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Sorry, no manipulations with clipboard allowed: 7 fixes

You were in the zone, blazing through your workflow and then, out of nowhere, everything stopped. Your clipboard gave up on you and displayed the sorry, no manipulations with clipboard allowed error.

So how do you solve this issue and go back to being productive? Well, you follow this guide. The problems you are facing with your clipboard will be gone, but before that, let’s try to understand what happens when you copy something on your Mac and why your system displays the sorry, no manipulations with clipboard allowed error?


What happens when you copy something on your Macbook?

When you copy something on Mac OS, it gets stored temporarily by the clipboard. This acts as an intermediate storage location for your data, and when you paste it to another location, the same moves from the clipboard to another application.

Although the copying process might seem trivial to the end-user, a lot happens in the background, and everything is managed by a process (daemon) called Pboard on your Macbook.

A high-level overview of the copy-paste process on Mac OS is as follows:

Sorry, no manipulations with clipboard allowed: 7 fixes
  • Process initialisation: The Pboard daemon generates the pasteboard process, which is responsible for storing the copied data.
  • Data conversion: The copied data gets converted into one of the several standard formats.
  • Data transfer: The Pboard daemon then sets up the XMP messaging protocol and sends data to specific pasteboard based on the data type of the copied data.
  • Data storage: The pasteboard holds and stores the data until another application requests it.
  • Data transfer: The Pboard daemon uses the XMP protocol to transfer the pasteboard to the desired application.
  • Data conversion: The application processes the received data and displays it in the desired format.

Now that we understand the basics of the copy-paste mechanism on Macbook, we can try to solve the issue at hand.

Also read: How to prevent apps from accessing sensitive data from clipboard using ADB?


Why does your Macbook display the sorry, no manipulations with clipboard allowed error?

Although there could be several reasons behind the error at hand, it’s most likely that there is some issue with the Pboard process itself, or there could be some other bug in the software which is causing the clipboard to malfunction.

Not only this, if you are running several memory-intensive applications on your system, the pasteboard could have issues with memory management, causing the sorry, no manipulations with clipboard allowed error.

In addition to this, if you have installed a third-party clipboard manager on your system, it could interfere with the basic clipboard functionality causing the issue to arise.


How to fix sorry, no manipulations with clipboard allowed error?

Now that we understand the internal workings of the clipboard and the probable causes, we can try to solve the issue at hand.

Restart your system

You probably don’t restart your Macbook that often if you are a power user. This might cause the RAM on your system to get filled up, causing issues with memory management.

So give your system a chance to breathe, and the clipboard might come back to life.

Here is how to restart your Macbook

Also read: Trackpad on MacBook Pro not working? Here are 11 fixes


Look for software updates

An obsolete version of the operating system on your Macbook can cause several issues. It could be a reason for the sorry, no manipulations with clipboard allowed error on your system.

So if you update the software version on your device, it could cause the issue you are facing.

Here is how you can update your Macbook

Delete any third-party clipboard managers

As mentioned earlier, a third-party clipboard manager on your system could interfere with the basic clipboard functionality.

So delete any clipboard managers you installed on your system, and this could solve the issues you are facing.


Restart the Pboard process on your system

As mentioned earlier, the Pboard process is responsible for managing the copy-paste operation on your system and restarting the process could solve the issue at hand.

You can restart the Pboard process on your system in two ways the same are given below:

Restart the Pboard using the activity monitor

Like every process running on your Macbook, the Pboard can also be found running in the activity monitor, and you can follow the steps given below to restart the same.

Step 1: Use the command + space shortcut to open Spotlight on your Macbook.

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Step 2: Search for Activity Monitor and press return.

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Step 3: Search for pboard and double click on the pboard process.

Sorry, no manipulations with clipboard allowed: 7 fixes

Step 4: Click on Quit in the pop-up window and click on Force Quit.

Sorry, no manipulations with clipboard allowed: 7 fixes

Restart the Pboard using the terminal

Using the activity monitor to restart the Pboard process is simple enough, but the same can be done using the terminal. To restart the Pboard using the terminal you can follow the steps given below:

Step 1: Open Spotlight on your system using the command + space shortcut.

Sorry, no manipulations with clipboard allowed: 7 fixes

Step 2: Search for Terminal in the Spotlight window and press Return.

Sorry, no manipulations with clipboard allowed: 7 fixes

Step 3: Enter the command sudo killall pboard and press Return. Thereafter, enter your system password and press Return.

Sorry, no manipulations with clipboard allowed: 7 fixes

Also read: How to hide and unhide apps on your iPhone?


Run maintenance scripts on your Macbook

To keep the system up and running, Mac OS runs different maintenance scripts to delete system logs and temporary files on your system.

In most cases, these scripts run on a daily/weekly/monthly basis, but sometimes they do not run at the prescribed frequency. Due to this, your system can start to malfunction, causing the clipboard error.

Here is how you can run maintenance scripts on your Macbook.

Clean cache files on your system

If there are some erroneous files in your cache storage, it could interface with the way your clipboard functions. So, clearing the cache on your system could solve your issues.

Here is how you can delete cache files on your system


Restart the window server on your Macbook

The window server on your device is responsible for building the graphical user interface for all the windows on your Macbook.

Although the window server is responsible for window rendering, restarting the same has helped sever people solve the sorry, no manipulations with clipboard allowed error.

To restart the window server on your device, you can follow the steps given below:

Step 1: Use the command + space shortcut to open Spotlight on your Macbook.

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Step 2: Search for Activity Monitor and press return.

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Step 3: Search for WindowServer and double click on the same.

Sorry, no manipulations with clipboard allowed: 7 fixes

Step 4: Click on Quit in the pop-up window and click on Force Quit.

Sorry, no manipulations with clipboard allowed: 7 fixes

Restarting the window server on your device will close all open windows on your system and take you to the log in screen on your Macbook.

So. if you are working on something critical, it is advised you save your work before restarting the window server.

Also read: Why is my Macbook Air fan so loud? 5 quick fixes

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