[Fixed!] Excel Clipboard Not Working (5 Possible Solutions)

While working in excel, we may face situations where if we try to copy something from Excel, an error message is popped up showing that the excel clipboard not working. If you are facing this situation, you have come to the right place. Today, I will show you some handy troubleshoots that you can use to fix the issue.

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Introduction to the Problem

Before discussing some possible solutions, let’s begin with learning about the problem first. Every Microsoft Office program has a built-in clipboard feature which allows us to copy and paste within the Office programs. We can also copy information to other external programs from office programs via the windows clipboard. But the problem occurs when an external program uses it in the background and you try to copy something from an office program at the same time. Then you will see this error message.

excel clipboard not working

As we can see, the message tells us that we have a problem with the clipboard, but we can still paste the content within this workbook. So, as far as you are copy-pasting within this workbook, you will be completely fine. But you will not be able to do so in other external programs unless you fix the issue. As we have understood the problem, let’s talk about possible solutions.

5 Possible Solutions If Excel Clipboard Is Not Working

In this section, we will demonstrate 5 probable solutions if your excel clipboard is not working properly.

1. Enable Live Preview Feature

The first thing we should do is to enable the live preview option. To do so, follow the steps below.


  • First, go to the File tab.

  • After that, select Options.

Enable Live Preview Option when excel clipboard not working

  • Now, under the General Option, check on the box of Enable Live Preview and then click OK. (see the figure below).

Enable Live Preview Option when excel clipboard not working

  • This will enable you to see a preview of how a feature affects the document as you hover over different choices.

If this doesn’t solve the problem, try to apply our next solution.

Read More: [Solved:] There Is a Problem with Clipboard in Excel

2. Clear Excel Clipboard

It might be possible that you have tons of information copied already in the clipboard and this can trigger excel to show the error message. To get rid of the issue, you must clear the existing content of the clipboard. To do so, follow the steps described below.


  • First, go to the Home tab on the ribbon. On the Clipboard group, click on the arrow sign in the bottom right corner. (See the figure below)

  • Consequently, a menu should appear now. This time, click on Clear All.

Clear Excel Clipboard when excel clipboard not working

  • As a result, excel will clear all the existing content and show this message that the Clipboard is empty.

Clear Excel Clipboard when excel clipboard not working

Hopefully, this will solve your problem. But if your problem still persists then you should move to our next solution.

Read More: How to Clear the Clipboard in Excel (with Quick Steps)

3. Activate/Deactivate ClipBoard in Excel

This method is actually an extension of the previous process. To know more, follow the steps below.


  • By following the same process as shown in the previous method, go to the Clipboard Options. And in the bottom left corner, click on Options

Enable/ Disable Clipboard when excel clipboard not working

  • Now, select/deselect options according to your requirement.

Enable/ Disable Clipboard when excel clipboard not working


  • Show Office Clipboard Automatically – You can activate or prevent the presence of the Microsoft Office Clipboard sidebar by choosing this.
  • Show Office Clipboard When CTRL + C is Pressed Twice – This menu will appear once the user presses CTRL + C twice.
  • Collect Without Showing Office Clipboard –When this option is enabled, things are automatically copied without the clipboard sidebar appearing.
  • Show Office Clipboard Icon on Taskbar – The icon that appears in the Windows Taskbar can be enabled or disabled using this option.
  • Show Status Near Taskbar When Copying – The yellow box that emerges in the lower-right corner can be switched on or off with this.

You can give a trial with every option until your problem is solved. If the problem persists, then we have to move to our next solution.

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4. Check Office Plugins

Sometimes the added plugins cause this problem. Hence we have to be sure that any plug-ins are not causing this problem, To do that, follow the steps below:


  • First of all, similar to the first method, go to the File tab, then click on Options.
  • Now, choose the Add-ins option from the left menu bar.

Check Office Plugins when excel clipboard not working

  • From the figure above, we can see the Active Application Add-ins.
  • If you think any particular running add-ins are causing this problem, you can use the . Option and then uncheck the plugin.

Hopefully, your problem will be solved. If it is not the case then we have to go for our last resort.

5. Reinstall Microsoft Excel

This is the last option to try for solving the problem. But as we will reinstall MS Excel, it will restore all the options to default and hopefully, it will also solve our problem. To uninstall Excel, follow the steps below.


  • First, go to the Control panel and click on Uninstall a program.

Reinstall Microsoft Excel when excel clipboard not working

  • Now, Select the apps which you want to uninstall. Here I have double-clicked on Microsoft 365 Apps for enterprise as my Excel version is a part of this whole enterprise package.

Reinstall Microsoft Excel when excel clipboard not working

  • After double-clicking on the app, a window should appear like this.

  • Now, you just need to follow this prompt, it will guide you to uninstall the apps.
  • Then reinstall Microsoft Office. Hopefully, it will solve all your problems

Things to Remember

  • You should use the 5th solution only when all others have failed as it is a very time-consuming process.


That is the end of this article. We hope that by using those 5 methods, you will be able to overcome this issue when the excel clipboard is not working. If you find this article helpful, please share this with your friends. Moreover, do let us know if you have any further queries. Finally, please visit Exeldemy for more exciting articles on Excel.

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Aniruddah Alam

Aniruddah Alam

Hi, I am Md. Aniruddah Alam from Dhaka, Bangladesh. I completed my Bachelor's degree in Naval Architecture from BUET. Currently, I am working as an Excel and VBA Content Developer. Here, I always try to present solutions to Excel-related problems in a very concise and easy-to-understand manner. In my leisure time, I love to read books, listen to podcasts, and explore new things.

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