A significant number of users have encountered an error message that states “Retrieving data. Wait a few seconds and try to cut or copy again” when attempting to copy or cut data from the Excel Web app to another application. This error message appears within the application instead of the data that was supposed to be copied or cut.
It is worth noting that this issue can also occur when trying to copy data from an Online Office version of Excel to a desktop version. Despite the problem being reported for several years, Microsoft has not released any hotfixes or patches to address it.
If you are currently grappling with this issue, there are several potential solutions that could be of help. After careful analysis, we have identified three methods that have proven successful for other users facing a similar situation. We advise that you consider implementing whichever solution is most applicable to your specific circumstance.
Method 1: A Temporary Solution – Deselect the Text and Try Copying and Pasting Again
The simplest and most expedient solution to this issue involves deselecting all text, waiting for a brief period of time, and attempting to copy the cells again before pasting them into an external application. This method is typically successful in resolving the “Retrieving data. Wait a few seconds and try to cut or copy again.” error. However, it is important to note that this fix may only provide a temporary solution.
If you are seeking a more permanent resolution, we recommend exploring the two methods detailed below. These methods are designed to address the underlying cause of the issue and prevent its recurrence in the future.
Method 2: Using the Desktop Version of Excel to Open the File
Several users have discovered a workaround for this issue by exporting the file from the web app and opening it using the desktop version of Excel. By doing so, the “Retrieving data. Wait a few seconds and try to cut or copy again.” error is typically resolved, allowing for free and uninterrupted cutting and pasting of data.
To take advantage of this solution, follow these simple steps:
- In the Excel Web App or Sheets, click on “File” and then select “Save as (Download As) > Microsoft Excel”.
- Once the file has been successfully downloaded, open it using the desktop version of Excel.
- You should now be able to copy and paste without encountering the “Retrieving data. Wait a few seconds and try to cut or copy again.” error.
It is important to note that this method may not work for all users, and some may feel that the process of exporting the file from the web app and opening it with the desktop version defeats the purpose of using the web app in the first place. In such cases, we recommend proceeding to Method 3 for an alternative solution.
Method 3: Resolving the Issue by Switching to a Different Web Browser
According to reports from several users, switching to a different web browser can often resolve the “Retrieving data. Wait a few seconds and try to cut or copy again.” error. It has been observed that this issue occurs more frequently with Internet Explorer (IE) and Edge browsers, and can be avoided by using a third-party browser.
To try this solution, we recommend installing and using a different web browser, such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Safari, and accessing the Excel Web App or Sheets through it. This may help to eliminate the “Retrieving data. Wait a few seconds and try to cut or copy again.” error, and allow for seamless copying and pasting of data.
It is important to note that this solution may not be effective for all users, and it is possible that the issue may persist even after switching to a different browser. In such cases, we recommend contacting Microsoft Support or seeking assistance from a qualified IT professional.