{ 21 Intelligent Comments }

“New from Clipboard” Not Working – Snow Leopard

Mac Preview New From Clipboard Not WorkingSymptoms:

  • You use the Grab utlility or built in screen capture shortcuts in Mac OS X to capture a selection, Window or full screen and then try to use the “New from Clipboard” option in Preview but “New from Clipboard” is greyed out
  • You hear the bonk sound when trying to paste a screenshot into many Mac OS X applications after upgrading to Snow Leopard such as Preview, Text Edit or Mail
  • If you create a new profile on in Mac OS X, the New from Clipboard feature works as designed and without issue



The Preferences file for screenshots  for the current Mac OS X user profile has become corrupt during the Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard upgrade.


Luckily the solution for this is fairly simple, cause it bugged me for weeks before I put in some effort into finding a solution…and here it is.


New From Clipboard option not working after upgrading to Snow Leopard

New from Clipboard not working after upgrading to Snow Leopard

  1. Open Finder
  2. Browse to:
    • Your Home folder and then to
    • Library/Preferences
  3. Locate and Delete the following file:
    • com.apple.screencapture.plist
  4. Close Finder
  5. Empty your trash
  6. Reboot
  7. Test your New from Clipboard function!
  8. Enjoy yet another great built in Mac feature.

Thanks to Signe Maten for contributing this solution on Apple’s Discussion Forums.


Wow, 21 Comments! We've got a conversation going now. Join the discussion below!

  1. criistii says:

    First of all, it didn’t work for me. Second, “Enjoy yet another great built in Mac feature”, Seriously?? A bugged print screen is a great Mac feature?

  2. Scott says:

    I am having the same problem with Preview using OS 10.5.8, somehow it has become corrupted. In Preview, under the file menu “New From Clipboard” is grayed out/inactive. I tried deleting “com.apple.Preview.plist” from Home Directory/Library/Preferences, rebooting, running Disc Utility repair permissions, etc. but nothing is working. Any suggestions from you knowledgeable MAC users out there?

  3. Rosco says:

    Hi Scott,

    Firstly, deleting the com.apple.Preview.plist file won’t fix this issue. It’s the Screen Capture plist that needs to go.

    Try deleting the com.apple.screencapture as described above.

    If you don’t have one, try the following: Open Terminal and paste the following command in substituting your account name for the yourusername string: defaults write com.apple.screencapture location /Users/yourusername/Desktop/

    If this doesn’t work, try creating a new dummy user account and logging into it. See if you can use the New from clipboard feature from there..let me know how it goes.



  4. Andre says:

    Hi Ross, I purchased your BetCalc Pro iPhone app from iTunes. Not bad but one very frustrating bug. The default numeric keypad that comes up when you want to enter odds does not give you the option of using the “/” to enter fractional odds or “.” to enter decimal odds. Would you kindly address this issue as soon as possible and get in touch. Thanks and Regards.

  5. Scott says:

    Thanks Rosco for your suggestions. However, this did not fix the problem. Let me describe exactly what I am doing and the problems I am experiencing. I am running Mac OS 10.5.8 on a Mac Pro. In iTunes, I copy some art work to the Clipboard and then in Preview I go to “New from Clipboard”, but it it grayed out/inactive. I can also open up Photoshop and create a new document and cmd v (Paste) and NOTHING. Now I go back to Finder to check and make sure that there exists the artwork I copied in the first place, yes it is still there. Now there is a go around I have been using. In iTunes I grab the artwork and drag it to my desktop. A copy of the artwork now exists on my desktop that when I double click on it, it opens in Preview and is exactly what I was trying to accomplish, but this is a back door maneuver that I would rather not take. I would like things to work the way they are supposed to, wouldn’t we all. Thanks to all who read this and I hope some one knows how to fix this.

  6. Rosco says:

    Hi Scott,

    I believe the problem you are experiencing is different from (but similar to) what is described in the article. This article specifically relates an issue caused during the upgrade to Mac OS 10.6.x (Snow Leopard) and not 10.5.x (Leopard) which is what you are running.

    I would be interested to learn some more to see if the issue is indeed system wide or just confined to iTunes artwork.

    Can you grab a screenshot (using Grab or by the shortcut key CTRL+SHIFT+CMD+4) and go into Preview and see if New From Clipboard is active?



  7. Scott says:

    Hello again Rosco,
    Thanks for your attention with this. I did what you asked and indeed after holding down (CTRL+SHIFT+CMD+4) I took a picture of something on my desktop. I then opened up Preview and “New from Clipboard” was active. I then clicked on it and the picture of what I grabbed with those commands was there. What next?

  8. Rosco says:

    Hi Scott…seems like the problem is isolated to iTunes.

    Can you tell me how you’re going about copying the album artwork to the clipboard in iTunes?

    For example, I just tried to do it by right clicking a song, choosing Get Info, clicking into the ArtWork tab, selecting the artwork with a single click, clicking Edit > Copy, opening Preview and clicking File > New From Clipboard and it worked.

    Can you give this a go? Also, please try multiple different albums…I’m not sure yet if there is perhaps some kind of protection on artwork from albums purchased through iTunes versus albums you’ve put up there yourself, etc.


  9. Scott says:

    Hey Rosco,
    I performed the above mentioned on several pieces of album art work (artwork I scanned myself) and I get the same results. Keep in mind my mention of how this also doesn’t work with Photoshop.
    What do you think it could be?

  10. Rosco says:

    Hey Scott, yes the fact that it does not work in photoshop either implies that the artwork is never actually making it onto the clipboard from iTunes.

    Can I verify what I think you meant earlier by saying, “Now I go back to Finder to check and make sure that there exists the artwork I copied in the first place, yes it is still there.”

    Did you mean that you used the Edit > Show Clipboard feature in Finder and you can see your Artwork on the clipboard?


  11. Scott says:

    Hey Rosco,
    Yes, that is what I would do. I would verify that indeed the artwork existed on the the Finder’s clipboard. I did this to see at what step was it failing. It would seem that the Finder clipboard and Preview are having some communication issues.

  12. Rosco says:

    Hi Scott, it seems it’s clearly not something simple going on here.

    Has this ever worked for you??

    If you want to continue trying to narrow down the problem you can try creating a new user profile on your Mac and trying the same thing in the new profile. This will tell you if the problem is related to only your profile or system wide. There could be a corrupt plist file or a premissions problem somewhere. Have you run repaired permissions in disk utility?

    Can you copy/paste anything else out of iTunes, for example, a piece of text from a properties box?

    The fact that you are seeing the item on the Finder’s clipboard indicates to me that it is copying out of iTunes but is not ‘pasteable’ for want of a better word but yet when you use the screen capture tool you have no problems pasting or using New from Clipboard.

    Give the above items a go and let me know.


  13. Claire says:

    HI Rosco,
    Im having a similar problem with preview. I need to grab a photos that are embedded in a Word document when I drag the photo to my desktop it creates a picture clipping and I try to open it with preview, for the first photo this worked perfectly but I tried to do it with another photo and the new from clipboard action is inactive. I tried your suggestion of deleting the file com.apple.screencapture.plist but I couldnt find one. I also tried using your suggestion of Terminal but I got a command not found response, any suggestions? Im using a Macbook Pro 10.6.6.


    1. Rosco says:

      Hi Claire,
      I’m not sure I understand entirely what you’re attempting. Where does the copy operating come into it? If you drag the attachment to the desktop and then open the clipping using Preview it should just open. New from Clipboard sholdn’t be required.

      To verify that New from Clipboard is working simply open any image file in Preview, hit CMD+A and then CMD+C and then click the File menu to see if New from Clipboard is active.



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  19. Collin says:

    I feel like an idiot, but when i pull up Finder there is no option for “Your Home Folder” or “Library/Preferences”. Is there some reason those are not showing up under Finder?

    1. Edu says:

      Yes. Click on your Home folder, then go to VIEW -> SHOW VIEW OPTIONS and click on Show library folder.

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