Why does CTRL + V accidentally get disabled in Windows?

Andy December 16, 2011


I work with a team that needs to do heavy copy/pasting (ctl+x, ctrl+c, ctrl+v).

Every now and again ctrl+v becomes unusable (though ctrl+x, ctrl+c continue to work).

When I ask what they did last they never remember.

When I log off then on again everything is fine.

Any idea how this happens and how it can be solved without closing all programs? :)

  1. Andy
    December 18, 2011 at 8:01 pm

    @Jeff_Fabish:disqus Fidelis: we copy text snippets, so no big file. Should I still try?

    @ha14:disqus We're talking 6 XP PCs and 2 W7 laptops that tend to display the same symptom. OK, not all of them have it, but I have seen it on XP and 7. I'll could try your solution, but this is one of those cases when i suspect a feature (Windows shortcut) is the underlying cause, rather than a bug that survived over 3 Windows editions.

    @all. By the way, given the specifics of the activity we'll actually be on holiday until Jan. So I am unable to run tests till then. But if anyone has ever seen this before, please let me know what you did.

    Thanks all

    • Anonymous
      December 19, 2011 at 5:12 pm

      reply when you comeback from Hollidays, have great funs.

    • Jonas
      February 11, 2012 at 3:45 am

      I am having the same problem with my windows 7 laptop, and my ctrl key also gets disabled randomly

  2. Anonymous
    December 17, 2011 at 9:29 am

    try this microsoft fixit solution

    Go to Device Manager and uninstall (do not click delete also...) the keyboard and reboot
    Windows will renew the driver and reinstal an new one.

    maybe also is a problem of clipboard?

  3. Andy
    December 17, 2011 at 8:39 am

    Fidelis, Jeff, thanks for your follow up.

    The answers are:

    windows XP and 7

    QWERTY, mostly USB but also laptop keyboard

    This happens to several machines. I would not say it happens to everybody, but this makes sense if the cause is an inadeverted combination of keys that gets pushed during the copy-paste process. Several people have literally learned here to use a PC, so mistakes still happen at a higher-than-usual rate. (We are a charity)

    I believe (am not sure) that the mouse still works. But using the mouse would disrupt the flow too much, so I have not tested it thoroughly.

    This tipically happens to several applications at once.

      December 17, 2011 at 11:10 pm

      Hello Andy, Would you say that the files you are copy/pasting are big files?  Sometimes doing the following helps.  Make sure to do it before you start your copy/pasting sessions:

      -- click on start
      -- select Control Panel
      -- select Printers and Other Hardware
      -- select Keyboard
      -- on menu for keyboard properties, click on hardware
      -- select properties
      -- click on driver
      -- click on uninstall and then ok
      -- restart your Computer

      Let me know if it works.

    December 17, 2011 at 7:16 am

    Hello, what is your operating system?  What type of keyboard/keyboards are in use?  Does this happen to everybody? or just on the one computer?  Does this happen when you use mouse to copy/cut/paste?

    If you are using a USB keyboard, have you try unplugging it and then plugging it back? Also, have you checked the settings for sticky keys?

  5. Jeff Fabish
    December 17, 2011 at 2:19 am


    Does it happen with any specific application? 

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