Can't copy in another program after using copy in Excel until using escape in Excel

Copper Contributor

After copying something in Excel and pasting it with Ctrl V (in Excel or elsewhere), I can't copy from another program until I go back to Excel and hit Esc or Enter; put another way, as long as Excel shows the marquee around the cell, I can't copy anything else outside of Excel. Does anyone know how to fix this?

I am using Excel for Desktop version 2306 (Microsoft 365 Apps for enterprise) on Windows 10.

1 Reply


The issue you are encountering, where you can't copy from another program after copying in Excel until using Esc or Enter in Excel, is not a standard behavior of Excel. This could be due to specific settings or interactions with other software on your system. Here are some troubleshooting steps to resolve the issue:

  1. Update Office: Ensure that your Microsoft Office is up to date. Sometimes, issues like this can be resolved by updating to the latest version, which may include bug fixes.
  2. Add-ins and Macros: Check if you have any Excel add-ins or macros that might be interfering with the clipboard functionality. Disable any add-ins temporarily and see if the issue persists.
  3. Check Clipboard Settings:
    • In Excel, go to "File" > "Options."
    • In the Excel Options dialog, select "Advanced."
    • Scroll down to the "Cut, copy, and paste" section.
    • Ensure that "Show Paste Options button when content is pasted" is checked.
    • Check the settings in the "Cut, copy, and sort inserted objects with their parent cells" section.
  4. Excel in Safe Mode: Try running Excel in Safe Mode to check if the issue persists. To open Excel in Safe Mode, press the Windows key, type "Excel /safe," and press Enter. Test if the problem occurs in Safe Mode.
  5. Check for Other Software Conflicts: Sometimes, third-party software can interfere with clipboard functionality. Temporarily disable or uninstall any clipboard management or utility software to see if that resolves the issue.
  6. Windows Clipboard Troubleshooter: Windows has a built-in clipboard troubleshooter that can help diagnose and fix clipboard-related problems. You can access it through the Windows Settings:
    • Go to "Settings" > "System" > "Troubleshoot."
    • Scroll down to find "Clipboard" under "Find and fix other problems." Click on it and run the troubleshooter.
  7. Create a New User Profile: If the issue persists, it's possible that your user profile might be corrupted. Creating a new user profile on your Windows system might help. This is a more advanced step, so proceed with caution.
  8. Office Repair: As a last resort, you can try repairing your Microsoft Office installation:
    • Go to "Control Panel" > "Programs" > "Programs and Features."
    • Find Microsoft 365 or Office, right-click, and select "Change."
    • Choose "Online Repair" and follow the on-screen instructions.

Remember to back up any important data before performing significant changes to your system. If the issue still persists after trying these steps, you may want to consider reaching out to Microsoft Support for further assistance, as it could be a specific issue with your system configuration that may require more in-depth troubleshooting.The text and steps were created with the help of AI.

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Hope this will help you.