- Copy-pasting text is one of the first things we learn when we get to touch a computer for the very first time.
- This useful feature allows you to store content in your clipboardand then move it to another tool for further use or editing.
- If your browser prevents you from using copy and paste on certain webpages, the guide below will show you how you can quickly fix this problem.
- Speaking of browsers, if you're not happy with your current browser, feel free to explore our collection of guides dedicated to browsers.
Usually, copy and paste is a very simple action that can be performed by anyone, but now and then, your browser will not allow you to copy and paste text from certain websites. Furthermore, it won’t even let you select the content.
This can get pretty frustrating, especially if you need large chunks of text from a site for research purposes.
For more info on how to do that, check the steps below.
What to do if copy-paste won’t work in browsers
- Go to Settings > on the bottom click on Advanced > Privacy and security.
- Type about:config in the address bar > confirm if any message appears.
- Then you will see a list of Firefox preferences.
- Go to Settings > in the left side-panel select Websites.
- Launch Group Policy Editor > User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Microsoft Edge.
- Click OK.
2. Copy from the source code
- Press Ctrl + U on the desired page and you should see its code.
- Use Ctrl + F to navigate and find exactly what you need.
Note: Besides all the text you’ll see a lot of code, links to images, and other things, but it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to copy them for further use without jumping through few hoops.
3. Other useful methods
- Print the website to PDF and then access the content you need. We also have a guide on how to print to PDF so be sure to check it out.
- Take a screenshot of the site, if you’re more interested in photos, or use OCR (Optical Character Recognition) for text.
That’s it. Hope that one of these solutions helped you copy the content you need. Remember that you can copy text and other content just for personal use.
If you’re aware of another method to copy content from websites that don’t allow it, share it in the comments section below along with any other questions you may have.
FAQ: Learn more about copy-pasting
- How do you copy and paste on a computer?
There are three ways you can copy and paste text on a Windows computer:
- Use keyboard shortcuts: select the text, press CTRL + C to copy it and then press CTRL + V to paste it.
- Use the Edit menu: select the text, go to Edit, click on Copy to copy the text. Click on the place where you want to paste the text, go to the Edit menu and click on Paste.
- Use Drag and Drop: select the text, press and hold down your mouse button and then move your cursor to where you want to place the selected text. Simply release your mouse button to paste it.
- How do you copy from a website that won’t let you?
If you want to copy text from a website that disabled text selection, press CTRL + U to open the website source code and copy the text directly from there. Alternatively, you can also print the respective web page to PDF.
- When you copy text where does it go?
When you copy text, the respective text chunk is temporarily stored in your clipboard. Once you copied a new chunk of text, the new item automatically replaces the previous.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in June 2019 and has since been updated for freshness and accuracy.