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Today I've got this message, when tried to copy data from my Google Docs spreadsheet:

enter image description here

It says I can't use copy/paste if I don't install the Google Drive app. It seems this message is bound to context menu commands and I'm still able to copy data using clipboard shortcut, though.

I've never seen this message before. Is this their new policy, or I missed something?

UPD Interesting, that I'm getting this message only in one of my accounts; while another says "These actions are unavailable via the Edit menu, but you can still use: Ctrl+C Ctrl+X Ctrl+V"

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migrated from superuser.com May 14 '13 at 12:11

This question came from our site for computer enthusiasts and power users.

Looks like a mixup between copying files and copying text? –  Jan Doggen May 14 '13 at 10:26

6 Answers 6

I encountered this frustrating message in Chrome yesterday and got around it by simply attempting the same thing from Internet Explorer 10.

IE10 gives you the warning "Do you want to allow this webpage to access your Clipboard?" and if you click Allow Access, it pastes like you'd expect.

For now, I'd much prefer to use a clunky copy/paste process in a clunky browser than be required to install loads of Google binaries on my system.

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Google has re-launched the google docs application as part of the google drive, which combines storage of email, photos and docs. Once you install the google drive app for your browser, the documents are editable exactly as they were in google docs. You will be given 15GB of space on Google Drive.


Also, the document shared with you will have to be given the 'editable' permission by the user who created it.

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So, only the last remark is eligible as an answer? –  Jacob Jan Tuinstra May 14 '13 at 15:39
I already have editable permission. And the first part of this answer sounds for me like Google is trying to enforce users to install Google Drive. –  user626528 May 15 '13 at 3:13

I got around this by pasting the text first into the address bar in a different tab (on Chrome) and then copying it from there and pasting it into docs.

I guess the browsers are now restricting access to the system clipboard as an additional security measure, which seems reasonable.

However, I still don't want to install yet another Google app on yet another machine and increase Googles omnipresence in my life - so I'm glad this workaround is still available.

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I ran into this for the first time today. It's now a year after the original post. And I, too, thought they had "suddenly changed it". But I was able to go back and do it successfully after looking for an answer. Same file, same browser. The difference--on a Mac, there's control-C but also command-C. They seem to do the same thing, but apparently one uses the operating system's clipboard, while the other must use some kind of web-enabled clipboard implemented by the page's scripting. There is probably a similar look-alike command for Windows systems.

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I get this message on Windows (Chrome) when I try to copy using right click -> copy. If I use ctrl+c, it copies without a problem.

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Try this, it worked for me:

Go to File → Download As, select Microsoft Word or Open Document (depending on what you have).

Then open the downloaded document on your computer, and copy the text from your word processor.

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