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Copy and Paste is not working on my Remote Desktop Connection… what’s wrong?

on October 26, 2009

A very annoying occurrence that I sometimes suffer is when all of a sudden the copy and paste function stops working when I am connected to a remote machine. Turns out the problem is coming from a little process called rdpclip. Rdpclip (remote desktop clipboard) is responsible for managing a shared clipboard between your local host and the remote desktop (the process runs on the remote machine not your local host).

So what do I do when clipboard stops working?

Luckily fixing the issue is pretty straightforward and involves a few simple steps.

  1. Load up task manager (right click taskbar and select Task Manager)
  2. Go to the Processes Tab
  3. Select rdpclip.exe
  4. Click End Process
  5. Go to the Application Tab
  6. Click New Process
  7. Type rdpclip
  8. Click Ok

There, copy and paste should now work normally again.

It happens so often, this process is annoying! What do I do to fix it permanently?

Unfortunately I don’t know why rdpclip stops working nor how to fix it permanently; however, there is a way to make it easier if it happens often.

  • Create a new bat file and call it whatever you want say, clipboard.bat.
  • Write the following two commands on separate lines in the new bat file
    • Taskkill.exe /im rdpclip.exe
    • Rdpclip.exe
    • Save the bat file and drag it into the toolbar quick launch section

Now whenever your copy and paste operation fails to restore it, all you need to do is click this new batch file which will kill rdpclip and restart it. Still a workaround but at least it’s a quick procedure.

Jack Wright October 27, 20093:23 pm

hahah….such an annoying problem with such a simple fix..thanks for that, i was pulling my hair out on this one!

Emmanuel Carabott October 28, 200910:02 am

Yes Jack I agree, it is indeed a very annoying problem and easy to fix but only once you find out how! It’s not really that straightforward to diagnose as it doesn’t really generate any errors anywhere. Hopefully Microsoft will patch rdpclip one of these days and fix the problem permanently but until then I hope this will at least help a little bit.

John Mello October 29, 200910:42 pm

This is a clever fix, but I personally prefer to use a clipboard extender and avoid the problem entirely. These programs allow you to continuously save whatever is copied or cut from your display. They’re very handy applications and add real power to the Windows clipboard. I’ve tried a few of these programs over the years, but my favorite remains ClipCache, by Xrayz Software ( By the way, when the clipboard stops working with ClipCache running, you can reconnect to it with a simple choice from the application’s tool menu item.

Emmanuel Carabott October 30, 20099:25 am

Thanks John, Will definitely check that out.

Mike Wise November 10, 200911:12 pm

What about the new Snip tool in Windows 7?

Emmanuel Carabott November 11, 200910:06 am

Hi Mike, Welcome to the Blog. I haven’t use the Snip tool yet to be honest so I am not very acquainted with it, just what I read about it. Does it have issues when used via Remote Desktop?

Mike Wise November 12, 20095:33 pm

I have not used the tool that much either. I do know that I can take a “snip” of whatever is on my screen at pretty much any time. I can then save it as a “.png”, .”jpg”, etc. Here is a link that might be helpful.

Hope that helps!

Emmanuel Carabott November 13, 20099:39 am

Ah you were suggesting the use of the tool; sorry, thought you might have been experiencing issues with it similar to rdpclip. Yes the snip tool can be really useful in certain cases such as when you need to take a screenshot of only part of a window and not of the whole thing. Saves having to take the screenshot, paste it into some paint program and cutting and pasting and what not. Thanks for the suggestion Mike.

Mike December 21, 20095:33 pm

Rdpclip.exe is not available on task manager

Emmanuel Carabott December 29, 200912:41 pm

Hi Mike,

if rdpclip.exe is not showing in your task manager, I would first suggest you ensure your task manager is showing processes from all users. There should be a checkbox for that at the bottom. If it still doesn’t show perhaps it crashed and never reloaded so try running “rdpclip.exe” without first killing it.

May I ask what operating system you’re running? The one you’re connecting to via Remote Desktop that is.

Please don’t hesitate to ask if you’re still experiencing issues.

ken March 17, 20109:14 pm

Check as above .. still copy paste not working [ with bat]

and i cant find rdpclip.exe in process with show users checkbox selected

Emmanuel Carabott March 23, 201011:27 am

Hi Ken, what operating system are you using mainly and which one are you Remote Desktop connecting to?

Pravin December 9, 20104:03 am

I love this…its working NOW.. its saved my time.. :) Thank U.

Sudhakar September 6, 201111:13 pm

In my case steps 1 to 4

1.Load up task manager (right click taskbar and select Task Manager)
2.Go to the Processes Tab
3.Select rdpclip.exe
4.Click End Process

It was not working when I followed all steps, weird!

Pal September 22, 20117:55 am

Hi Sudhakar,
After you kill the process.
Then in the same Taskbar – Go to File- New Task – Open – rdpclip.exe – ok
Now try. It is working for me in Windows7 remote desktop.

ramulu ponnam September 15, 20118:39 am

i am facing the copy paste problem in my desktop.i am unable to copy and paste from a document and from a browser …can any one suggest me ,how to solve this problem.

thanks in advance.

Ramulu Ponnam

Roger October 19, 201110:03 pm

I have the same problem of copying from the office (Server) to my remote computer (Win 7, IE9). It worked fine until a few months ago. Maybe caused by an update to the MS server software.
I could not locate rdpclip.exe on my computer. Is that something that should be done at the server side?

Emmanuel Carabott October 20, 20119:48 am

rdpclip.exe should be in the windows\system32 folder

If it is missing from there, that might explain why copy and paste is no longer working for you. If it got deleted for whatever reason, you will need to restore it or alternatively copy it over from some other windows 7 installation if you have that.

Roger October 29, 20117:56 pm

Thank you much for your help.

Saeed Neamati December 17, 20112:28 pm

Man, I was almost reinstalled the whole server, because of this damn Copy/Paste failure. Thank you very much for preventing me to do that.

Igor Longagnani January 5, 201212:46 pm

Nice post n working fix. I would add another corollary:
- if you work in a team, pls be sure you’re not “stealing” someone else RDP Connection (e.g. Windows Server 2003 makes them available).
In this case connect through RDP, Logoff -> check the fix (rdpclip must be running) and reconnect through your RDP. voilà remote cut’n'paste.

Big Ian January 17, 201210:44 am

Followed the steps above no joy copy & paste still do not work. Any thoughts?

W7 (32bit) >> W2K8 R2 (64bit)

Emmanuel Carabott January 17, 20123:44 pm

Hi Big Ian,

I am sorry this didn’t work for you. I need you to answer a few questions so that maybe I can help you out; did you confirm rdpclip.exe started successfully when you tired to restart it?

Also, some people reported that rdpclip.exe was missing for them, is that the problem you experianced?

Did you perform the procedure on the W7 or W2k8?

Dan Morphis February 8, 20127:51 pm

If the clipboard is still not working after restarting the rdpclip process, then clipboard redirection is probably disabled.

To enable it, open mmc, add/remove snap-in, terminal services configuration.

In there, under the “Connections” heading, right-click on the listed connection and choose properties. On the “Client Settings” tab, under the “Redirection” heading, *uncheck* “Clipboard” Click “OK”

Finally, log off/logon and clipboard should now work for you!

obaia February 8, 201211:37 pm

I to cannot cut and paste using xp pro.32 bit.. rdpclip is not listed in my windows task manager
how can I restore it. step by step

Emmanuel Carabott February 9, 201210:18 am

@obaia if rdpclip is not running all you need to do is click on start, choose run and type in rdpclip.exe and press okay.

kurt February 27, 20125:58 pm

I get the following error running the command: The process rdclip.exe with PID 4976 could not be terminated. This process can only be terminated forcefully (with /F option)

Fabio April 3, 20126:15 pm

Thanks, it works like a charm!

Wanwaihui April 5, 20126:36 am

This is finally working. It’s really a frustration when I needed to send all my files thru cloud sharing and download from my RD previously…! Thank you!

andrew April 6, 201210:20 pm

I’m not use remote desktop but i am having same issue.

Windows 7 Pro 64-bit
Office 2010

copy/paste doesn’t work. ctrl-c and ctrl-v do nothing. if i open word and expand the clipboard, it will show in the taskbar area. when i try to copy, i get a clipboard popup that reads “Item not collected”

I’ve tried the following:
close all office programs
open task manager
no rdpclip running, so i start the process
after starting the process, rdpclip shows in “Processes” tab but i still have the same problem described above

restarting windows will fix the issue but after using computer for awhile, copy/paste problem will return

any thoughts?
it sounds like stopping rdpclip then restarting the process should reset the clipboard. is there any other way to do this?

Emmanuel Carabott April 10, 20129:22 am

the RDPclip process only works for the remote desktop session I am afraid. Is this problem you’re experiencing only occurring when using office or any copy and paste operation you’re trying on any application fails with that same error?