How To: Work Around the Copy/Paste Bug on the Samsung Galaxy S3, Note 2, and Other TouchWiz Devices

Work Around the Copy/Paste Bug on the Samsung Galaxy S3, Note 2, and Other TouchWiz Devices

If you have a Samsung Galaxy S3 or Galaxy Note 2, you might not have noticed it yet, but there's an annoying little bug that centers around your clipboard. If you tend to do a lot of copy/pasting on your device, you've probably seen it happen—your phone crashes.

Apparently, excessive copying to the clipboard is to blame for the crashes, and there have been many well-deserved complaints on this issue in hopes that Samsung would finally address the issue.

And this problem doesn't just affect the Galaxy S3 and Note 2, but all Samsung devices running TouchWiz and Android 3.0 or higher. For the cool kids using third-party keyboards, the clipboard function is non-compatible anyway; items will still be copied to the clipboard, but you will not be able to use them.

The problem most often occurs after around 20 or so copies to the clipboard. Most people reported the bug to be completely random, but most likely didn't keep count of how many times that copied text to their clipboard. So, after about the 20th clipboard addition, the phone will automatically shutdown and restart. In some cases, the phone never made it past the loading screen. Yikes!

The bug was first reported four months ago in a Samsung Developers forum by a member named Veeti Paananen, who stated: Samsung devices running TouchWiz and Android 3.0 or higher have a fatal clipboard bug that can cause it to become permanently unusable until a factory reset.

Recently, Terrence Eden recreated the crash on his Samsung Galaxy Note 2 to showcase what's actually happening, which you can witness below.

Samsung is well aware of the issue and has promised to fix the problem as soon as possible. Too bad they said that last year. So, in an effort to find some sort of solution to this problem, Mr. Eden also came up with a couple of ways to get around this super annoying bug.

Change the Clipboard Permissions to Read-Only

One method is to change the /data/clipboard folder to read only. However, if you do this, you will not be able to copy anything—anything.

But, if you do not copy anything, your phone will obviously not glitch due to copying too many things. Impressive right? So, you can use this method as a drastic but effective fix.

Root and Delete the Clips Manually

Since the problem seems to occur only after you have reached 20 items, you can avoid the problem by going into the system files and deleting the clipboard data yourself.

To access these files, you will need to be rooted and have a file manager to help you view the files. Take a look at this article in the GS3 SoftModders World, which will walk you through the rooting process for the GS3.

The files can be found in the data/clipboard folder.

Simply select all of the folders contained within the clipboard folder and delete them. You should do this every time you think you are about to reach 20 clipboard copies.

Yes, this is crappy to do every time, but it's really the only sure fire fix that is out there until Samsung actually addresses the issue.

Are you having this problem? Do you know of any other solutions? Let us know in the comments section.

Images by inam ghafoor, Terence Eden

5 Comments

Why not just hit clear while in clipboard or just delete old copies by individualy clicking on them, it's much simpler than just rooting your phone

A few things about this bug...

I've never experienced it. I tried every which way to recreate it; copying text, links, pictures, videos...phone stays solid.

My pull up Clipboard only holds up to 20 items. Even after clearing these, either individually or all of them, the folders remain in the data folder. The strange thing is though, at some point they do erase themselves. It really is weird. I'm trying to track down a pattern.

This shows 2 items in the Clipboard, but various items in the Clipboard data folder:

I started experiencing this after I started copy/pasting from Chrome. Something about the way Chrome issues a copy from a text field can regularly crash my phone. I'm pretty dependent on copy/paste and hadn't (to my knowledge) had a problem with the quantity of copies, but specifically the app I was copying from.

What if there is no data/clipboard folder on your phone? My phone doesn't have one, only data. Maybe I should make one? Stupid S3!

What I did was to copy multiple texts into clipboard (20+) by using a text editor (actually I used a tool for packages tracking, Trackchecker). Then clipboard came back alive.

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