Microsoft Excel cannot paste the data


  • Hi,

    I have a user that is working on a Vista Terminal Server with Excel 2010 on it.  The user will copy a large amount of data in Excel 2010 and try to paste it into Excel 2010 on his local machine being Win 7 and Excel 2010.  Sometimes it works, for example if the terminal server has just been rebooted, but then most of the time Excel locks up and throws this error "Microsoft Excel cannot paste the data".  Has anyone ever had this problem and if so, have an answer for the problem?  Anyone have any suggestions?  Could it possibly be the clipboard?

    Any help is greatly appreciated.

    Thank You!

    Wednesday, February 02, 2011 4:42 PM

All replies

  • Hi,

    Does your data have merged cells? If yes, that could be your problem. You cannot paste data from a merged cell range into a non-merged cells range. Both ranges have to be the same if a merged range
    is involved.

    Hope that helps.

    Thursday, February 03, 2011 9:08 AM
  • Hi, thank you for your reply.  The data does not contain merged cells.


    Thursday, February 03, 2011 3:24 PM
  • Mine "didn't" either, but by selecting the data and choosing "unmerge cells" I was then able to copy.
    • Proposed as answer by BillSinc Saturday, March 05, 2011 5:50 PM
    Wednesday, March 02, 2011 4:54 PM
  • I tried choosing "unmerge cells" but was still unable to paste into a new document.  Any other suggestions?

    Tuesday, August 16, 2011 7:52 PM
  • I couldn't get it to work either.  Worked on some spreadsheets, but not others.  Could not find any pattern.  So I copied cells to the other spreadsheet and chose the Paste Link icon (one with the chain symbol).  Then where the newly pasted cells were, I did another copy and paste choosing the Paste Values icon (123 symbol).  Not the best fix, but worked for now.
    • Proposed as answer by LHarbin Tuesday, October 11, 2011 10:54 PM
    Tuesday, October 11, 2011 10:53 PM
  • I also have the same problems.  I tried LHarbin's way and it works! :) Thanks a lot!
    Wednesday, October 12, 2011 12:09 AM
  • I have just recently started to having this problem, it began October 21.  I have no merged cells but tried the unmerging anyway - that was not helpful in this situation.  But LHarbin's idea to copy and paste link was.  Thank you. 
    Monday, October 24, 2011 5:26 PM
  • yep that chain symbol  link and 123 repaste works, the problem I believe is once the file is excel file is corrupted you need to do this, this happens to me from time to time and is not a continious problem
    Thursday, November 10, 2011 11:02 AM
  • Someone in our office started having the same problem a few weeks ago as well

    It seems to depend on the spreadsheet.

    We'll try the 'unmerge'.

    Thursday, November 10, 2011 8:39 PM
  • I had the same problem on my machine.  I discovered that it was being caused by a program, Macro Express, that was running in the background.  Once I disabled that program, the problem went away.  Try looking to see what you have running in the background and disable them one at a time.
    Tuesday, January 03, 2012 2:54 PM
  • Paste Link icon (one with the chain symbol) works - thanks. But amending values (dates,currency etc) no joy. Cannot even change font size or colour of one cell. Message: "Too many different cell formats."  Tried paste special.  Don't know how to check for programs running in the background or where to find Macro Express. Please advise.
    • Proposed as answer by Owen Yeager Tuesday, September 03, 2013 10:30 PM
    Tuesday, January 03, 2012 7:32 PM
  • Hi LHarbin!

    Can You copy and paste cells with formulas this way?


    • Edited by renatoabc Thursday, January 05, 2012 10:59 AM
    Thursday, January 05, 2012 10:59 AM
  • I had the same problem.

    Save the file, close Excel, and then open the file. I was able to copy/paste without errors.

    Wednesday, January 11, 2012 7:20 PM
  • definitelynojoy--

    The "Too many different cell formats" can lead to a very unstable workbook. Try consolidating cell formats by using styles. Google the too many different cell formats, that's an ugly one in terms of making a workbook unstable.

    Thursday, March 08, 2012 4:18 PM
  • Maybe this will help,

    I had way too many TABs (Worksheets). After deleting few I was able to paste without a problem.

    Thursday, March 08, 2012 8:40 PM
  • 2 files I am working on are located on different servers. 

    After opening the second file into the same instance by going to File>Open seems to resolve the issue.

    Disregard the TABs previously mentioned.



    Monday, March 12, 2012 6:23 PM
  • This should do it I gonna give it a shot.

    Tuesday, March 13, 2012 7:39 PM
  • i closed both files, and reopened, then it worked.
    Tuesday, April 10, 2012 9:42 PM
  • I was having the same "cannot paste" problem. I was combining large amounts data from different sheets into one sheet. When I tried to copy 59000 rows into the sheet I started to get the error. I discovered that I was copying into an XLS excel sheet in compatibility mode. The problem is that using an xls sheet means that you have 65536 row maximum. I was trying to paste more rows into the sheet than is allowed. What I did was make sure to create a new worksheet(xlsx) and I copied in all the data I wanted with no problem. XLSX has up to a 1 million rows so you should be ok.
    • Proposed as answer by BadMadRad Wednesday, May 09, 2012 6:30 PM
    • Edited by BadMadRad Wednesday, May 09, 2012 6:30 PM
    Wednesday, May 09, 2012 6:29 PM
  • When experiencing this issue, I found that by right-clicking to paste, I was given to option to have the copied data match the formatting of the destination sheet (see picture.) I had tried copying and pasting values, etc., but that did not work for me. This seems like the easiest solution, unless you are running into data limits as mentioned (xls versus xlsx.)

    • Proposed as answer by jlongjr Tuesday, January 08, 2013 7:53 PM
    Thursday, September 13, 2012 5:05 PM
  • I had a similar "Excel cannot paste the data" issue, but mine was with copying cells from one workbook to another on the same machine.  This was between two instances of Excel. It turns out pasting from one to the other copied all the Normal cell styles from one workbook to the other (I am assuming if the "Normal" cell style from the source workbook doesn't match the destination workbook's Excel creates a copy on the destination one).  As you copy back and forth the destination and source workbooks' style list grows exponentially.  By the end of it, there were thousands of "Normal 1", "Normal 1 2" etc. styles that needed to be deleted else they'd be copied from one to the other.  Since Excel maxes out at ~65,000 styles, once you get over 32,500 styles copying would ruin you if it tried to move all those styles. 

    I ended up running a macro that deleted all but the built-in styles and that resolved my problem. Macro is below.

    Sub StyleKill()
         Dim styT As Style
         Dim intRet As Integer
         On Error Resume Next
         For Each styT In ActiveWorkbook.Styles
             If Not styT.BuiltIn Then
                 If styT.Name <> "1" Then styT.Delete
             End If
         Next styT
     End Sub

    • Proposed as answer by Jfo316 Thursday, September 27, 2012 3:27 PM
    • Edited by Jfo316 Thursday, September 27, 2012 3:31 PM
    Thursday, September 27, 2012 3:27 PM
  • I tried saving and closing both files, re-opening, and was able to cut and paste.

    Thank you!

    Monday, May 20, 2013 6:07 PM
  • I went to this link downloaded the fix tool and ran it on the file I was having the same issues as cannot paste and to many stles this removed these errors which was a build up over time of using the same sheet over and over monthly. once cleaned everything is working as it should.

    Tuesday, September 03, 2013 10:31 PM
  • Hello,

    I got it to work this way but it seems to have removed the format of the copy/pasted items into the spreadsheet. All items in the sheet should have the same format as they are a monthly run report. Any quick idea to correct the small data pasted with the format issue?


    Thursday, September 12, 2013 2:06 PM
  • I was also facing the same problem.

    Your suggestion helped me to conclude.. Thanks!

    Only thing is I simply copied all the data from destination file (contained various styles) to a new file, ensure unnecessary styles not copied and it resolved the issue.

    It worked since the file did not contain any link or macro, otherwise the VBA code is the best solution. 

    Friday, October 04, 2013 11:56 AM
  • Hi,

    I had a similar problem. Although I am not an expert at excel and this solution is probably basic, have you tried opening the source excel spreadsheet and the destination excel spreadsheet in the same window (namely open the source spreadsheet and then use the open function to open the destination spreadsheet). It works every time for me. Hope this helps.

    Monday, January 13, 2014 9:15 PM
  • The copy-paste link method works...thanks!

    Tuesday, January 14, 2014 2:47 PM
  • This bug definitely needs to be raised back to Microsoft (hopefully someone here with a Microsoft Connect membership can do it?)

    I get this error occasionally when pasting into a spreadsheet, then can't paste that same data into any spreadsheet during the same Excel 'session', whether it's an existing or a new spreadsheet.

    However, if I close Excel and paste into a blank spreadsheet (without any modification to the clipboard between the closing of excel and re-starting of a new session), the paste works fine. From that new blank spreadsheet I then copy/paste to the final destination spreadsheet without any issues.

    It seems as though one of the spreadsheets that I open during the 'faulty' session, causes the paste function to fail. I am pasting a data range spanning >150,000 rows and nearly 40 columns.

    Thursday, January 16, 2014 12:34 AM
  • This is what worked for me, as well, copying between servers. I do this every day copying into the same spreadsheet, and this doesn't happen often, but when it does, it's extremely frustrating.

    So thanks, Ravi.

    Thursday, February 06, 2014 1:50 AM
  • I had to create an acct here just to reply in hopes I could help others with this error as it was driving me nuts.

    There is one solution I have not seen suggested, that I determined I could reproduce 100% of the time for the messagebox error of "Microsoft Excel cannot paste the data" either between workbooks, worksheets, or even within the same worksheet.

    I wonder how many of these folks have clipboard managers/enhancers running?  Even though there is no legitimate reason a simple paste even of unformatted cells of only values would still result in the above error, but in my case having CLIPJUMP running and simply maintaining clipboard history of multiple entries, a simple single data item paste from Excel, to Excel, results in this Excel error.

    My clipboard manager <tries> to grab formatting, as do many others, which is why I believe some posted workarounds involving pasting into another app and back have helped.

    So, even though they may not ever conflict with anything.....disable <anything> that touches the clipboard in <any> way, and from what I can tell that will solve many occurrences of this error since different clipboard managers/enhancers have become more and more common.

    Simply shutting down my clipboard manager for the time I use Excel has 100% eliminated this error.

    Sunday, February 01, 2015 5:27 PM
  • This method still works!!


    Monday, July 20, 2015 4:36 PM
  • Crazy as it is, this solution worked for me as well.   LHarbin, Thank you for posting it.
    Friday, February 26, 2016 11:29 PM