Pasting from the clipboard stopped working on my Mac. Nothing is pasted, and the following line appears many time in syslog.

Apr  5 **:**:** *** com.apple.WebKit.WebContent[6583] <Warning>: CFPasteboardRef CFPasteboardCreate(CFAllocatorRef, CFStringRef) : Lock timeout

This seems related to a clipboard tool I installed ("FlyCut"), but I have since uninstalled. I can see no running process related to the tool (using ps -ef).

Rebooting temporarily solves the problem. Is this a virus? At any rate, how do I get rid of the problem? Found nothing of value searching for the log message. Malwarebytes reports nothing.

Update: Reported the issue to Apple, and they said it was caused by an app called "Time Out". They are still working to resolve the problem. In the meantime, uninstall this app.


4 Answers 4


Doesn't appear to be malware for me.

The workaround (though totally crappy) is:

  1. Launch Activity Monitor
  2. Find pboard process and quit the process.
  3. Restart applications where you would like to copy from or paste into.

I'm the author of Dejal Time Out. This issue appears to be an Apple bug; I've contacted them, and they told me that it is a known issue with no workaround. See this FAQ item for more information.

  • In your FAQ, and the bug report, you state that Timeout does not interact with the clipboard/pasteboard. If that is the case, how is your app disrupting it? Since you have a closed-source app, how do we know you are not watching / logging what is copied/pasted? I'll get you off the hook, a bit, as I use a network monitor, and I do not see you app phone-home. Commented Aug 15, 2016 at 1:10
  • Time Out doesn't need to do anything with the clipboard. Nefarious logging is always a risk with software, but I can assure you that Time Out doesn't do that. You can choose whether or not to trust me, but I have no reason to do so; I don't sell user info, and I've been selling software for decades, so wouldn't want to alienate my customers. I do wish I could figure out what is triggering this bug, since it is annoying for several people.
    – Dejal
    Commented Aug 15, 2016 at 15:20
  • 1
    UPDATE: After much investigation with an Apple engineer, this issue appears to have been caused by the break web view not being cleaned up properly, due to an Apple bug. Time Out doesn't do anything with the clipboard, but the Safari WebKit-powered web view was leaving it in an invalid state (technically a lock that was left in place). Time Out version 2.1 and later include a workaround for this issue. If you experience it while using version 2.1 or later, please contact me.
    – Dejal
    Commented Nov 23, 2016 at 15:48
  • Glad to hear that got resolved. Arcane Commented Nov 23, 2016 at 21:48

Apple reported back to me and Time Out was the culprit.


If you have the Dejal Time Out app installed, I suggest you try the following steps which worked for me:

  1. Exit the “Time Out” app.
  2. Press, Cmd+Alt+Esc, locate Finder, press “Relaunch”.
  3. Restart an app where copy/paste does not work, and try it again.

If this does not help, I'm afraid, you need to restart your computer. For me it sometimes works and sometimes doesn't.

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