Troubleshooting ‘Copy and Paste Not Working’ on macOS

For Mac enthusiasts, the copy and paste functions are the cornerstone of productivity and workflow efficiency. But, sometimes, these basic commands fail us—prompting a bewildering and inconvenient situation. Let’s tackle the issue of ‘Copy and Paste Not Working on Mac’ together and restore these vital functions effortlessly.

Below, we offer a comprehensive guide with practical solutions to troubleshoot and correct the copy and paste malfunction on your Mac, saving you the hassle of manually replicating text or data.

Effective Fixes for Copy and Paste Glitches on macOS

When copy and paste commands falter, a system restart can often recalibrate the clipboard’s functionality. Before you resort to that, consider these alternative strategies that could resolve the problem without the need for a full reboot—especially useful when you’re in the midst of a time-sensitive task.

Revive Copy and Paste through Activity Monitor

Activity Monitor is a potent Mac utility for diagnosing and repairing the copy and paste predicament. Before you start, make sure to exit any affected apps. Here’s how to use Activity Monitor:

  • Navigate to Finder > Applications > Utilities and open Activity Monitor.
  • In the Activity Monitor search field, enter “pboard.”
  • Select the pboard process and click the ‘X’ button to terminate it.
  • Confirm by choosing “Force Quit” and then close Activity Monitor.

Attempt to copy and paste again to see if the hitch has been fixed.

Troubleshoot Clipboard via Terminal

The Terminal in macOS offers a quick, geek-approved method to solve copy and paste issues:

  • Open the Terminal from Finder > Applications > Utilities.
  • Enter “killall pboard” into the Terminal.
  • Press Enter, then close the Terminal and verify the clipboard’s functionality.

Steps to Re-enable Copy and Paste on a Mac

Activating copy and paste functions is achieved through one of two methods:

  • Keyboard shortcuts: Use Command (⌘) + C for copying and Command (⌘) + V for pasting.
  • Mouse controls: Right-click on your selected item, choose “Copy” from the menu, then right-click to paste into the target location.


1. How do I refresh the pboard process on my Mac?

To refresh the ‘pboard’ on a Mac, you can use Activity Monitor or execute a command in the Terminal, depending on your preference for a GUI or command-line interface.

2. What can cause my Mac’s copy and paste functions to break?

A myriad of factors might disrupt copy and paste operations on a Mac, from software bugs to system glitches or even temporary data corruption within the clipboard.

3. What should I do if copy and paste isn’t working in Google Docs on my Mac?

If you encounter copy and paste issues specifically in Google Docs, initiate a browser refresh, clear out cache and cookies, or scrutinize any extensions for compatibility conflicts.

4. How can I activate copy and paste functionalities on macOS?

To enable copy and paste on macOS, use either keyboard shortcuts—Command (⌘) + C to copy and Command (⌘) + V to paste—or the right-click context menu for mouse interactions.

Concluding Insights

Resolving the ‘Copy and Paste Not Working on Mac’ dilemma should now be within your grasp, following these strategic guides. For further assistance or to share your success stories, we welcome you to connect with us through our contact channels.

Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
The Bollyinside editorial staff is made up of tech experts with more than 10 years of experience Led by Sumit Chauhan. We started in 2014 and now Bollyinside is a leading tech resource, offering everything from product reviews and tech guides to marketing tips. Think of us as your go-to tech encyclopedia!


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