How do I fix Ctrl C not working?

How do I fix Ctrl C not working

Are you having trouble getting your Ctrl + C command to work?

If so, don’t worry – it’s a common problem that can usually be fixed with just a few simple steps.

If you’ve recently tried to use your trusty CTRL + C and CTRL+ V shortcuts, only to find they are no longer working as expected – don’t worry! You’re not alone.

Many users across the Windows family have reported this issue in recent times! – Yes, we just had a client that reported the same issue – just last week!

Let’s discuss what could be causing your Ctrl + C not working issue and provide you with some troubleshooting tips to help you get back up and running in no time.

So keep reading if you want to learn more about how to fix the problem quickly and easily!

Causes of Ctrl + C Not Working

Incorrect Keyboard Settings 

The first cause of Ctrl + C not working is incorrect keyboard settings. Your keyboard settings may be configured in such a way that the copy function is assigned to a different combination of keys.

To check if this is the case, go into your system preferences and select “Keyboard”. Scroll down until you find “Shortcuts”, then click on “App Shortcuts” in the left-hand menu bar.

From here, you can see which keys are assigned to which functions. If necessary, adjust these settings so that Ctrl + C is associated with the copy function once again. 


Software Updates 

Another common cause of Ctrl + C not working is outdated software or drivers.

If something has been updated on your computer recently, it may have inadvertently caused some conflicts or issues with your operating system or hardware components (like your mouse or keyboard).

To resolve this issue, make sure all of your software and drivers are up-to-date by using Windows Update or a similar program for Macs.

You should also restart your computer once all updates have been installed as this will ensure that any new changes are applied correctly. 

Update Your Operating System 

Finally, an outdated operating system could also be causing problems with Ctrl + C not working properly.

Make sure you are running the latest version of your chosen operating system by checking for any available updates and installing them as soon as possible.

This should help get things running smoothly once again! 

How to Fix CTRL C to being able to copy?

When you’re having tech issues, a good place to start is the classic restart!

It’s an age-old method that can do wonders in getting your computer back up and running – plus it couldn’t be easier.

The same goes for our CTRL-C issue!

By rebooting a computer’s hardware, software, and services at once, you’ll be able to fix most minor hiccups without needing additional help.

If that doesn’t fix CTRL + C issue, then read on..

Are you sure it’s not the keyboard that has an issue?

Checking for Physical Damage on the Keyboard 

First things first—take a look at your keyboard and see if there are any physical signs of damage – you will never believe what we’ve seen! – Water damage, Coffee, remains from grub, you name it!

Damage can include anything from frayed wires and water damage to broken keycaps and sticky buttons. If this is the case, then it’s likely that you have a hardware problem and need to get your keyboard serviced or replaced. 

Make sure that all necessary drivers are up-to-date and that no additional programs or software have been installed recently which might be interfering with how the keyboard works. 


Try some basic troubleshooting steps such as unplugging and replugging the USB connection or rebooting your computer.

If these steps don’t work, then it’s likely that you’re dealing with a hardware issue that requires professional attention.

In this case, it’s best to contact an IT technician who can diagnose and repair the problem more efficiently than you could on your own. 

Run the Windows Keyboard Troubleshooting Tool

Windows 11 and 10 have got your back! With their built-in troubleshooter, just a few clicks away is the solution to all of those annoying typing problems.

Head on over to Settings > System > Troubleshoot > Other Troubleshooters, click run in front of Keyboard, and try out this awesome feature.


The wizard will scan for any hiccups along with providing helpful instructions towards getting rid of them quickly so that you can get right back into action!

Reinstall Keyboard Drivers

If your laptop keyboard isn’t working properly, it could be caused by corrupted or outdated drivers.

To fix this issue, all you have to do is uninstall the existing drivers and then reinstall them from scratch.

Here’s how: 

1) Go to Settings > Update & Security > Troubleshoot. 

2) Select “Hardware and Devices” and then click “Run the Troubleshooter.” This will start searching for any hardware-related issues on your system. 


3) Once it finds any potential issues with your hardware, follow the instructions provided by Windows to resolve them.

This step may include uninstalling/reinstalling any existing device driver on your system (including your keyboard). 

4) Finally, restart your computer for the changes to take effect.  

5) If necessary, visit the manufacturer’s website and download and install the latest version of the keyboard driver software available for your laptop model. 

Resetting Keyboard Shortcuts in Windows 10

Resetting your keyboard shortcuts is easy with the Windows operating system.

All you have to do is open the Control Panel, select “Keyboard” from the list of devices, and then click “Customize Keyboard” to bring up the “Customize Keyboard Dialog Box.”

This box allows you to customize all of your available shortcut keys with the options listed on the left side of the dialog box. 

You can also create custom shortcut keys by selecting a command from the Categories menu and then selecting any available function key (F1, F2, etc) from the Commands list on the right side of the dialog box.

Once you decide what combination of keys will trigger which function, click “Assign” and that new shortcut will appear in the Current Keys list below.

When you finish making all of your changes, just click “Close” and they will be saved automatically.  

You can also manage existing keyboard shortcuts by clicking on any item in the Current Keys list and then clicking “Remove.”

This will delete any existing shortcuts associated with that item so that you can replace it with another one if desired.

You can even disable certain shortcut combinations by unchecking them in this same dialog box. 

Checking for Software Conflicts

Another common cause of CTRL + C not functioning is software conflicts.

If multiple programs are running on your computer at once, they may interfere with each other when they are using the same keyboard shortcut.

To determine if this is the case, go through all the programs you have running and look for any conflicts in command shortcuts.

You can do this by going into each program’s settings menu and seeing which commands are assigned to which keys.

If multiple programs share a key combination, then that could explain why your CTRL + C isn’t working properly. 

Outdated Software?

Another issue that can cause hotkeys to malfunction is outdated software. If you haven’t updated your operating system or other programs in a while, then they may not be compatible with newer versions of software or hardware devices.


This could also cause conflicts between different programs, resulting in certain hotkeys being disabled or malfunctioning altogether.

To check if this is causing your issue, make sure all your software is up-to-date before attempting any other troubleshooting steps. 

Scan and Fix Any Corrupted System Files

The first step in repairing corrupted system files is to scan for them using Windows’ built-in System File Checker tool (SFC).

This tool will compare the current version of each file on your computer against a copy stored in its database and replace any that don’t match up correctly.

To run SFC from an admin account, type “sfc /scannow” into the Command Prompt window without quotes and press Enter.


The process could take some time depending on how many corrupted system files there are and how large they are. 

Once SFC has finished scanning your computer for corrupted system files, it will attempt to repair them automatically if possible.

If some of the corruption is too severe for SFC to fix on its own, then you may need to reinstall certain programs or components manually using DISM.

Enable CTRL C in CMD or PowerShell

If you’re having trouble pasting content into Command Prompt or Windows PowerShell, no need to worry – with just a few clicks of your mouse, the feature can be enabled.

First open either program and then right-click on their title bar for full access to the Properties section; once there look for ‘Enable Ctrl key shortcuts’ under Edit Options which should already have been checked off but make sure it is if not!

Finally after clicking OK close/reopen the command line so changes will take effect & behold: copy-paste capabilities are restored!

Related: How Do I Fix Ctrl V Not Working?


In conclusion, if you are having trouble with CTRL + C not functioning properly on your computer, there could be a few different causes.

It may be due to software conflicts or outdated programs that need to be updated.

Additionally, corrupted system files can also cause hotkeys to malfunction and should be scanned using the System File Checker tool to repair them.

Finally, enabling Ctrl key shortcuts in Command Prompt and PowerShell will allow copy-paste capabilities within those applications as well.

By following these troubleshooting steps, hopefully, you’ll get your keyboard shortcut back up and running again!

I am a computer engineer holding a bachelor's degree in Computer Science, complemented by a Master's in Business Administration from University of Strathclyde, Scotland. I currently work as a Senior IT Consultant in Melbourne, Australia. With over 15 years of...