Why Can’t I Copy and Paste in Microsoft Word [Solved 2024]

Written By Steven Arends

Working with Microsoft Word is common for people nowadays.

But sometimes, you may face issues with the copy-paste functionality in Microsoft Word.

Since copy-paste is a basic operation we execute frequently, it needs immediate attention.

Luckily, I’ve gone through various fixes in this post, and you can expect to solve the problem in a short time.


Keep reading till the end.

Why Can’t I Copy Paste in Word?

You can’t copy-paste in Word because of a clipboard issue, any Word Add-in conflicting with the copy-paste operation, or corrupted Microsoft Office files. If some shortcut keys are misconfigured or the Word app is outdated, the problem can persist.

Copy-paste is the most basic functionality that we use all the time, no matter what software we’re using. Copy and paste are more integral when we’re writing, like while using the MS Word app.

So, when copy and paste stops working, it needs to be fixed as soon as possible. There are various reasons behind copy and paste not working in Word.

Here are the reasons why copy and paste is not working in Word:

Clipboard Issue

The clipboard is the place where the copied words and characters get temporarily saved. Sometimes there are problems in Windows clipboard as it gets messy because of copying and pasting several things in a row. It is a glitch that can be solved by cleaning the clipboard.

Word Add-ins

If a Word Add-in is not working correctly, it can conflict with the copy and paste operation. This can be due to an incompatible add-in or an add-in that is interfering with Word’s built-in copy and paste functionality.

Corrupted Microsoft Office Files

Corrupted Microsoft Office files can cause problems with the Word copy and paste function. The reason could be a corrupted file or a file that has been infected by a virus or other types of internet or security threats.

Misconfigured Shortcut Keys

If the shortcut keys are remapped, it is evident that the usual keyboard shortcuts for copy and paste will not work. It is also possible that they have been changed by the user or another application.

Out-of-date MS Word

An outdated Word app may not be compatible with the latest operating system or software updates. This can cause problems with the copy and paste operation in Word, as well as other functions within the app. Always ensure your apps are up-to-date on your machine.

Remote Desktop Connection App

Remote desktop connection apps running in the background can interfere with the shortcuts for MS Word or the operating system in general and cause problems.

How to Fix Copy and Paste in Microsoft Word

To fix copy paste in Microsoft Word, clear the clipboard cache and run Word in safe mode. Then you can disable the add-ins manually or repair the Office installation. Updating Word, checking the assigned keyboard shortcuts, and closing remote desktop or any background apps also help.

Any of the several factors mentioned in the previous section can lead to copy-paste not working in Microsoft Word. So, you need to go through all the fixes gradually and see which resolves the problem.

Here are the methods to fix copy-paste in Microsoft Word:

1. Clear Clipboard Cache

If the clipboard is not properly cleared or conflicts with other applications running on the computer, Word or Excel can face problems during copy-paste. So, you need to clear the Windows clipboard cache.

Follow these steps to clear the clipboard cache in Windows:

  • Press the Windows key + R on your keyboard to open the Run dialog box.
  • Type “cmd” in the Run dialog box and press Enter to open the Command Prompt.
  • Type the following command in the Command Prompt: echo off | clip
  • Press Enter.

This will clear the cache contained in the clipboard on your computer. Now, try copying and pasting into Word again to see if the problem has been resolved. You can also try clearing the clipboard on the Mac computer.

2. Run Word in Safe Mode

Launching Word in Safe Mode is a great solution to resolve the problem as add-ins don’t get loaded in safe mode. Therefore, running Word in safe mode will allow you to tell if any extra add-in is behind the problem

Here are the steps to run Word in safe mode:

  • Close Word and any other Office app.
  • Press Win+R to open the Run dialog box.
  • Type winword /safe and press Enter.

Word will open in safe mode. Now try to copy-paste in the opened window. If you can copy and paste without any hassle, then there might be some problems with your add-ons.

Disable all the add-ins and enable them one by one to find out the culprit. The details are in the next method.

To run Word in normal mode, close the already opened window of Word in safe mode and launch Word as you do regularly.

3. Disable Add-ins

Add-ins are helpful for the work environment in Word. But sometimes, it conflicts with the Word app and breaks common functionalities like copy-paste.

Disable all the add-ins, then enable them one by one and check if the problem re-appears. Then you’ll know which add-in is initiating the problem.

Here are the steps to disable add-ins in Word:

  • Launch Word.
  • Go to File > Options > Add-ins.
  • Select COM Add-ins in the Manage dropdown and click Go.
  • Disable all the add-ins available there.
  • Check if the copy-paste feature works well or not.

If copy paste works, go back to the add-in menu and enable one add-in. Then check if copy-paste is working or not. Repeat the process until copy-paste stops working. Then the last enabled add-in is the culprit behind the problem.

If copy-paste doesn’t work even after disabling all the add-ins, try repairing the Office package.

4. Repair Office

Your copy of Microsoft Office might get broken because of any corrupted installation file affecting Word. Repairing it may solve the problem.

Here are the steps to repair MS Office:

  • Press Win+I to go to Settings.
  • Go to Apps > Apps and Features.
  • Scroll and click on Office.
  • Click on Modify.


  • Select Repair.
  • Wait for the time being as the job gets done.
  • Check if the issue has been resolved or not.

You can also use the Quick Repair feature from the Control Panel. Go to Control Panel > Programs > Uninstall a program. Right-click on Office, then click on Change > Quick Repair or Online Repair.

If it doesn’t work, you may try terminating the background processes and features connected to the Office suite.

5. Close Background Apps

It is possible that some background processes for example, OCR software, PDF rendering apps, etc. interfere with Word and that’s why the copy-paste option isn’t working as expected.

You can terminate the related background processes from the Task Manager.

Here are the steps to terminate background processes:

  • Press Ctrl + Alt + Esc altogether to open the Task Manager.
  • Go to the Processes tab.
  • Select the process related to Office and click on the End Task Repeat the method for all the processes that might cause the problem.

Now select the text you want to copy and paste the text. If background apps were causing the issue, it will be gone.

Note: If you have any remote desktop app running, close it. It is common for remote access apps to interfere with the shortcuts or the Word functionality.

6. Check the Keyboard

The problem could be with your keyboard if you’re using Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V for copy-paste.

To rule out this possibility, open any other text editor like Notepad. Type some text and try to copy and paste using shortcuts.

If it works, then copy-paste is not working only on the Word app and it might have been re-assigned.

7. Check the Keyboard Shortcuts

If you’re able to copy and paste in other applications but not Word, it’s possible that the shortcuts have been changed. So, you need to check what the current shortcuts are set to.

Here are the steps to check the shortcuts in Word:

  • Open Word.
  • Go to File > Options.
  • Select Customize Ribbon from the left.
  • Click on the Customize button next to the Keyboard shortcuts.
  • Select Home Tab as the Categories and EditCopy as the Command from the two lists. Then check if the Current Keys box displays the correct shortcut for copying. If not, assign the actual key using the Press new shortcut key
  • Select EditCut from the Command list and check if the correct shortcut for the cut operation is applied. If not, change as needed.
  • Select EditPaste from the Command list and check if the correct shortcut for pasting is applied. If not, change as required.

If every shortcut was assigned correctly, try reinstalling MS Office.

8. Reinstall Office

If you are facing problems even after following the previous methods, you may need to reinstall Office.

Here are the steps to reinstall Office:

  • Go to Start Menu.
  • Go to Control Panel > Uninstall a Program.
  • Select Office.
  • Click Uninstall.

After the uninstallation process is done, make sure you have downloaded the MS Office program from the official site. Then install it.

9. Check for Updates

Well, Microsoft keeps pushing updates for its Office Suite. Some updates change the configuration or fix current bugs.

So you should get an update for the Office programs to resolve the issues as soon as possible.

Also read, 2 Steps to Enable Dark Mode in Word Online

Here are the steps you can follow to check updates in MS Office:

  • Launch Office.
  • Go to Files > Account.
  • Click on Update Options > Update Now.
  • See if any updates are available or not. If yes, click on Update.

After the update and installation get done, your Word applications should be working fine if a bug was causing the issue.

10. Activate Office

You might be having issues with Office regarding copy and paste after the trial days are over. If the previous methods didn’t work for you, then you can check for the activation status.

Here are the steps to activate your copy of Office easily:

  • Launch Word.
  • On the boot screen, you will get the dialog box saying Activate Office.
  • Put the serial key on your Office license.
  • Click Activate.

Activation is completed. But if you don’t have a serial key to activate, buy an Office 365 subscription to activate.

11. Scan the Computer for Viruses

Viruses and malware can interfere with the options inside any application like Word.

Therefore, you should perform a virus scan on your computer. If you don’t have antivirus software, use Windows Defender to perform a quick scan.

12. Create a New User Profile

Using Microsoft Word through a new user profile in Windows will fix the problem if the origin of the issue is a bug attached to your current Windows user profile.

Follow the steps below to set up a new user profile:

  • Press Win+I to go to Settings.
  • Go to Accounts > Family & other users > Add someone else to this PC.
  • Follow the on-screen instructions to set up a new user profile.
  • Sign in to the new user profile.
  • Run Word with the new user profile.

Now see if the issue persists.

Follow our guide on how to Find and Replace Text in Microsoft Word


How do I enable copy and paste in Word?

Go to File > Options > Advanced. Select the Show Paste Options button when content is pasted in the Cut, copy, and paste section. This will enable copy and paste features in Word.

Why does my copy and paste not work?

Copy and paste features might not work correctly because of any temporary glitch, software interference, device drivers, or a corrupted system file. Check the settings and clean your keyboard also.

Why is Ctrl V not working in Word?

This might happen as you may have set the shortcut for any other purposes. Check the keyboard shortcut settings in Microsoft word and make it default to paste whenever you press Ctrl + V.

How do I copy text from a book to Word?

To copy text from a book to Word, you can use Google Lens to extract the words and characters from the book. Google Lens also can translate the text if you needed somewhere around.

How can I convert a hard copy to a Word document?

If you have a hard copy of anything written that you need to get into Word as a soft copy, try scanning with Microsoft OneNote. This app helps you to scan and extract the words and characters from the document. Using OneNote, you can easily convert a hard copy to a Word document.


Microsoft Word is an essential piece of software and copy and paste is our most used tool in it. We get into very much trouble when we’re not able to use copy-paste.

To fix copy and paste in Microsoft Word, you can clean the clipboard cache, run Word in safe mode, disable Add-ins, re-assign the shortcuts, repair or reinstall Office, and close the background applications.

I hope this guide proved useful to solve your problem quickly. Leave a comment on what you think.

Thanks for reading.

About The Author
Steven Arends is a computer science graduate and tech enthusiast with over 10 years of experience in the field. He has a vast collection of computer hardware and loves exploring the latest advancements. As a contributing author to 10Scopes, Steven shares his expertise to make the world of technology more accessible and easier to understand for all readers.

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