3 best fixes for copy and paste not working on Mac

Copy and paste is probably one of the first things you must learn to save time. While that makes the job easy, we can only imagine how devastating it can be when copy and paste stops working. If you can’t copy and / or paste text, files, and other content on your MacBook, read this post to find out how to fix the problem.

You may be wondering why your MacBook can’t copy and / or paste anything. This happens for a variety of reasons including malfunctions in certain system processes, errors, etc.

Before proceeding with the solutions, make sure you are using the correct keyboard shortcuts and copying and pasting: Command + C to copy, Command + X to cut, and Command + V to paste. If these combinations do not work – perhaps because you have a faulty keyboard – use the edit function in the menu bar to complete the copy and paste actions.

Click on Edit in the menu bar and select the appropriate action (s) that you want to carry out.

If you still can’t copy or paste text or files using the keyboard shortcuts or the editing feature on your Mac, skip to the section below for solutions.

1. Force the Pasteboard Server to exit

Pboard is short for pasteboard server. This program makes it easy to exchange information on your Mac. When you copy or cut data from an application, the pasteboard server temporarily saves the content. The same program makes copied content available when you paste it into an application. Think of it as your Mac’s clipboard.

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If the copy and paste functionality is not working properly on your Mac, you may be experiencing some glitches with the pasteboard server. Therefore, stopping the pasteboard server can be helpful. This will update it and hopefully the copy and paste functionality will work again on your Mac.

There are two ways to end the Pboard process on a Mac.

Force shutdown the Pasteboard Server using the activity monitor

Use the following steps to stop the pasteboard server using the activity monitor.

Step 1: Click Go in the menu bar and select Utilities.

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Step 2: Double click on Activity Monitor.

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Step 3: Enter pboard in the search field of the Activity Monitor and double-click on pboard in the results window.

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Step 4: Click the Exit button.

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Step 5: Finally, choose Force Quit.

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This will terminate the pasteboard server process and restart it immediately.

Force shutdown of the pasteboard server via the terminal

You can also update the pboard process using the Terminal app. Here is how.

Step 1: Click Go in the menu bar and select Utilities.

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Step 2: Double click on Terminal.

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Step 3: Paste the following into the terminal console and press Enter on your keyboard.

sudo killall pboard

When you need to enter your system’s administrator password to use this command.

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And that’s it. The pasteboard server will shut down and your Mac will automatically restart. Now try copying and pasting content and see if it works.

2. End the WindowServer process

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We have found that some affected Mac users facing similar issues have copy and paste working again by Terminate the WindowServer process. You can try this if forcibly exiting pboard doesn’t resolve the problem. Follow the steps below to get it done.

Step 1: Click Go in the menu bar and select Utilities.

Fix copy and paste not working on Mac

Step 2: Double click on Activity Monitor.

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Step 3: Enter windowserver in the search box and double-click WindowServer.

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Step 4: Click the Exit button.

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Step 5: Finally, tap Force Quit.

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3. Restart your Mac

If you still can’t copy or paste content after updating the Pasteboard Server, restart your Mac. Save all running tasks, click the Apple logo in the top right corner of the menu bar and choose Restart.

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Check if the copy and paste works now when your Mac turns on again.

Have your Mac checked

If none of the above methods fix the problem, you should get an authorized one Apple Service Center near you to have your Mac checked for complex software or hardware problems. It is also recommended that you update your Mac’s operating system to the latest version to remove errors that are causing copy and paste to not work.

Next Up:

Read the next link below to see the five (5) best clipboard manager apps that will help you get more productive on your Mac.

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