From time to time drag&drop and copy-paste stop working. Somehow the clipboard machinery gets messed up (I suspect Microsoft Remote Desktop is causing it). In the console I see the following sequence when I try to drag something:

09-06-16 10:13:54,991 Finder[59451]: CFPasteboardRef CFPasteboardCreate(CFAllocatorRef, CFStringRef) : Lock timeout
09-06-16 10:13:54,991 Finder[59451]: CoreDragCreate error: -4960
09-06-16 10:13:54,991 Finder[59451]: error in CoreDragDispose: -1850

The console displays similar lines for every application that I try to drag in.

What is causing this issue and how can it be fixed?

  • When this happens, does a reboot fix it? Your log file references Finder, is it only Finder where copy-paste stops working? or does it stop working in all programs? Is it copy-paste of files specifically that breaks, or is it all kinds of (textual) copy-pastes?
    – jksoegaard
    Jun 13, 2016 at 12:56
  • Both a reboot and a logout fixes things. Copy-paste (textual - have not tried files) and drag&drop stop working across all programs. Jun 13, 2016 at 13:23

1 Answer 1


I don't know what is causing the issue, but the pboard process is responsible for copy and paste. Restarting it might provide a fix (temporarily), and can be less disruptive than logging out. From this answer:

Check if the pboard daemon is running:

launchctl list | grep com.apple.pboard

If the pboard daemon is running, then stop and start it. If it's not running, start it:

launchctl stop com.apple.pboard

launchctl start com.apple.pboard

Then, you may need to restart the application(s) where cut-and-paste is not working.

  • Sounds promising! I will verify this if the problem pops up again. Jun 20, 2016 at 8:10
  • Hmm. Looks like I still need to restart each and every application I want to copy into. Jun 23, 2016 at 10:34

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