Clipboard is Not Working in Excel (11 Possible Solutions)

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Clipboard is a temporary storage of Excel, that holds all kinds of data like text, numbers, images, weblinks, etc. The Clipboard can hold a maximum of 24 items at a time.

When copying and pasting data, sometimes you may find that the clipboard is working properly. Like, data is not stored in the clipboard, the clipboard is not responding, unable to paste data from the clipboard, etc.

In this article, you will learn 11 solutions for clipboard not working issues in Excel.

Look at the image below. We have solved the clipboard not working issue in Excel by following one of the solutions mentioned in this article.

Clipboard Not Working issue in Excel

Reason for Clipboard Not Working Issue in Excel

There are multiple reasons for the clipboard not working issue in Excel. Here are some common reasons:

  • If your Microsoft Office application is not updated, you may face issues with the clipboard not working.
  • The clipboard can store only 24 items at once. If it’s full, you won’t be able to copy more data.
  • Other applications may prevent the clipboard from opening.
  • Third-party applications or Excel add-ins may interfere with the clipboard functionality.
  • The clipboard may not appear if your Excel file is corrupted.
  • If you are using a corrupt Microsoft Office application, the clipboard may not function correctly.

11 Solutions for Clipboard Not Working Issue in Excel

To solve the clipboard not working issue in Excel, we have discussed 11 easy solutions in this article. Those solutions are based on different Excel features, software, and system sections.

11 solutions for the clipboard not working issue in Excel:

1. Try Some Common Tips

For any kind of Excel problem, it is recommended to try some common tricks first. Those are below:

  • Restart the Excel program.
  • Restart your computer.

If the above solution does not work, then try the advanced solution shown below.

2. Clear the Clipboard

If your clipboard reaches the limit, the clipboard may not work properly. You can solve this problem by clearing the clipboard.

Steps to solve the clipboard not working issue by clearing it:

  1. Go to Home tab > Clipboard group > Dialog box launcher. Or press Alt + H + F + O.
    The Clipboard task pane box will appear.Open the Clipboard task pane
  2. Click Clear All on the task pane.Clear the Clipboard task pane

You can see the clipboard is cleared.

Clipboard has been cleared

Clearing data from the clipboard will make it work properly.

3. Close Unnecessary Applications

The issue of the clipboard not working arises when unnecessary applications are running. This problem can be resolved by closing these applications from the Task Manager.

To solve the clipboard not working issue by closing unnecessary applications:

  1. Type Task Manager in the Search box.
  2. Click on Task Manager (App) from the suggested list. Or press Ctrl + Shift + Esc.
    Open the Task ManagerThe Task Manage window appears.
  3. In the Task Manager window:
    • Right-click on the unnecessary apps in the Name column.
    • Select End task in the context menu.

    Close unnecessary apps

4. Uncheck Enable Live Preview Option

Enable Live Preview” option may be one of the reasons why the clipboard is not working. You can disable this option from the Excel Options window to solve this issue.

To solve the clipboard not working issue by disabling the Enable Live Preview feature:

  1. Go to File tab > Options. Or press Alt + F + T.Open Excel Options window This will take you to the General category of the Excel Options window.
  2. Uncheck Enable Live Preview > OK.Uncheck Enable Live Preview

5. Disable LinkedIn Features

If unchecking the “Enable Live Preview” did not solve the clipboard not working issue, then disabling the LinkedIn Features can fix this issue. This feature is available in the Excel Options window.

To solve the clipboard not working issue by disabling the LinkedIn Features:

  1. Go to File tab > Options.
  2. Uncheck “Enable LinkedIn features in my Office Applications” > OK.Uncheck Enable LinkedIn features in my Office Applications

6. Update Microsoft Office Application

Due to the older version of the Microsoft Office application, sometimes the clipboard may not work properly.

To solve the clipboard not working issue by updating the Microsoft Office application:

  • Go to File tab > Options > Update Options drop-down > Update Now.Update Microsoft Office application

7. Open Excel in Safe Mode

The clipboard not working issue may arise due to any unwanted changes applied accidentally. You can open an Excel file in safe mode to solve this issue.

To solve the clipboard not working issue by opening the Excel in safe mode:

  1. Press the Windows logo key + R to open the Run box.
  2. In the Run box, type “excel /safe” and press OK.Enable Excel safe mode

Now, reopen the Excel file and see whether the problem has been solved or not.

8. Disable Problematic Add-ins

Excel Add-ins may interfere with the functionality of the Clipboard. You need to disable the suspected Add-in from the Excel Options window to solve this problem.

To solve the clipboard not working issue by removing problematic add-ins:

  1. Go to File tab > Options to open the Excel Options window.
  2. In the Excel Options window:
    • Select the Add-ins category.
    • Set Excel Add-ins in the Manage box > GO.

    Open add-ins The Add-ins dialog box appears.

  3. In the Add-ins dialog box:
    • Uncheck all the available add-ins.
    • Then, check the first add-in and click on OK.

    Enable each add-in each time

Check whether the clipboard is working or not. In this way enable one add-in at a time to find out the problematic add-in. Finally, disable the problematic add-ins.

9. Delete the Temporary Data From the Temp Folder

Windows stores all its temporary data into a dedicated folder named Temp. When this folder is filled with a larger amount of temporary data, it may hamper some functionality of Excel like the clipboard not working issue. To get rid of such a problem, you need to delete the temporary data from this folder.

To resolve the clipboard not working issue by deleting temporary data from the Temp folder:

  1. Open the Run box by pressing the Windows logo key and R.
  2. Write “%temp%” in the box next to the command Open and click on OK.Open the Temp folder
  3. Now, delete all the temporary data from the Temp folder.Delete data from Temp folder

10. Repair Corrupted Excel Workbook

To resolve the clipboard not working issue caused by a corrupted workbook, you need to repair the workbook. You can repair an Excel workbook by reopening it from the File tab.

To solve the clipboard not working issue by repairing the corrupted workbook:

  1. Go to File tab > Open > Browse.Open an Excel file
  2. Select the desired Excel file from File Explorer.
  3. Go to the Open drop-down > Open and Repair.Select and Repair the corrupted Excel file
  4. Click the Repair button on the appeared warning box.Allow Repair of the corrupted Excel file

11. Repair Microsoft Office Application

If all the solutions mentioned above cannot resolve the clipboard not working issue, there may be a problem with your Microsoft Office application. You need to repair the application to solve this problem.

To solve the clipboard not working issue by repairing the Microsoft Office application:

  1. Right-click on the Start button and select the Installed apps from the pop-up menu.Open all installed applications This will take you to the Settings window showing all the installed applications.
  2. Find the Microsoft 365 application and click on the triple dot () beside it.
  3. Select the Modify option.Modify the Microsoft Office application
  4. In the “How would you like to repair your Microsoft 365 and Office Programs?” window, check Quick Repair > Repair to fix everything.Choose the Quick Repair option
  5. Finally, click on Repair to start the quick repair process.Start Quick Repair


When dealing with the issue of the Excel clipboard not working, it’s important to investigate potential reasons like software conflicts, system resource limitations, etc. In this article, we have discussed some possible reasons for this problem. Following that, we have explored 11 solutions to get rid of this problem. By systematically addressing the problem and considering these aspects, you can restore the regular functioning of the clipboard in Excel.  If you have any further queries, please feel free to write them in the comment box below.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many items can be stored on the clipboard?

The Office Clipboard can store up to 24 items. When you copy a twenty-fifth item, the first item on the Office Clipboard is automatically deleted. As you add items to the Office Clipboard, an entry is visually displayed in the Clipboard task pane.

Why does Excel show “Cannot empty the clipboard?”

This error may occur when another application is currently using the clipboard. To resolve this issue, you can either close the programs that are actively using the clipboard or restart the Excel application.

What are the keyboard shortcuts for efficient clipboard operations in Excel?

Common shortcuts for clipboard operations include: Ctrl+C for copy, Ctrl+X for cut, and Ctrl+V for paste. Additionally, pressing Ctrl+Alt+V opens the “Paste Special” dialog, providing access to a variety of additional options.

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Aniruddah Alam
Aniruddah Alam

Md. Aniruddah Alam, a graduate of Bangladesh University of Engineering & Technology, Dhaka, holds a BSc.Engg in Naval Architecture & Marine Engineering. Joining Softeko in August 2022 as an Excel and VBA content developer, he has authored 90+ articles, covering fundamental to advanced Excel topics. He actively develops VBA codes for Excel automation and offers solutions in the Exceldemy Forum. Beyond work, he finds leisure in reading books, and taking relaxing walks, showcasing well-rounded blend of professional and... Read Full Bio

  1. Option “4. Uncheck Enable Live Preview Option” was a life saving solution for me.
    Thank you so much.

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