Solving there’s a problem with the clipboard in Excel

If you use Excel frequently, you may have encountered a frustrating issue where you try to copy or cut some data and get an error message saying “There’s a problem with the clipboard, but you can still paste your content within this workbook.” This prevents you from copying or cutting data across different workbooks or applications, which can be very inconvenient and time-consuming.

So what causes this problem and how can you fix it? In this Excel tutorial, I will explain some of the possible reasons and solutions for this issue.

One of the common causes of this problem is that another application is using the clipboard and preventing Excel from accessing it. This could be a third-party program that monitors or modifies the clipboard, such as a clipboard manager, a screen capture tool, a remote desktop software, etc.

To check if this is the case, you can try closing any other applications that are running on your computer and see if the problem persists. If it does not, then you can try to identify which application is causing the conflict and either disable it or change its settings to avoid interfering with the clipboard.

Another possible cause of this problem is that Excel has reached its limit of how many items it can store in the clipboard. Excel can store up to 24 items in the clipboard, but if you copy or cut large amounts of data, such as entire rows or columns, you may exceed this limit and get the error message.

To avoid this, you can try to copy or cut smaller amounts of data at a time, or clear the clipboard before copying or cutting new data. To clear the clipboard, you can either use the Clear All button in the Home tab of the ribbon, or press Ctrl+Alt+C on your keyboard.

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A third possible cause of this problem is that there is some corruption or damage in your Excel file or workbook. This could be due to various reasons, such as a virus infection, a power outage, a disk error, etc. To fix this, you can try to repair your Excel file or workbook using the built-in repair tool in Excel. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Open Excel and go to File > Open.
  2. Locate and select your Excel file or workbook.
  3. Click on the arrow next to the Open button and choose Open and Repair.
  4. Choose either Repair (to recover as much data as possible) or Extract Data (to extract values and formulas from the workbook).
  5. Wait for the process to complete and see if the problem is resolved.