Skip navigation

Is the Windows Copy and Paste Feature Broken?

This has the potential to be one of those "crazy guy" posts I'd probably have fun with if I saw it elsewhere. But after mentioning this issue in passing on the Windows Weekly podcast last week, I've gotten a flood of email from listeners who have experienced the same thing. And all I can conclude is that the "copy and paste" feature in Windows 7 (and almost certainly Windows Vista and XP) is broken. It just doesn't work right.

It's this simple. I make a selection in some application and then tap CTRL + C to copy some text into the keyboard. Then I tap CTRL + V to paste it into another application. Sometimes it works. Sometimes, the previous contents of the clipboard are pasted instead.

Now, upon reading this, you will likely fall into one of two camps:

1) You believe that I am simply mistyping and didn't actually hit CTRL + C properly sometimes. And sure, I'm getting old and whatnot. You never know.

2) Oh my. That happens to me all the time.

It's happened to me enough now that I'm reasonably sure that there is something wrong. The sheer number of times it has happened, coupled with the feedback I've gotten, has triggered this post.

On the other hand, I'm also quite taken with the concept that the shuffle feature used by iPods and other devices is inherently broken, where on different playback sessions, one group is overly represented. Apple even added a "shuffle more" feature to its devices to address this type of complaint.

So, there you go, my heart laid bare: I think copy and paste is broken. Prove me wrong. :)

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.