March 21, 2018 | 5 min read
Copy & Paste acting up on Mac? Here's how to fix it
Restarting the machine seems the most obvious workaround when copy/paste isn’t working. True, restarting a Mac targets the clipboard daemons and forces them to relaunch. However, it’s not always suitable. Imagine you’re chatting with your potential employer and suddenly copy/paste fails – no time to restart your Mac.
Solution #1. Fix the Clipboard with Activity Monitor
Activity Monitor is a silver bullet when it comes to Mac troubleshooting. We’ve already described how it works in this article. The best thing is that this utility can fix copy/paste-related issues. All you need to do is to quit and relaunch the pboard process directly from Activity Monitor. Here’s how:
First, quit all applications where copy/paste doesn’t work properly.
Open Activity Monitor from the Applications>Utilities folder. You can also type Activity Monitor in the Spotlight search window.
Type pboard in the Activity Monitor search bar.
Click on the pboard process and hit the X button from the toolbar. Next, click the Force Quit button.
Close Activity Monitor.
Let’s check if you can use copy/paste now. Open the app where copy/paste wasn’t working and use the Command+C and Command+V shortcuts. Does copying and pasting text work properly?. Great, you saved your time and fixed this issue without restarting a Mac!
Solution #2. How to Fix the Clipboard with Terminal
If you’re an advanced macOS user who knows what the Terminal app is for, you may use it as an alternative way to fix the copy/paste issue. Terminal can help you quit the process responsible for clipboard activity, and you can do it in three easy steps:
Launch the Terminal application from Applications>Utilities folder.
Type in killall pboard in the Terminal command line.
Hit the Enter/Return key.
That’s it. Both troubleshooting ways should easily relaunch the clipboard’s daemon processes and fix the annoying copy/paste issues. It is up to you to decide which troubleshooting way to use. If your Mac is still acting up, save all your data and reboot your machine. Just click the Apple logo in the Menu bar, and then click Restart.
Forewarned is forearmed, so add these tricks to your arsenal just in case. And feel free to comment below if you know any other workarounds.