Microsoft Office users may seen an error that says “The clipboard cannot be emptied. Another program may be using the clipboard.” when attempting to cut, copy, or paste. The error commonly occurs in Excel.
When this error occurs, it is likely that a plugin has been installed recently has decided to take over your clipboard. Here are a few things to check.
Cause #1 – Browser Plugins
A browser plugin may have been installed and is using your clipboard. Check the browser you may be using, such as Internet Explorer, Firefox, or Google Chrome for plugins that may be using the clipboard.
Cause #2 – Office Plugins
It is possible the plugin may be installed within Office. Check the following:
- With a file open in the Office application where you are experiencing the problem, select “File” > “Options“.
- Select “Add-ins” on the left pane.
- Look under the “Active Application Add-ins” for any plugins that may be possibly causing the issue. If you find anything that’s questionable, select the “Go…” button, then uncheck or remove the plugin.
Cause #3 – New Applications
Did you install any new software recently. Check the following:
- Open “Control Panel“.
- Select “Programs” > “Uninstall a Program“.
- Sort the list by “Installed On“. If there is a new program installed that may possibly cause the issue, you may want to experiment with uninstalling it to clear this problem.