Security Patch for Excel Prevents Pasting into Access Tables

If you're used to pasting Excel spreadsheet data into an Access table, you may have encountered this error recently: The data on the Clipboard is damaged, so Microsoft Office Access can't paste it.  Maybe you thought there was something wrong with your spreadsheet, data, or memory. It turns out this is caused by a Microsoft Excel 2007 security patch that was released December 9th. Click on the link to learn about the issue and a workaround.

56 thoughts on “Security Patch for Excel Prevents Pasting into Access Tables

  1. There is a simpler way…Close Excel after you copy and it will ask you if you want to save the data on clipboard.
    Click yes, and then you are able to paste with no problem

  2. Truly appreciated this post. I was going crazy trying to figure out what I had installed that might have broken Excel.
    I use Excel and Access in combination on a regular basis for data-scrubbing… and this update effectively crippled my two most-used tools.

    Thanks for making this an easy fix… ( albeit, a temporary work-around – as you mentioned – until Microsoft cleans up this glitch )

    I usually have my system set to download updates and manually install them due to similar things having happened in the past – however, I had just started working on a new laptop and didn’t have all the settings adjusted the way I like them yet. This one really caught me…. It interrupted some very critical work.

  3. I found an easier way to work around this where you don’t have to close Excel.

    After you copy the data in excel, open the clipboard in Access and you can left click on the data you want to paste in the clipboard.

    This worked for me on multiple occasions when users would get this problem.

  4. Hi Kevin,

    Glad you found this article so useful. Thanks for sharing your experience. Yes, this drove me crazy too, so once I discovered the cause, I knew how important it was to share it with everyone.

  5. The simplest workaround is in fact to use Paste Special/Text and the paste works fine. The security patch is only blocking pasting of Excel data into Access, not text.

  6. Hi Glenn,

    The problem isn’t for copying one value but a whole grid of cells that are meant to become multiple records in Access. In those instances, Paste Special as text just tries to put it all into one Access field.

  7. If you are copying rows of data you can use paste append from the edit menu of access.

    I have a problem linking the tables of excel to access. The error message I am getting is The wizard is unable to access information in the file". Please check that the file exists and is in the correct format. It appears that this has to do with either sp2 or sp3. Does anyone know a work around for this?

  8. Wow guys! Thanks a lot for this post. I’ve just uninstalled the MS update per your recommendation and we’re back in business now.

    This saved me a lot grief.


  9. After I installed the hotfix, my copy of Norton Internet Security 2009 stopped working ! Neither uninstalling the hotfix or re-installing Norton solved the problem. Had to re-image my PC. Norton Helpline said the hotfix was incompatible with their product – tough luck. That’s a bummer !

  10. Well I had uninstalled the KB958437 update and hid it as suggested here and today the same thing happened, I noticed that KB959997 had been installed and it does excatly the same thing as KB958437 so you will need to carry out the same procedure in terms of KB959997.

  11. Wow.. One MS Issue to the next it seems. Thanks for this, it saved me a lot of hassle trying to figure it out. Was working perfectly fine on the computer that had 03 but not on the 07 box.

  12. I’ve been pasting into Notepad, then copying out of Notepad and pasting into Access. This works every time for me.

  13. I downloaded the SP2 and the same error still exists. Is there something else I need to do to be able to paste data from Excel to Access? I copy/paste between these applications all day and using the paste from the clipboard all the time is time consuming.

  14. Hi Rachel,

    We’ve been unable to replicate the problem on any of our machines once SP2 was installed. Have you tried this on other machines?

  15. I had the same experience as Rachel. I found I couldn’t paste from Excel into Access, researched it, downloaded SP2 and when I ran it, was told that it was already installed. I tried pasting again and still got the clipboard error. Any ideas?

  16. Hi

    Like Rachael, I’ve got SP2 and the error using paste append is still occurring. It is very frustrating.


  17. Hi, i looked for the updates KB958437 & KB967699 and i didn’t find them.
    is there any other updates i should know about? and if not, what is the solution?


  18. I need help with the same issue, but in Excel/Access 2003. Downloaded updates as populated in the add/remove programs module doesn’t differentiate between Office applications. Can you suggest what patch I need to delete or hotfix I need to download to stop this problem from happening?

    thanks so much!

  19. I have encountered this error in Office 2003 as well. The issue cropped up for the first time just last week, and as of yet has not resolved itself. Happy to provide screenshots if desired.

  20. Microsoft is investigating reports of this issue. If you are still encountering issues, please post them here so we can share them with the Microsoft team. Thanks!

  21. I’m running XP on my work computer and I use Excel 2007 & Access 2007. I first found KB958437 months ago and my company’s IT group kept that patch from updating. A month or so later, I had the same pasting problem. I have no KB959997 on my machine either. As others have stated above, the SP2 hotfix didn’t work. I’m not comfortable adding it on my work computer, it’s not mine to experiment.

    There must be a better fix. I hope someone comes up with a solution.

  22. Luke — thanks for forwarding my question to Microsoft. We were able to determine an errant quotation mark in my dataset (an applicant of ours had included said punctuation as part of his name) was creating the problem.

  23. I was having all these issues with no resolution also. The Excel sheet that I was trying to paste in was exported from the same Access program. I changed the "Data Type" Field Size of all the Text fields to the maximum I required (they all defaulted to 255). This resolved all my issues. Hope this helps someone in the future.

  24. I was so excited when I saw the workaround. But unfortunately none of the solutions work and I’ve tried as many variations on a theme as I could think of: saving the file as tab delineated; adding a column for the auto-number; everything sensible, and a lot not.

    Still nothiing. All I can do is paste one row at a time. I hate the idea of uninstalling 2007 and going back to 2003 but may have to do that.

  25. Yes — or at least I think I do. 🙂
    I think I have a work around. I’ll post it once I’m certain that it works.

  26. Sorry it’s not working for you. Do you have the latest patches for your operating system and Office installed? It’s been a while since we’ve heard of people having this problem lately.

  27. I am having the same issue in Excel 2007 in trying to paste into Access 2007. There are no updates in there now with the names that are specified above. However there is an update KB973593. Could that be doing the same thing?

  28. I had installed the Service Pack 2 on both corp computers and today they both are throwing this error again out of the blue…I can’t get the Service Pack to successfully re-install after several attempts.

    You are saying it is possible that another Office or Windows update has recreated the issue?

    I should just remove the installed updates themselves?


  29. This morning my typical routines copying Excel and pasting Access worked without issue, mostly .xls (97-2003) version to .mdb file using both Excel & Access 2007.

    However when pasting into an .accdb Access 2007 database I was trying to use yesterday I have the same issue.

    Just trying to help isolate the problem.

  30. Luke, this entire thread was titled "Security Patch for Excel Prevents Pasting into Access Tables"

    Prior to installing Service Pack 2 it was all data from Excel, and had been operating daily just fine until yesterday – perhaps a recent update blew out the Svc Pack fix?

    Data did not originate in Access.

  31. No problem – it may be that! How could I check or fix?

    Not happenning for all data because this morning I performed certain copy Excel 97-2003 .xls and paste into an Access 97-2003 .mdb with no errors – again from within Office 2007.

    Then I tried to perform a copy from .xlsx and paste to .accdb arriving at the error again that I was getting yesterday not realizing that it worked on the previous versions file types thinking it was the same issue coming back.

    Certainly this is clear as mud…hopefully you can follow.

  32. We haven’t experienced problems pasting Excel data into Access. Did the data originate in Access, get pasted into Excel, and now you’re pasting it back? Does it happen to all data from Excel to Access or just a particular spreadsheet?

  33. So I seem to only be able to paste from older Excel file formats into old Access .mdb tables using Office 2007 today.

  34. Sorry, I meant to say it hasn’t been a problem "recently". We haven’t run into this problem with SP2, however, some security patches were released this week and I’m wondering if that’s interfering with your environment. Is it happening for all data from Excel to Access?

  35. We’ve tested this issue and were unable to reproduce this error you encountered. We tried this on a machine with all the latest Windows XP and Office 2007 updates installed as well as a clean machine running Windows XP and Office 2007 without the updates. We were able to successfully paste the data from Excel into Access tables each time.

  36. I also had problems (see March 1, 2010). I installed Office 2007 on another machine with the same OS (XP Pro with the same security patches) put up test data … and everything worked fine. The same test data did not go through in my machine. I uninstalled Office on my computer and reinstalled it. It still didn’t work.

    The other box worked just fine. Time being the issue, if I need to put Excel data into Access, I just go to the other machine.

    It’s not really a solution but it works. Good luck.

  37. "Clean machine" with or without patches installed?

    I do not have the latest Office updates, only the Windows security updates pushed.

    Should I have our IT dept. get me latest Office updates? Issues with corp firewall prevent my getting them.

    I need to know what I am asking for and that it actually works.

    Thanks so much for your time and support!

  38. Well thanks anyway, but seems to be working again and your response time is much delayed, although I understand its not a hot topic anymore!


  39. Ironically it happened again today – on the 26th!

    Friday before leaving I finally rebooted as I had been prompted to do for quite some time due to auto updates.

    Then this morning when running my normal routine I get the paste from Excel to Access error out of the blue again.

    Good Times…
    Happy Moday!!

  40. I’m not sure what Microsoft is doing. We haven’t experienced this problem lately so I’m not sure what’s going on. I’ll see if I can point you to someone who can help.

  41. We recently had Office 2007 installed on our computers and are having the same issue with the "Damaged Clipboard" error message. We have service pack 3 installed. In additionlto the difficulaty with copying and pasting, we have found instances where the data appears to paste in fine, but is later missing with no error message.

  42. Hello,

    It has been a while since the last post, so I was wondering if anyone ever found a fix for this (or if Microsoft ever released one). I have a colleague with Excel 2007 SP2 on their computer who is having this issue (not very single time they paste, but in some instances). The original hotfix requires SP1. Any feedback would be appreciated. Thank you.


  43. Hello Eric and others…

    I am again researching this issue as well. Although a year later and with another client:

    I have found in quite a few instances that the Excel worksheet is itself and even maybe specific cells are in fact "corrupted" by perhaps previous versions.

    I have had no issues on my pc, then when trying to help another, using their spreadsheet, some sections pasted fine, while the uppermost portion caused the damaged clipboard errors and again on my machine which never happened prior.

    I don’t know service pack versions being used just yet, but thought that I would share my Trojan Horse theory.


  44. Thanks so much for the post…it really saved me a ton of frustration! Having the problem on a client machine running XP, Access 2007 SP2 MSO (on an accdb file) and Excel 2007 SP2 MSO (on an xlsm file). I don’t have the ability to touch any of the security settings, so it’s nice that you provided workarounds without removing security patches.

  45. Just a note: I recently came across this error copying/pasting information between Excel and Access, and could replicate it in both Office 2007 and 2010; the issue was a special character in the worksheet (tab) name…in this case it was an apostrophe causing the error; once removed, the copy/paste worked as expected.

    I hope this helps!

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