Firefox Cut & Paste: 1 Bug, 4 Years, No Solution!

I love competition in the market just as much as the other guy. I’m comfortable with IE7, Opera, FF, and if the need be, Safari.
For the most part, I use Firefox nightly for general web browsing, and IE7 for forums and blogs. However, invariably, without fail, every single time a I install Firefox, within a month I am forced to either format or use IE7/Opera instead. This has been going on ever since I started using "Firefox" 3 years ago.

The Bug? No longer being able to cut and paste. AFAIK (from my programming experience), cut and paste is a simple API, you tell it what to copy and the PC does the rest. So imagine my frustration whet every single install of Firefox goes senile on me, and starts to forget to copy every now and then. It continues to get worse.

For the first month or so, Firefox runs perfect, when I tell it to copy, it copies; and when I don’t, it doesn’t. But before I know it, when I select text and attempt to copy (either ctrl+c, or right-click -> copy, or Edit -> Copy), instead of copying it empties the clipboard. I close Firefox, open Word, ReGet, IE, or something just to find out that my clipboard is empty. Thank God for Firefox’s "Go" menu and its list of recent sites, but that’s quite besides the point…

I don’t normally bug non-reproducibles. There really is no point IMO since they rarely are acted upon. But today I was posting something, then decided to cut and paste it into IE to use ieSpell.. *poof* it was gone. A page disappeared in a world of zeroes and ones. Enough is enough, I went to bugzilla to post it, then on instinct did a search… And I couldn’t believe my eyes! Over 20 separate reports, the first of which was posted in March 2002!! That bug report alone had over 60 comments and complaints, coming in steady for four years! Yet even now there is no solution. It exists in all builds, stable or otherwise, nightly, hourly, and more. 

I have taken this particular bug on as my mission. If I have the time, I’ll go through the source, but I think the best way to help is to bring it to attention. Firefox cannot expect to beat the competition without seriously thinking about 4 year old bug reports with no solutions and constant complaints and feedback.

Please help making the world of internet browsers and the competition between them a better place! Link to this post, vote the bug on bugzilla, check out the code, seed and digg the story!

A fix is now available! Please see our post here for details and download links to a good version of Firefox, courtesy of NeoSmart Technologies!

125 thoughts on “Firefox Cut & Paste: 1 Bug, 4 Years, No Solution!

  1. Drag over text to copy with left button. Leave it highlit.
    Go to another screen.
    Place cursor over window where you want pasted text to appear.
    Click middle button.

    This works in *all* GUI applications.

  2. Can’t say I have this problem at all.  Both Windows (ewww) and Linux environment.  If that were the case, I’d be reloading or frustrated at almost ever computer I’ve worked on.  Havn’t seen the problem at all.

  3. I’ve seen this happen a lot when there is a Remote Desktop window open, but I blame Remote Desktop/Windows for that. Especially since I see the same happen sometimes in other programs when there is a Remote Desktop window open. It could also be that copy/paste is implemented in a quirky way in windows, it would not surprise me.

  4. I’m with you on this one, had the bug for about 6 months now, driving me mad and indeed driving me to opera :((

  5. OH MY I have this bug too, on every computer I own (work, home, laptop). Must be some application I always install that doesn’t work well with Firefox. It even affects copy-paste in other applications, for example, when I get the bug in Firefox, sometimes my text-editor (Ultraedit) craps out too, making copy-paste "local" so I cant copy stuff out of the editor or into the editor.

  6. For the past 3 months I’ve been going mad about this, it is very frustrating and occurs on both my laptop and office PC. My colleagues also suffer from the same problem, on a total of 10 separate systems.

  7. This happens to me ALL the time in FireFox.  It’s the one thing that pisses me off to no end about Firefox.  Try to copy a URL and paste it into an e-mail, and NOTHING HAPPENS.  This has happened in every build I’ve ever used, and I typically only install the release builds.   I can’t believe I have to go to IE, do the same Google search, then copy the URL to paste into an e-mail.   Come on, 4 years and this simple yet incredibly annoying bug still isn’t fixed?

  8. All the people saying "it has never happened to me" are lucky.  I run at home and at work (different hardware but both are versions of XP), and it happens to me in both places.  I can usually copy if I right-click and choose copy from the mouse, although sometimes I have to do it several times to for it to work.  CTRL-C almost never works.  What’s even more frustrating is CTRL-X does delete the text, but does not actually copy it to the clipboard.  I’ve used Firefox/Mozilla since early days, but I have to say, this is close to driving back to IE.  The copy failure occurs whether I’m copying text within the browser or the URL.

  9. Yep, it has happened on EVERY install I have ever had of firefox. It certainly not a "non-reproducable" bug. In fact, it just happened again about 2 minutes, which prompted me to search for a solution. Hence I am commenting on this website. Why won’t it just work already!

  10. I get this all the time.. drives me crazy.  One thing I have found to help is either by closing 1-2 tabs or even opening up 1-2 new tabs, it will start to work again. I do have a RDP window open on my computer the whole time at work, that might have something to do with it. The copy to notepad then back into Firefox works as well for me.

  11. just an update.. had the cut and paste thing happen right now, I closed RDP and I was able to cut and paste again with no problem. Opened RDP back up and it was still working. Looks like after some time RDP will cause the issue. 

  12. Cut and paste just stopped working for me in FF, I did the following; Upgraded to Edited my user.js file etc Deactivated smart clipboard in MS word. Reinstalled FF Rebooted computer Installed AllowClipboard Helper Restarted FF in safe mode. NOTHING WORKED .. use right click menu copy, use main menu copy, use ctr-C, ctr-X ABSOLUTELY NOTHING I TRY WILL GET FF TO COPY TO THE CLIPBOARD ! 

  13. I suffer with this cut paste problem. i don’t know if it is coincidence or not but i am also not able to customise my tool bar. I wanted to see if using the cut paste buttons on the tool bar helped but found i could not drag the buttons to the tool bar! has anybody else noticed this problem?? Pete 

  14. Have the same cut and paste problem even after upgrading to under XP Pro. Very annoying and might make me switch to another browser …

  15. obviously, if you haven’t seen the bug, then it can’t exist.

    that’s American logic.

    I just had it happen to me and it’s extremely frustrating because it renders the form and web accessability completely useless for several hours. It seems to work days later sometimes, and is DAMN HARD to reproduce at times. I’ve seen others reproduce it and I know it can be.

    This one I was on and it refused to allow me to paste into a form box, just 20 minutes ago.

    Anyone wants to come sit here by my keyboard and watch me try to reproduce it is welcome, but if any developers need me to do screenshots or whatnot, I can do that.

    It’s just I know that not one of them will ask me. They haven’t even worked on the problem.


  16. This bug has NOT BEEN FIXED.

    I don’t have pushow, and the new Firefox doesn’t fix the problem.

    For me, cut/paste seldom works via ctrl-c/ctrl-v, but does work if you use the menu EDIT selections for Cut and Paste.

    I get hit with this bug every day, and I’m really getting sick of it.

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