Ctrl+V No Longer Works

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 20, 2021)


Recently Richard realized that Ctrl+V did not function to paste into a Word document. Using the Paste tool on the Home tab of the ribbon does work, but Ctrl+V doesn't. It does work in other Office applications, such as Excel. Roger wonders why it won't work anymore in Word.

There are a few possible reasons why this is happening. One is that the Ctrl+V shortcut has been reassigned to a different purpose, and the second is that its original purpose has been removed. Either of these reasons could be accomplished under macro control or through purposeful customization.

If done under macro control, the culprit could be an add-in or it could be a macro set up in one of your documents. To check if it is an add-in, start Word in safe mode and see if the problem goes away. To start Word in safe mode, hold down the Ctrl key as you double-click on the Word program icon. (You can find other ways to start in safe mode at this Microsoft site.) If it does go away, then you know the problem is likely with one of your add-ins.

If you have no add-ins, then try exiting Word, renaming your Normal template to a different name, and restarting Word. If the problem goes away, then the issue is with a macro in your Normal template.

You can also check to see if the problem occurs only when certain documents are loaded. If so, then the problem is with one (or more) of the documents. Check the documents to see if they contain macros that could be causing the problem.

If the problem persists, then the issue may be with Ctrl+V no longer being associated with the proper paste command. Follow these steps:

  1. Display the Word Options dialog box. (In Word 2007 click the Office button and then click Word Options. In Word 2010 or a later version, click the File tab of the ribbon and then click Options.)
  2. At the left side of the dialog box click Customize (Word 2007) or Customize Ribbon (Word 2010 or a later version).
  3. Near the bottom of the dialog box click the Customize button. Word displays the Customize Keyboard dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Customize Keyboard dialog box.

  5. In the Categories list, choose All Commands.
  6. In the Commands list, choose the EditPaste command. You should see, in the dialog box, the shortcut keys that have been assigned to the command.
  7. If Ctrl+V is not listed in the Current Keys box, click once in the Press New Shortcut Key box and press Ctrl+V.
  8. Close both of the open dialog boxes.

It is possible that after you perform step 6, you may see, under the Current Keys box, that Ctrl+V is currently assigned to a different command. If that is the case, you may want to pull up that other command (find it in the right side of the Customize Keyboard dialog box) and remove it from that command.

Finally, it is also possible that the Ctrl+V shortcut has been assigned a different use in Windows. This seems an unlikely case in Richard's situation, though, as he indicated that it was only in Word that the problem was occurring.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (13836) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...


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