How to Fix My Copy & Paste

By Chris Hoke

The "copy" and "paste" functions allow a computer user to copy text, images, documents and other types of files from one area of the computer and paste (replicate the data) into another area. You can copy and paste between folders, open documents and images, or between applications, which makes "copy" and "paste" integral tools for many computer users. It works by temporarily storing information in a "clipboard" file. If your "copy" and "paste" functions cease to work, the cause is typically an interfering application process or a system cache error.

Fixing Copy/Paste For PC

Step 1

Close any open applications.

Step 2

Right click on the task bar, then click "Task Manager."

Step 3

Click the "Processes" tab at the top of the "Task Manager" window.

Step 4

Click on the "mstsc.exe" entry to select it, then click the "End Process" button. "Mstsc.exe" is a process associated with the terminal services client and can cause the clipboard to stop working, disabling the copy and paste functions.

Step 5

Click the "Start" menu button and choose "Control Panel." Click to open "Administrative Tools."

Step 6

Double click "Services." Right-click on the "Clipbook" service and select "Restart" from the menu. Click "Apply" and "OK." Close the "Services" window.

Step 7

Right click on a file or shortcut on your desktop, then click "Copy." Right click on an empty area of the desktop and click "Paste" to test the copy and paste functions. Successfully copying and pasting the file or shortcut indicates that the copy and paste functions have been restored.

Fixing Copy/Paste for Mac

Step 1

Open the cache folder by opening "Macintosh HD." Click "Users," then click to select your user name. Click "Library," then "Caches."

Step 2

Click the "Edit" menu and click "Select All."

Step 3

Click on a selected item and drag it to the trash to delete all selected items in the cache folder.

Step 4

Browse to the "/Library/Caches," "/System/Library/Caches," and "/System/Library/Extensions.kextcache" folders and delete the contents of each by repeating steps 2 and 3. Type in the administrator password when prompted.

Step 5

Restart your computer and test the copy/paste function.