Fix Can’t Empty Clipboard in Office

Have you ever tried to copy some cells in Excel and get Can’t empty clipboard error message? I’ve been a victim of this nasty bug lately, which pops up EVERY time I try to copy data from any cell on my spreadsheet.

Oddly, the copy still works for me, but I have to keep clicking OK to get rid of the error message. After some reading and self-study, I have come to know that this error can happen for any reason and there are several fixes that you can try to fix the error.

can't empty clipboard

Mostly, you will see this error in Microsoft Excel and Word, especially when you are trying to copy any kind of data. These are all possible solutions that I could find. If you have another solution, post it in the comments.

Method 1:

Sometimes in Excel you may get this error if one cell is already copied and you try to copy another cell. You can try pressing the ESC key to deselect the copied cell and then try copying again.

This method may allow you to copy once, but you may still receive an error message the next time you copy. It is not a permanent fix.

Method 2:

Another thing you can try is to open the clipboard in Windows and leave it open. Sometimes doing this can help get rid of the error. It’s not a great solution, but these are the weird things you have to do in Windows!

You can open the Clipboard by going to Begin, Run and type in clipbrd.exe. You can also go to the Windows\System32 folder and double-click clipbrd.exe.

clipbook viewer

Method 3:

If you are using Remote Desktop, you can get Can’t copy to clipboard because Remote Desktop uses the clipboard and it can cause strange problems with Excel.

Go Workflow managementclick Procedure tab, kill the process called rdpclip.exe and see if that fixes your problem! If you have UltraVNC installed, it could also be the culprit!

Any kind of remote desktop software can cause problems so make sure to check if you have problems with one of those programs running.

Method 4:

Go to Excel, click Toolsafterward Optionand go to Calculation navigation. Make sure that Automatic selected from three options. In newer versions of Excel, you click Fileafterward Option and then click Formula in the left tab.

excel automatic calculation

In newer versions of Excel, you must click File, Option and then click Formula.

excel automatic calculation

Method 5:

If you already have a program like GetRight or Flashget installed on your computer, you will have to go in and uncheck the option for “Trace Clipboard”.

Any other program that tries to use the Windows Clipboard can cause problems, so uninstall any third-party software you know that uses the Clipboard.

Method 6:

Clear the office clipboard by going to Edit and choose Office clipboard. This will only work for Office XP and 2003. Now go ahead and click Clean everything to completely clear the office clipboard.

delete all office clipboard

Also, at the bottom of the screen, you’ll see a Option button. Click that and select “Collect without showing the office clipboard“right to buy.

Method 7:

Microsoft wrote about this bug in their KB and they have a fix for it, but it may work or may not for you. It is only for Windows Server 2003 and it is related to Terminal Services.

You can download the hotfix here:

Those were all the solutions I could find when I couldn’t empty the clipboard! If you have another solution that works for you, post a comment here! Good luck!

Windows has a lot of confusing messages like this and I have written about a few of them before like how to fix missing or corrupted NTFS.sys, fix Windows Search Indexer has stopped working, fix USB device not recognized in Windows and corrected for the server. The process in Windows has stopped working error. Rub!

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