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[Fixed!] Copy and Paste Not Working Between Workbooks in Excel

Copying and pasting data between workbooks is a common thing when using Excel files for different purposes. If your copy and paste feature is not working between workbooks in Excel, then this is the right place for you. Here, we will show you some reasons and solutions when copy and paste do not work between workbooks.


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9 Reasons & Solutions When Copy and Paste Are Not Working Between Workbooks in Excel

Here, we have a dataset containing the Name, Working Hour and Salary of some employees in the Copy and Paste Between Workbooks named Excel workbook. Now, we will show you how you can copy data from this workbook and paste it into the Copied Version named another workbook. While doing this we will discuss some possible errors that may happen and give solutions to those errors.

Reasons & Solutions When Copy and Paste Are Not Working Between Workbooks in Excel


1. Error While Selecting Different Rows & Columns

Sometimes when you select different rows and columns and try to copy those cells to another workbook it shows an error. Follow the steps given below to remove this kind of error.

Steps:

  • Suppose we selected cell range B5:C7 and C10:D11 and pressed Ctrl + C to copy these cells.
  • Then, it will show an error like the image given below.

Excel Copy and Paste Commands are not Working between Workbooks for Selecting Different Rows & Columns

Solution:

This error happened because Excel is unable to copy different rows and columns at the same time. To solve this error, you can copy the cell shown below.

  • If you want, you can select any cell range in Column B and C. Here, we have selected and copied Cell range B5:C7 and B10:C11. It will not show any error as they are from the same Columns.

Solution to Error While Selecting Different Rows & Columns and Copy and Paste Not Working Between Workbooks

  • Similarly, you can select cell ranges from the same Rows. Here, we have copied cell ranges B5:B7 and D5:D7 without facing any error.


2. Copy & Paste Area Sizes Do Not Match

Another reason why copy and paste are not working between your Excel workbooks is when the copy and paste area size do not match. Below we have given such an example and solution to this problem.

Steps:

  • Firstly, select column B from Copy and Paste Between Workbooks named workbook and press Ctrl + C.

  • Then, go to the Copied Version named workbook and select Cell B4.
  • After that, if you press Ctrl + V an error message will pop out.

Excel Copy and Paste Not Working Between Workbooks

Solution:

This error occurred because the copy and paste area sizes are not equal. However, you can solve this error following the solution given below.

  • Now, select Column B instead of just Cell B4.
  • Then, press Ctrl + V to paste the data and it will not show any error.


3. Copy & Paste Large Amount of Data

Sometimes, when we try to copy and paste a large amount of data between workbooks this may not work in XLS files. It only provides 65,000 rows.

Therefore, try to switch into XLSX files as using this you can store a million rows.

Solution to Problem When Copy & Paste Commands Are Not Working for Large Amount of Data in Excel


4. Apply Paste Special Feature

When you are trying to copy and paste a dataset with formulas between workbooks it may not copy the formula and just copy the value.

Solution:

To solve this problem, follow the steps given below.

  • Firstly, select cell range B4:D7 and B10:D11.
  • After that, press Ctrl + C.

  • Then, go to the Copied Version workbook and select Cell B4.
  • Further, Right-click on it and select Paste Special.

Applying Paste Special Feature When Excel Copy and Paste Commands Are Not Working Between Workbooks

  • Now, the Paste Special box will open.
  • Next, select All from the Paste options.
  • Lastly, click on OK.

  • Finally, you will see that the dataset has been copied and pasted into the Copied Version workbook including the formulas.


5. Solve Error for Conditional Formatting

If your dataset contains any Conditional Formatting, it may create problems while copying and pasting the dataset between workbooks. Here, we have used conditional formatting for our dataset to highlight the Salaries which are above $650.

Excel Copy and Paste Not Working Between Workbooks for Dataset with Conditional Formatting

Solution:

You can remove this formatting by going through the steps given below.

  • To start with, go to the Home tab.
  • Then, click on Conditional Formatting >> click on Clear Rules >> select Clear Rules from Entire Sheet.


6. Ignore Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE)

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

Solution:

Follow the steps given below to solve this kind of issue.

  • Firstly, click on File.

  • Next, click on Options.

  • Now, the Excel Options box will appear.
  • After that, go to Advanced Option.
  • Then, uncheck the Ignore other applications that use Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE) box.
  • Finally, click on OK.

Unchecking Ignore Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE) When Excel Copy and Paste Are Not Working Between Workbooks


7. Disable & Enable Excel Add-ins

Excel Add-ins can sometimes freeze Excel while copying and pasting data between workbooks. Therefore, disable and then again enable Add-ins to work on several Excel workbooks at a time.

Solution:

Follow the steps given below to do that.

  • In the beginning, go through the same steps shown in Method 6 to open the Excel Options box.
  • Then, go to the Add-ins option >> click on Go.

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

Disable & Enable Excel Add-ins When Excel Copy and Paste Are Not Working Between Workbooks


8. Disable Hardware Graphic Acceleration

Sometimes, activating Hardware Graphic Acceleration can create problems while working on several Excel workbooks.

Solution:

So, we will show you how you can disable Hardware Graphic Acceleration here.

  •  Firstly, go through the same steps shown in Method 6 to open the Excel Options box.
  • After that, go to the Advanced option >> check Disable Hardware Graphic Acceleration.
  • Lastly, click on OK.

Disable Hardware Graphic Acceleration When Excel Copy and Paste Are Not Working Between Workbooks


9. Reboot the PC in Clean Boot State

If none of the above solutions works out, you can reboot the PC in Clean Boot State. It may solve your issue.

Solution:

  • Firstly, select the Windows icon and search for Run.
  • After that, type msconfig in the Open box.
  • Then, click on OK.

  • Now, the System Configuration box will open.
  • Next, uncheck the Load startup items from the General tab.

  • After that, go to Services tab >> check Hide all Microsoft services.
  • Further, click on Disable all.

  • Then, go to Startup tab >> click on Open task Manager.

  • Now, the Task Manager box will appear.
  • Afterward, select a startup process and click on Disable.
  • Similarly, disable each startup process.

Reboot the PC in Clean Boot State When Excel Copy and Paste Commands Are Not Working Between Workbooks


Other Solutions When Copy and Paste Are Not Working Between Workbooks in Excel

Here, we are giving you some additional solutions when the copy and paste feature is not working between workbooks in Excel. Hopefully, these will be helpful.


1. Make Sure to Open Both Workbooks

To copy and paste a dataset between workbooks make sure you have opened both workbooks at a time. You can open the 2 workbooks separately or else first open one and then open the other one by going to Open options. To do that you may follow the steps given below.

Steps:

  • Firstly, open the file from where you want to copy the dataset.

Making Sure to Open Both Workbooks

  • Then, click on File.

  • Next, go to the Open options >> click on Browse.

  • Now, the Open box will appear.
  • After that, select the workbook where you want to copy the dataset.
  • Finally, click on Open.
  • Thus, you can open two Excel workbooks at a time.


2. Check If Any Macro Running in Target Workbooks

Sometimes, a macro which is a Windows-based application may run in the background of the target workbooks. So, check and close this application to solve the issue.


3. Restart Excel Workbook

You can also restart the Excel Workbooks to solve the issue. then, it may work perfectly.


4. Start Excel in Safe Mode

Sometimes, Excel add-ins may create issues to paste data after copying it from a workbook. In those cases, you can open the Excel workbooks in Safe mode. To do that, press “Ctrl” while opening the file.


5. Virus Scanning

Viruses can cause issues while copying and pasting data between workbooks. So, try to scan viruses to do your work without any issues.


6. Repair Office Installation

There might be some issues with your Office Installation. Solve those problems to do your work smoothly without any errors.


7. Check If Workbooks Are Protected

Sometimes, Excel workbooks are saved as protected files. That’s why you can not use any command in those files.


Conclusion

So, in this article, we have shown you 10 ways to solve the issues when copy and paste are not working between workbooks in Excel. I hope you found this article interesting and helpful. However, if something seems difficult to understand, please leave a comment. Additionally, please let us know if there are any more alternatives that we may have missed. And, visit ExcelDemy for many more articles like this. Thank you!

Arin

Arin

Hello, I'm Arin. I graduated from Khulna University of Engineering and Technology (KUET) from the Department of Civil Engineering. I am passionate about learning new things and increasing my data analysis knowledge as well as critical thinking. Currently, I am working and doing research on Microsoft Excel and here I will be posting articles related to it.

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