[Fixed] Copy and Paste Not Working on macOS Mojave

[Fixed] Copy and Paste Not Working on macOS Mojave

Spread the love

Overview: Copy & Paste is one of the most used features in any Mac or PC. Imagine, when this feature does not work, how annoying and frustrating this can be. Today in this article we will troubleshoot Copy and Paste issue on Mac. Troubleshooting applies to all macOS.

Let’s Start with Few Practical Scenarios

Scenario 1: Copy/Paste Stopped Working

Everything was working yesterday. Started working on my computer today but the copy/paste feature is not working. I had this problem a while back on my laptop MacOS Mojave. Fixed the laptop by installing an update. Checked for updates on High Sierra but there is nothing available. Now I do not know how to fix it. I tried stopping the pboard on the activity monitor but that did not work either.

Source: Apple Forum

Scenario 2: iMac with Mojave 10.14.3 Copy and Paste Problem.

Using the mouse cursor, wanting to copy a section of text, there is no shadow beneath the text, yet by eyeball placing of the cursor, I am able to extract the text I want.  I have run the Activity Monitor “pboard” “force quit” routine as suggested to solve this problem, but to no avail.  I have also reloaded Mojave, but still, have the same problem.  Because there is no underlying “shadow” beneath the text it is difficult to know you are extracting the exact text you were hoping for.  For instance, on this very message, I get no shadow when I try to copy a portion of what we are looking at. Any suggestions welcome.

Source: Apple Forum

Like the above two users, there are many Mac users who are facing Copy and Paste issue on Mac. Let’s troubleshoot to fix it.

You may also like: 

Restart Your Mac

Most of the time simple restart fixes the issue. Click on Restart from the Apple Menu and check the copy and paste functionality on the Mac.

Use Terminal Command

  • Launch Terminal and type sudo update_dyld_shared_cache
  • Enter password if prompted and hit Return.

It may prompt some warning but ignore it and restart your Mac

Also, try switching the highlight color from System Preferences > General in case it does not highlight the text and you are not able to see the underlying shadow to select text.

Use Activity Monitor to Fix Stuck Clipboard

  • Exit from the app where copy and paste is not working.
  • Open Activity Monitor using Applications>Utilities folder or type in Activity Monitor in the Spotlight search window.
  • Type in pboard in the top right Activity Monitor search space.
  • Select the pboard process and hit the close (X) sign from the toolbar, click on the Force Quit

Force quit pboard

  • Now close Activity Monitor.

Now try to copy and paste. If it does not work restart your Mac.

Fix Clipboard Issue Using Terminal

  • Open the Terminal application using Applications>Utilities
  • Type in killall pboard in the Terminal.
  • Hit the Enter or Return key.

Now try to copy and paste. If it does not work restart your Mac.

Update Your Mac

Mac Software updates improve the stability, compatibility, and security of your Mac and updating mac might also resolve the copy and paste issue.

To download macOS software updates, go to the Apple menu and select System Preferences and then click on Software Update.

You can also select Apple menu, choose About This Mac and then click on Software Update.

Reset SMC

  • Go to the Apple menu and shut down your Mac.
  • Once Mac shuts down, press and hold the Shift-Control-Option on the left side of the built-in keyboard, then press the power button at the same time. Hold these keys and the power button for 10-15 seconds.
  • Now Release all keys.
  • Press the power button again to turn on your Mac.

For Mac desktop computers

  • Go to the Apple menu and shut down your Mac.
  • Unplug the power cable.
  • Wait 15-20 seconds.
  • Plug in the power cable back.
  • Wait for 10 seconds and start your Mac.

Reset PRAM and NVRAM

  • Shut down Mac
  • After few seconds start the Mac and press and hold Option, Command, P and R keys on the keyboard together.
  • Hold the keys down till the Mac reboots and you hear a beeping sound.

Repair Disk Using Disk Utility on Your Mac

  • Go to the Apple menu > Restart, press and hold the Command and R keys until the Apple logo appears, then release the keys.
  • Click Disk Utility and click Continue.
  • Select View and then click on Show All Devices.
  • In the sidebar, select the disk you want to repair.
  • Click the First Aid button.
  • Click Run.

You may also like: 

Start Mac in Safe Mode and Check Cursor

  • Shut down your Mac.
  • Now start your Mac and immediately Press and hold the Shift key as soon as the start-up sound is heard.
  • Release the Shift key when you see the Apple logo. Safe Boot appears on the macOS Mojave start-up screen.

Safe Mode restricts the use of many applications on the system and allows examination in a more restricted environment. In case the copy and paste behave normally in Safe Mode then you have to isolate the software which is causing copy and paste issue.

Create Another Account on Mac

  • Go to the Apple menu, select System Preferences and then click on Users & Groups.

Users and group


  • Click on the lock icon to unlock it, put your administrator name and password.

Click on the lock Icon Mac

  • Now click on Add or Plus icon to create new account

Click on the plus icon

  • Click the New Account pop-up menu and then choose a type of user i.e. Administrator or Standard user and put all the necessary details and Click on Create User.

Admin account

Now check the copy and paste, in case, copy and paste behave normally then old profile may have gone corrupt. Transfer all the data to the new account and start using your Mac.

Perform Clean Installation of macOS Mojave from USB flash drive

In case none of these steps works then performing a clean installation may help you to fix copy and paste issue. Please note that you will lose all your data on the Mac. Visit this link to perform a clean installation: Apple link How to create a bootable installer for macOS

Wrap Things Up

I hope this article helped you to fix copy and paste Issue on Mac.

Translate »