Copy/paste not working for you in iOS 9? Here's the workaround!

There's a bug in iOS 9 affecting some people using its pasteboard: The gist is, when you go to copy and paste something on your iPhone or iPad, instead of pasting what you just copied, it pastes whatever you copied previously instead. So, if you copied some text yesterday, then copy a web link today, you'll paste the text instead of the link. It doesn't happen all the time, but does happen often enough that we've gotten several requests for help troubleshooting it. Well, here's what you can do!

How to fix copy/paste problems in iOS 9

To make sure you paste what you most recently copied, here's what to do:

  1. Go to the text, link, or other item you want to copy.
  2. Tap to bring up the Edit menu.
  3. Tap Copy.
  4. Tap to bring up the edit menu again.
  5. Tap Copy again.

Most of the time repeating the copy cycle twice gets the right content onto the pasteboard.

If you're trying to copy a selection, you can simply move the drag handles around a bit first. That seems to ensure the copy. If your goal is to share something, you can also use the Share Sheet instead:

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  1. Go to the content you want to share.
  2. Tap the Share button.
  3. Choose the service you want to use to share it.
  4. Send away!

That's especially useful for situations where you just want to iMessage a link from Safari, for example.

The problem currently seems to affect all versions of iOS 9, though not for everyone. Given how core pasteboard is to the system, hopefully Apple will have a fix ready soon.

I've filed it with Apple's bug reporter system as rdar://24334129, and it came back as a dupe of rdar://23129518.