Error Pasting Data from Microsoft Excel 2007 to Microsoft Access
Provided by: Luke Chung,
Date: December 2008, Revised May and July 2009
This article describes three workarounds for a disturbing change in the
interoperability in Microsoft Office between Excel and Access.
One of the nice things about Microsoft Access is that it's easy to copy
and paste data to and from Excel spreadsheets.
Unfortunately, all of a sudden in December, an error appears when you try
to copy data from Excel and paste it into Access:
Error 2227: The data on the Clipboard is damaged, so Microsoft Office
Access can't paste it.
The additional text says:
There may be an error in the Clipboard, or there may not be
enough free memory. Try the operation again.
At first, you may think it's a problem with your spreadsheet data, or
maybe you need to reboot. But no matter what Excel data or how much data you
copy to your Clipboard, it still fails. Same for trying to close programs to
free more memory.
It turns out you can still import an Excel spreadsheet into Access
without a problem. So what's going on with Paste when it's been working for
Problem with Security Update for Microsoft Office Excel 2007 (KB958437)
It turns out that this behavior is due to one of two Microsoft security
- The first was distributed on 9 December 2008, visit
- The second was distributed on 24 February 2009 (KB967699)
Most PCs automatically install these patches when Microsoft releases
them. Unfortunately, this patch has side effects.
All of a sudden, Excel and Access no longer work together properly.
There are two workarounds that allow you to paste Excel data into Access
without uninstalling the Excel security update. (Special thanks to
FMS Bloggers Jason Kelley and Kari for providing these workarounds.)
Workaround 1: Close Excel
After copying the data to the clipboard, close Excel. If prompted with
There is a large amount of information on the clipboard. Do you
want to be able to paste this information into another program later?
Click Yes to keep the data on the clipboard. Now you can paste it into
Access without problems.
Workaround 2: Paste from the Office Clipboard
To paste the data without closing Excel, you can paste from the Office
clipboard. First, open the Office Clipboard from the Home ribbon:
Then paste the data from the Office clipboard:
Permanent Solution: Uninstall the Excel Security Update
The workarounds are useful but a hassle if you need paste data
repeatedly. To fix the problem so you don't need to change your normal
behavior, you can uninstall the Excel security update that is causing the
problem. Make sure Excel is not running when you do this.
Uninstall the security patch from the Windows Control Panel.
In Vista, go under Programs, Uninstall a Program, and choose the "View
installed updates" option on the left pane:
Select the offending patch:
- Security Update for Microsoft Office Excel 2007 (KB958437)
- Security Update for Microsoft Office Excel 2007 (KB967699)
and choose Uninstall. Reboot and you'll be able to cut, copy and paste
your Excel data into Access.
To prevent Windows from automatically applying this patch again the next
time it seeks an update, you'll need to turn off automatic updates.
Unfortunately, this has security implications, so you may not be allowed to
Because of problems I've encountered in the past, I've set my Windows
updates to be downloaded and manually installed.
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