Copying and pasting files on a Mac is such a basic feature that it’s often taken for granted—until it stops working. Encountering the “Sorry, no manipulations with clipboard allowed” error can be frustrating, as it halts the simple but essential function of copying and pasting text, images, files, and links. This error indicates a failure in the software process that manages the clipboard on your Mac. Fortunately, there are several ways to fix this issue and get your clipboard back to functioning normally.

What Does The “Sorry, No Manipulations With Clipboard Allowed” Error Mean?

This error message pops up when your Mac encounters a problem with the clipboard service, a background process responsible for copy and paste operations. It can occur due to glitches in the Pasteboard service, outdated system software, or issues with specific applications.

Fixes For “Sorry, No Manipulations With Clipboard Allowed”

1. Restart Your Pasteboard Server Using Activity Monitor

The Pasteboard service is what your Mac uses to manage everything you copy and paste. Restarting it can often resolve the clipboard error.

  • Open “Activity Monitor” from the Utilities folder in your Applications folder.
  • In the search bar at the top right, type “pboard”.
  • Select the process named “pboard” and click the “X” button in the toolbar to quit the process.
  • Confirm that you want to quit the process. Your Mac will automatically restart the Pasteboard service.

2. Restart Your Pasteboard Server Using The Terminal

If you’re comfortable using the Terminal, you can also restart the Pasteboard service with a command line.

  • Open “Terminal” from the Utilities folder.
  • Type killall pboard and press Enter.
  • Close Terminal and try copying and pasting again.

3. Restart And Update Your Mac

Sometimes, the simplest solution is to restart your Mac, which can resolve underlying issues causing the error.

  • Click on the Apple menu and select “Restart.”
  • After your Mac restarts, go back to the Apple menu, choose “System Preferences,” then “Software Update.”
  • If there are any updates available, install them. Updates can fix bugs that might be causing the clipboard error.

4. Restart Your WindowServer

The WindowServer is responsible for managing the graphical display on your Mac, and restarting it can sometimes fix clipboard issues.

  • Open Terminal from the Utilities folder.
  • Type sudo killall WindowServer and press Enter. This will log you out, so save any open work first.
  • Log back in and test your clipboard.

How To Prevent This Error In The Future

To minimize the chances of encountering the clipboard error again:

  • Regularly update your Mac to ensure you have the latest software and security patches.
  • Avoid running too many applications simultaneously, which can overload the clipboard service.
  • Consider using clipboard management tools that offer more stability and features than the default clipboard.


The “Sorry, no manipulations with clipboard allowed” error can disrupt your workflow, but it’s often easily fixed by restarting the Pasteboard service, updating your Mac, or using Terminal commands. By maintaining your Mac and being mindful of your clipboard usage, you can prevent this error from recurring.