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How to Fix Excel file "Cannot open Clipboard" Error

Wondershare Recoverit Authors

Jun 14, 2024 • Filed to: Recover Files • Proven solutions

Microsoft Excel is a computer program that opens an electronic spreadsheet for the storage of data. The information which you enter into an excel document is arranged in tabular form with rows and columns. The program then makes it easy for you to manipulate and analyze this information in many different ways. The excel software is used by many organizations to store and analyze their data.

What is the "Cannot Open Clipboard" Error

Sometimes, when you work with an excel file, you may see an error message. One common error message is the 'cannot open clipboard' error. Several underlying factors can be responsible for such error messages.

Bonus: If you lost or failed to save your Excel file, you can easily recover unsaved or deleted Excel files with Recoverit Excel Recovery tool.

Method 1: Open Excel in Safe Mode

The first and foremost solution to fix the Excel file “Cannot Open Clipboard” error is to open Excel in Safe Mode. In many cases, Excel’s Add-ins can restrict the user from opening the clipboard. So, you can simply open Excel in Safe Mode and disable all the add-ins to fix the issue.
Follow these steps to launch Excel in Safe Mode and disable add-ins.
Step 1: Press Windows+R and type “Excel /Safe”. Click “Ok” and this will launch Excel in safe mode.


Step 2: Click the “File” tab and tap “Options” at the bottom-left corner of your screen.


Step 3: Select Add-in from the left sidebar.

Step 4: Now, select “COM Add-ins” from the drop-down menu next to “Manage”.


Step 5: Click “Go” and uncheck all the COM Add-ins in the next dialog box.


Step 6: Click “Ok” to save your changes and restart MS Excel.

That’s it; if a specific Add-in was causing the “Cannot Open Clipboard” error, you won’t encounter it anymore.

Method 2: Delete items from the Office Clipboard

If launching Excel in Safe Mode doesn’t fix the issue, the next solution would be to clear your MS Office Clipboard. When the Clipboard will have too many items, it’s most likely to display the “Cannot Open Clipboard” error.

So, follow the below-mentioned instructions to clear the clipboard and check if the issue is fixed or not.

Step 1: Launch MS Excel on your PC and click the “Clipboard Launcher” icon under the “Home” tab.

Step 2: You’ll see a complete list of clips that’ have been stored inside the clipboard. Here you can either tap the “Clear All” button to delete everything from the clipboard or manually delete a few selected clips.

Once the clipboard is empty, restart MS Excel and see if you’re still encountering the same error or not.

Method 3: Repair MS Excel

You may also encounter the said error if MS Office Suite or MS Excel is broken on your PC. There are many situations when third-party Add-Ins interrupt the normal functionality of MS Excel and trigger errors like “Cannot Open Clipboard”. In this case, you can either update or repair MS Excel to fix the issue.
Follow these steps to repair MS Excel on your Windows 10 system.

Step 1: Tap the “Start” button and click “Settings”.

Step 2: In the “Settings” window, select “Apps” to go to the “Apps and Features” window.


Step 3: Now, right-click “MS Office” and tap the “Modify” button.


Step 4: In the next Dialog box, either choose “Quick Repair” or “Online Repair” to repair broken MS Excel.  


Method 4: Empty Temp Folder

Windows has a dedicated “Temp” folder where it stores all the temporary files. However, when temporary files start piling up, they may hinder the normal processing of your PC and also trigger MS Excel errors. So, make sure to clear the “Temp” folder from time to time so that you don’t encounter such unexpected errors on your PC.

To do so, press “Windows+R” to launch the “Run” program. Enter “%temp%” and you’ll be prompted to the “Temp” folder. Simply delete all the items from this folder and you won’t encounter the MS Excel “cannot open clipboard” error anymore.

Method 5: Disable Add-ons installed by Visual Studio or uninstall Visual Studio

If you have installed Visual Studio on your PC, there’s a huge probability that it may cause the “Cannot Open Clipboard” error. When you use Visual Studio, it automatically installs a few add-ons in MS Excel as well. These add-ons interrupt the normal MS Excel functionality and trigger different errors. So, you can simply deactivate these Add-Ons to fix the error. If this doesn’t fix the issue, completely uninstall Visual Studio from your PC.

Video tutorial: Fix Excel file "Cannot open Clipboard" Error

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Method 6: Fix Excel file "Cannot open Clipboard" Error with Excel Repair Tool

One very excellent excel repair tool is the stellar phoenix excel repair tool. This excel repair tool is useful in fixing several different problems with excel files. To use the stellar phoenix excel repair tool to fix your excel files, you will first have to install the software. The required system specifications for the software include at least 50MB free space on your hard drive and 1 GB of memory. Your system should have at least a Pentium class processor. The Excel Repair Tool is compatible with MS Excel 2000, 2003, 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016.

Step 1 To select your corrupt Excel files from local drive by clicking the "Select File" button.

fix excel cannot open clipboard error step 1

Step 2 All corrupt Excel files will display in the result section and select multiple files start to repairing process.

fix excel cannot open clipboard error step 2

Step 3 Selected Excel file repaired successfully, choose one to preview the repaired Excel file.

fix excel cannot open clipboard error step 3

Step 4 Select your preferred location to save your repaired Excel files.

fix excel cannot open clipboard error step 4

The "cannot open clipboard" error is one of the errors that could occur while using the Microsoft Excel software, and it has several causes. Damaged and corrupt excel files can be fixed using the stellar phoenix excel repair tool which retains the original formatting of the excel file.

Recoverit author

Amy Dennis

staff Editor

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