the learning process of new software and features a happy journey.

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