Browser will not allow copy and paste [Quick&Easy Fix]

Vlad Turiceanu
by Vlad Turiceanu
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  • 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 clipboard and then move it to another tool for further use or editing.
  • If you have any other issues with your browser we have a whole Browser Troubleshooting section full with solutions.
  • Speaking of browsers, if you're not happy with your current browser, feel free to explore our collection of guides from our Browsers Hub.
browser will not allow copy and paste

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.

This solutions also cover the following 4 issues:

  • How to copy and paste on websites that don’t allow it chrome
  • How to copy and paste when it won’t let you
  • How to copy text from web page that cannot be copied
  • How to copy text from a website that won’t let you

Quick tip: Try Opera, a fully customizable browser

Not many browsers out there can brag about their excellent flexibility like Opera.

For instance, you can choose a predefined search engine, to use by default or you can customize search by adding your own favorite search engine if you don’t find it on the list.

Opera also comes with a lot of embedded features like a weather forecast on the browser’s toolbar or automatic page translation.

There are more than 1,000 ways to customize Opera with the add-ons catalog at your discretion.

And about your copy-paste problem, in Opera, you can set your own key combinations for almost any browser action so you don’t need to rely on the precision of your mouse. That also means fast action!

Opera

Opera

With Opera you can customize your keyboard shortcut as you please so you won't have any more copy-paste issues.
Get it free Visit Website

What can I do if copy-paste doesn’t work in browsers?

1. Disable JavaScript

For Chrome

  1. Go to Settings and on the bottom click on Advanced, then Privacy and security.
  2. Go to Site settings, then JavaScript and Blocked. You can achieve the same result by typing the following line in the address bar: chrome://settings/content disable javascript firefox website won't allow copy paste

Firefox 

  1. Type the following line in the address bar and confirm is any message appears: about:config
  2. Then you will see a list of Firefox preferences.
  3. In the search box at the top of the page type javascript.enabled,  then double-click it to change its value from true to false.
    javascript enabled about config firefox browser will not allow copy and paste

Opera

  1. Go to Settings, then select Websites from the left side-panel.
  2. Select the third option, JavaScript, and click on Do not allow any site to run JavaScript.

Edge

  1. Launch Group Policy Editor, then go to User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Microsoft Edge.
    group policy editor Microsoft edge browser will not allow copy and paste
  2. Double-click on Allow you to run scripts, like JavaScript, and select Disabled.
  3. Click OK.

Remember to re-enable JavaScript after you copied the content you need. Some sites rely on it, so to avoid future problems, enable it back.


2. Copy from the source code

  1. Press Ctrl + U on the desired page and you should see its code.
  2. Use Ctrl + F to navigate and find exactly what you need. view page source copy content from a website that doesn't allow it

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

  1. Use extensions and add-ons like Disable JavaScript for Firefox or Absolute Enable Right Click & Copy
    for Chrome. There are similar extensions for other browsers, too.
    disable javascript extension browser will not allow copy and paste
  2. Use a proxy website that allows you to disable JavaScript before opening the site that’s of interest to you. Just go to your search engine and find a free proxy website.
  3. 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.
  4. 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?

The classic way of copy-pasting is use the Ctrl + C and Ctrl – V shortcuts. If for some reason, you can’t copy-paste, we have an awesome guide to help you fix that for Windows 10.

  • 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. Here’s a list with the best clipboard managers for Windows 10.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in April 2020 and has been since revamped and updated in August 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.