Copy and Paste Not Working on Android? Here’s why

Copy and paste reduces the need for unnecessary typing, as many of us spend a lot of time on our Android phones.

Copy and paste allow you to transfer text or content from one location to another, with a couple of clicks of the mouse.

Sometimes however, you will try to perform copy and paste on an item and when you hold to copy the content there is no ‘Copy’ option showing.

The same for when you want to paste something that you have copied. This can happen for a variety of reasons – here’s what to do.

Copy and Paste Not Working – Android Guide

On Android the copy and paste function is performed slightly differently than on iPhone. You tap and hold to highlight the text you want to copy and then select Copy from the list of options available.

Then you go to the location you wish to transfer the content, tap and hold on the screen, and select paste or tap paste from the clipboard app if you have a clipboard history of copied items.

Here’s how to do things step-by-step:

  1. Go to the text you wish to copy.
  2. Tap and hold to see the options.
  3. Highlight the selection of text you wish to copy.
  4. Choose copy from the list of options that are listed in the menu.
  5. Go to the location you wish to paste the text to.
  6. Click and hold on the screen.
  7. Select paste if you have one thing to paste.
  8. Select paste from the clipboard and select what content you want to paste.

This is pretty straightforward, but sometimes you may find copy paste not working. Here’s what to do if you find that it doesn’t work properly.

1) Restart your phone

The first thing you should try if you are experiencing issues with copy and paste on Android is to restart your device.

This will effectively refresh your system and wipe any glitches that may be occurring preventing the copy and paste functions from working correctly.

To restart your device follow the simple steps below:

  1. Hold the power button down on the right of your handset.
  2. Tap ‘Restart’ when the options appear on the screen.
  3. Wait for your device to restart fully.
  4. Go back to the content you wanted to copy and paste originally and see if the glitch is now fixed.

2) Force stop the process

Another way you can kill a process is by force stopping it, you can clear glitches in this way.

So, if you are experiencing issues with copy and paste on Android you can force stop processes to clear the glitch just like you would if you restarted your phone.


To force stop follow the steps laid out below:

  1. Go to ‘Settings’
  2. Go to ‘Apps’
  3. Choose the three-dot icon.
  4. Go to ‘Show System apps’
  5. Choose ‘AASAservice’
  6. Choose ‘Force Stop’
  7. Go back to copy and paste to see if it does not glitch.

In most cases, if restarting your device doesn’t fix the issue, then performing a force stop on the app you’re using probably will.

3) Clear cache and relevant data

Clearing cache and relevant data will get rid of any corrupt files that may be causing compatibility issues with copy and paste on Android.

Clearing cache and relevant data help to fix apps that are misbehaving.

1) Open ‘Settings’
2) Go to ‘Storage’
3) Go to ‘App Manager’
4) Go to ‘Other Apps” by using the three vertical dots
5) Go to the relevant application, for instance, your browser if the problem is occurring here.
6) Select ‘Clear Cache’
7) Try copy and pasting again.

Caching helps your Android device to run faster by using saved data, but clearing this out every so often isn’t a bad idea.

4) Update your device

Make sure that you have updated your system settings and your apps if copy and paste isn’t working.

It could be that you need to update your system and your apps to enable compatibility with functions like copy and paste.

1) Go to ‘Settings’
2) Go to ‘System’
3) Choose ‘System Update’
4) Allow your phone to update completely.
5) Try the copy and paste option again to see if the glitch has cleared.

5) Use Root Explorer on your device

Root Explorer is a useful file manager for root users. This is a great alternative to factory resetting your device completely which can be annoying and may not fix the issue at hand.

So to install Root Explorer on your device go through the following process. Please note you need to Root your device for this to be effective.

1) Root your device,
2) Install Root Explorer,
3) Go to / > data > clipboard.
4) Select ‘ALL’
5) Select ‘delete all’
6) Go to Settings > Applications Manager > All.
7) Look for TestServices, then remove updates/clear data.
8) Reboot and everything should be fine.

Using Root Explorer can help you fix this copy and paste not working error, but it also comes in handy when troubleshooting other issues too.


In conclusion, if you are having an issue with copy and pasting on your Android phone then above we have looked at some fast and effective ways to fix the glitch.

Sometimes, the copy and paste function will fix itself. When this happens, you won’t have to worry about having to reset network settings or performing a factory reset.However, they’re the two best ways to fix the copy and paste not working error.

In other cases though, what you are copying may be restricted – like if you are using a banking app – so think about if privacy settings might be enabled for what you are trying to copy.

Hopefully, now you have managed to fix the glitch and are saving time copy and pasting your content.

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An avid gamer, historian and all-round literature buff, Tracy is our go-to when it comes to using different devices. MacOS, iOS, Android, Windows, Linux or whatever else, Tracy's got a device that runs it (she's even got an old Blackberry laying around somewhere!).

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