What to Do If Copy-Paste Function Fails on Mac?

From time to time, Mac owners discover some problems with the copy-paste functionality. It is one of the most famous and frequently used functions on both Windows and Macs, and many people, especially writers, find it a real problem when the feature does not work.

Let’s say, the copy-paste option refuses to work the way it should in Pages. The user then tries the same thing in other applications. For instance, you may copy a line and try to insert it into the Finder or Spotlight search field. That is the way to test whether there is really a problem with this specific function or something else.

If the function you need remains greyed out, it means there is huge trouble out there.

How to Fix the Issue Using Terminal?

Mac’s Terminal app is extremely useful in many situations. The problem with copy-paste functionality is one of such cases. Open Terminal and enter this line:

sudo update_dyld_shared_cache

Push the Return button once you enter the line. After the dollar sign shows up, it is possible to exit the Terminal window.

Next, it is necessary to reboot the target Apple computer. A reboot procedure itself eliminates many bugs, by the way.

Fix a Stuck Clipboard on Mac!

Check whether you run the most recent operating system with the lowest minimum of 4 gigabytes RAM – doubling this indicator will greatly help.

Third-party cleaners may also solve various types of issues and bugs like that. Choose carefully not to install another malware or adware on your Mac. It will clean up some space in case that is the cause.

Also, mind that Mac mini has a sluggish 5400 rpm HD. It is 33% slower than the default 7200 rpm hard drive in iMacs, for example. In case of Mac mini, make sure you don’t have plenty of programs and processes running at the same time. A slow processor and insufficient RAM is a killing combination.

The rest of the useful tips you can find below work well for all versions of macOS and Mac OS X. The principle is targeting the clipboard daemon and making it relaunch. This action solves almost all problems with the frozen clipboard or other common issues. You know the Terminal approach so far. It is time to master one more method, which is using Mac’s Activity Monitor.

Activity Monitor to Resolve the Issue

So, Activity Monitor is a default Mac’s tool that can show the space, memory, CPU, and energy consumption as well as do some other great things. Here is how to fix the problem with copy-paste option with the help of this native utility:

  1. Shut down Mac applications, in which you experience difficulty with the copy-paste feature.
  2. Launch Activity Monitor. It is located in the /Applications/Utilities/ folder. Another way to get it is by pushing Command and Spacebar buttons to enter the apps’ name in the Spotlight search field.
  3. Enter board in the Search box of the utility.
process board
Source: osxdaily.com
  1. Pick this pboard Push the X button in the toolbar, and choose to Force Quit.
quit process
Source: osxdaily.com


  1. Quit Activity Monitor.

Launch the target software once more. Try applying the copy-paste function again to see whether the things changed for better.

If the problem remains, attempt using the Edit approach, which involves annually picking Copy and Paste. If this very last option has a positive effect, you most probably have some issues with the keyboard instead of the clipboard. In some cases, for example, mouse Keys can be activated. In other situations, the particular tool has conflicts with the standard keyboard shortcuts.

Anyway, you always have a Restart option, which works in the majority of similar situations.