Office 2003: Cannot Empty The Clipboard Error Message

ms office 2003 error cannot empty clipboardCannot Empty The Clipboard

There are a multitude of explanations out there as to why this error appears but thus far I have only experienced this error for one reason and it’s very specific.


I connect to a Windows 2003 Server through Remote Desktop Connection and the next time I attempt to do a copy or cut & paste operation in Excel or Word I receive the error message:  Cannot empty the Clipboard as displayed in the above screenshot.<!– ckey=”35103946″ –>


I have never received this error for the following reasons (as alleged by many other websites):

  • Auto calc not on
  • User error
  • Windows Clipboard Viewer
  • Download Managers
  • Pixie Dust or Gremlins 🙂

This article briefly explains exactly what conditions this error occurs under and provides you with two solutions.  One is a temporary solution and one is more permanent.


It depends on the level of access you have to the Windows 2003 Server that you are accessing via Remote Desktop Connection (RDC) as to which solution you want or can use.


So briefly, when you connect to Windows 2003 Server via Windows Remote Desktop Connection your Windows Clipboard gets shared with the session that you create on the Terminal Server.  This process is managed on the server by a file named rdpclip.exe.  It is this file that is causing the problem.


Solution 1 (Temporary):

This solution is temporary and the problem is likely to return the next time you create a new session through RDC.

  1. Close all Microsoft Office programs that you currently have open on your local system.
  2. Open your Remote Desktop session on the Windows 2003 Server and close any open programs
  3. Right click on the taskbar and click Task Manager
    Cannot Empty Clipboard
  4. Click the Processes tab and then click the first column to sort the processes alphabetically
  5. Locate the process rdpclip.exe and click it to highlight it
  6. Click End Process buton
  7. In the next warning dialog, click Yes
  8. Now minimize your Remote Desktop session
  9. On your local system, start Microsoft Excel and test the copy/paste function


Solution 2:

This solution is more permanent but it requires you to have the access and confidence to install Microsoft hotfixes on the Windows 2003 Server and you’ll also need to reboot the server when you’re finished installing.

  1. Ensure you meet the following requirements:
    • Windows 2003 Server
    • x86 (for ia64 visit
    • Service Pack 1 installed
  2. Download the hotfix here
  3. Install the hotfix on the Windows 2003 Server system
  4. Reboot the system and reconnect via Remote Desktop Connection

Delete MS Word ‘OfficeAddin’ Sametime Toolbar

Microsoft Office Word OfficeAddin

OfficeAddin for MS Word

After installing Lotus Notes 8 or greater including the Sametime component you will notice that a new toolbar called OfficeAddin has been added to your Microsoft Word application.


Very annoyingly, this toolbar also does not want to go away easily so much so that right-clicking and de-selecting it makes it disappear for just a minute and even going into toolbars and selecting Delete will only make it disappear until you restart Word.


This article will tell you how to get rid of it for good!  Well, at least until you install Lotus Notes or an upgrade to Lotus Notes again. 🙂


And if you do, just repeat this process.


Through a combination of forced registry entries and a windows DLL the OfficeAddin toolbar keeps re-appearing in Word after each restart.

Luckily we can get rid of it quite easily by following the solution below.


  1. Close Microsoft Word (if it’s open)
  2. Right click the Start button > Click Explore
  3. In Windows Explorer, browse to c:\notes\framework\brokerbridge
  4. On the right hand pane, locate the file OfficeAddin.dll
  5. Right click on OfficeAddin.dll and rename to OfficeAddin.old
  6. Close Windows Explorer
  7. Start Microsoft Word and verify that the toolbar is gone!
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