Copy and Paste To Citrix Not Working? [SOLVED]


Having a problem in Citrix where the copy and paste to Citrix from your device does not work can be frustrating. As information copying and pasting saves a lot of time by not having to manually reenter the information into an application like a spreadsheet, word processor or even customer management system (CMS).

So, why is copy and paste to Citrix not working? Copy and paste to Citrix will not work if it has been disabled by the Citrix administrator or the user’s clipboard or web browser are not configured correctly. The clipboard redirection policy can be set by Citrix Administrators to stop any copying and pasting operations to Citrix from the user’s device or browser.

Copy and paste are a common function used by many computer users to quickly move text or images from one location to another. This can help productivity as information doesn’t need to be recreated and can be used as is. However, for some users, copy and paste to Citrix does not seem to be working. While there could be many reasons why this is the case, there are a few explanations.

The Clipboard redirection policy can be set on the Citrix backend servers, where the clipboard is a temporary storage area (generally memory) to store copied information before it is then pasted. Without the clipboard being available, information can not be copied into temporary storage, therefore no information storage, means no information to be pasted.

This clipboard redirection policy when enabled, forces any Citrix connections from the user’s device to automatically have their copy and paste functionality disabled by disabling the temporary storage of the clipboard. Even Citrix session running within a web browser like Chrome, can end up disallowing copy and paste if it’s disabled by a Citrix policy.

When the Citrix Administrator has enabled copy and paste but it is still not possible to copy and paste to Citrix, then the device where the Citrix client (Workspace, Receiver) is installed may have a configuration setting that disables clipboard sharing. By enabling clipboard sharing on the device, the copy and paste functionality should be restored.

Depending on the device where the Citrix Workspace (or Citrix Receiver) software is installed, the configuration settings to enable clipboard sharing may differ. With thin clients having settings in their configuration settings whilst Microsoft Windows® based devices, will have a local or group policy that dictates clipboard sharing.   

The user’s clipboard might not be configured correctly on their operating system or the web browser they are launching their Citrix session from. To check this on Microsoft Windows®, the user can open the clipboard tool and make sure that both the “Enable Clipboard Sharing” and “Copy Items To Clipboard” boxes are checked.

Other operating systems and web browsers will have different settings to enable the clipboard but generally these should be automatically set to enabled unless they have been manually changed.

It doesn’t matter if you’re using a web browser like Chrome, a thin client, Mac, Linux or even Microsoft Windows®, if the redirection policy is set to disable copy and paste, there’s very little that can be done to circumvent this policy. Other than asking the Citrix Administrator to disable it and this may be more difficult than it sounds.

Copy and paste from Citrix to a user’s device

The redirection policy can also be set to allow some forms of copy and paste like between applications within the Citrix session, whilst at the same time stopping any copy and paste operations to Citrix and from Citrix to the user’s desktop on their computer or laptop.

When the copy and paste from Citrix to a user’s device doesn’t work, this is down to the redirection policy being enabled to prohibit clipboard sharing from Citrix to the device. This is done to protect information from being taken from Citrix to the device, where it could be leaked and use inappropriately without the relevant authorization.

The copy and paste functionality in Citrix can also allow information within a Citrix session to be copied and pasted onto the device from where the Citrix session is running. Like an employee’s own laptop, where as part of a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy, employees use their own computers, smart phones, tablets and laptops.

Many employers don’t want their information including sensitive information like personal details of their customers, their systems, their plans and so on, ending up on devices outside of their control. As this information can be used by those who are not authorized, thereby affecting the confidentiality of the information.

With the rise of people using their own devices as part of BYOD, employers are keen to ensure their information is safe. Citrix software enables employees to use their own devices and securely connect to their employers’ systems. Where, several settings including clipboard redirection can be disabled, to stop any information being copied from the Citrix session into the user’s device.

Citrix policies can supersede any local settings on devices when it comes to using the clipboard to store information that’s been copied. As the Citrix policy will disable the clipboard thereby stopping information from being copied, as there is nowhere to copy the information too.  

Without anyway to copy the information, there is absolutely no chance of the information being removed from the employers’ systems, as it can’t be pasted onto devices outside the control of the employer.

Copy and paste between Citrix applications

Copying and pasting between Citrix applications can help move information between applications, like copying data from a word processor document into a spreadsheet. Instead of having to type the information over again.

When the copy and paste doesn’t work between Citrix applications this can be down to the applications being on different backend Citrix servers, where the redirection policy may be different between the two servers. Where one server could have the policy enabled and the other server has the policy disabled.

This ends up causing the copy and paste function to fail, as the Citrix server with the prohibitive policy that disables copy and paste takes precedence, even though one of the Citrix servers could have the redirection policy set to as allowed.

Generally, a site wide policy controlling redirection is considered best practice instead of limiting it to server by server, where the site policy applies to all Citrix servers. Saving time and effort when changes are made to the polices as these automatically propagate to all Citrix servers within the site, instead of having to manually set a policy on each Citrix server.

When a user’s Citrix session has been limited in some way, for example, if the user only has read-only access to certain files or folders, they will not be able to copy and paste those files into another location. So, if the files are stored in a file server with locked down restrictions to read only, trying to copy these files to another folder on a different server will not be possible.

Many organizations can restrict file permissions to allow for reading only, to stop the chances of that information being taken away to another location. As keeping the information in one location, allows the organization to keep control of the information, instead of having the information located across many different areas, where it becomes difficult to keep track of the information.

How to copy paste in Citrix?

There are a few ways to copy and paste within Citrix. One way is to use the Ctrl+C to copy the information and then Ctrl+V shortcut to paste the information. To copy all the information in one go, which is especially handy if you need to copy the entire contents of a document instead of holding down the shift key and moving the cursor from the top of the document to the bottom at the same time, you use Ctrl+A, the Ctrl+C to copy it and finally Ctrl+V to paste it.

Another way is to use your mouse, by right clicking on the text you want to copy and then selecting Copy, then right-click in the destination area and select Paste. This is probably the best way to copy non text like images, as the mouse pointer can be moved over the image and by right clicking the mouse, the image can be selected for copying.

Many people find using short cuts like Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V quicker than using their mouse, especially for text. Ctrl+A makes it even quicker when large amounts of text can be all selected in one go. This can also be done using the mouse option, where right clicking brings up the option to select all.

To copy from Citrix to the device requires the redirection policy enabled to allow copy and paste. Then it’s just a simple matter of using keyboard shortcuts or the mouse, to copy information (Ctrl+C and right click, select copy on the mouse, respectively). Followed by using the Ctrl+V to paste using the keyboard shortcut and right click, select paste on the mouse.

To copy from the device to Citrix, the clipboard sharing needs to be enabled on the device as well as the redirection policy enabled on the Citrix server where the user’s session is running from. Again, the shortcut keys of Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V can be used, or the mouse and the right click options of copy and paste.

Summary

Copy and paste operations can be controlled by Citrix policies, allowing Citrix administrators to disable clipboard operations that allow information to be copied and stored in the clipboard, from where it can then be pasted.

Copying to Citrix from a user’s device or web browser will only be possible if the Citrix redirection policy is enabled and the configuration of the device or web browser being used to connect to Citrix has the clipboard enabled.

Copying from Citrix to a user’s device or web browser is generally disabled by employers to stop their sensitive information being leaked and used by unauthorized individuals. Citrix provides a barrier between the corporate systems and those of their employees when the employees are allowed to use their own devices like laptops, smartphones and tablets.

Copying between different applications in Citrix may not work if the applications are not on the same Citrix backend server, as different Citrix servers may have different content redirection policies. Where one server having the policy to disable content redirection will stop any applications installed, from having their information copied to another application.

Jas Singh

I specialize in writing about technology subjects from Citrix, gaming to products from Apple, Microsoft, Oculus. My goal is to ensure the information I write, is to the point, has the relevance required and is easily understood by all.

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