I am experiencing a very annoying bug in Excel 2016, and I would like to know how to fix/workaround it, and other information.

Note: in my company, we use Microsoft Excel 2016 (Version 1708, build 8431.2079) on Windows 10. I have used Excel on a daily basis for a few years, and I haven't experienced this bug in the previous versions.

Note 2: we also use Jedox for Excel add-in. It might cause a few bugs and is sadly unstable from time to time. Could be linked to the bug.

In short, the bug occurs when I want to copy/paste cells from one workbook to another — paste mode not relevant here. After copying the cells, I go to the other workbook to paste, but there is nothing to paste: the clipboard is empty, and there is no "paste as" option visible. As if I never copied anything.

The bug doesn't occur when copy/pasting within the same worksheet, or even between sheets in the same workbook.

I think I found the issue, or at least what creates the bug. It starts happening as soon as a file is closed. After that, it's impossible to copy/paste from a workbook to another.

I established a test protocol to reproduce the bug:

  1. Open Excel and create three new workbooks (A, B and C)
  2. Check that copy/paste works by writing data into each of them, and copy/pasting cells from workbook to workbook
  3. Close one of the workbooks
  4. Try to copy/paste cells between the remaining workbooks. If you have this bug as well, it shouldn't be possible.

It would be interesting to know if some of you can reproduce this bug as well. I'm not sure it is linked to Excel itself, or if this has something to do with the Jedox add-in I have installed (and which I cannot disable, sadly).

And, of course, I want to know: what is the remedy?

  • So far, two workarounds: 1) using the clipboard manager. 2) keeping workbooks opened... If you close one, you'll have to save your fils and relaunch Excel. – KZN Oct 17 '17 at 7:36
  • And another one: select the cells you want to copy, position your mouse over the border of the selection, drag it to the new workbook (you can use Alt+Tab to switch to another workbook while holding), and before releasing the cells, press control to make a copy (otherwise it will only move your data). Of course, this might not work properly if what you want to copy has formulas inside. – KZN Oct 17 '17 at 7:47

I can suggest you 2 solutions.

First you can use Clipboard Manager to recover lost Clipboard data. ☺

Second is,, to make sure that the workbooks are opened at the same time.

The easiest way to do this is once the first workbook is open, open the second workbook by using the Open command.

If you instead use the Windows Start menu or a desktop icon to start Excel, you are opening a second instance of the program.

In this case Clipboard is unable to hold current Copied or Cut data. ☺

  • Thanks Rajesh. I was not aware of this clipboard manager, and it lets me recover the past pastes, indeed. However, I'm afraid your second solution isn't relevant here, because the bug occurs in workbooks opened in the same instance. I know that it's not possible to copy/paste data between workbooks opened in different instances, and that's not what I'm doing :) – KZN Oct 17 '17 at 7:32

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