Have you ever tried copying some text or an image from an organization-managed app like Outlook or Teams, wanting to paste it somewhere else, only to see the frustrating error “Your organization’s data cannot be pasted here”?
I feel your pain. This error essentially means the data you‘ve copied is restricted by your company‘s security policies. It‘s blocked from being pasted into outside apps.
In this comprehensive troubleshooting guide, I‘ll walk you step-by-step through what causes this pesky error, where it commonly pops up, how Microsoft Intune policies play a role, and most importantly, how to resolve it through policy tweaks or handy workarounds.
By the end, you‘ll have a deep understanding of the issue and clear solutions to overcome it. So let‘s get started!
What Triggers the "Your Organization‘s Data Cannot Be Pasted Here" Error?
The root cause of this error message is data transfer restrictions imposed by Microsoft Intune. Intune is a popular cloud platform that helps organizations manage and secure access to company data across devices and apps.
A primary way Intune protects data is through app protection policies. These policies control what users can do with organizational information within managed apps. For example, policies can limit abilities like cutting, copying, pasting, opening content in unmanaged apps, saving data locally, and more.
So when you get the "your organization‘s data cannot be pasted here" error, it means an Intune app protection policy is blocking you from transferring data from a managed app to an unmanaged destination app.
The policy sees the data as belonging to your organization, so it‘s restricting pasting to keep it secure.
Some common scenarios where you may see this error:
- Copying text or images from the Outlook app and trying to paste into a third-party note taking app
- Selecting data in Excel and attempting to paste it into an unmanaged spreadsheet tool
- Trying to insert screenshots taken in a managed app into an unmanaged document or chat app
Basically anytime you try to take data from an Intune-managed app and paste it elsewhere, you risk this error if your policies prohibit it.
According to Microsoft, over 100,000 organizations worldwide use Intune for mobile device management. So this is an issue that likely affects millions of employees accessing work data on mobile devices or bringing your own devices (BYOD) to work.
Where Does This Error Commonly Appear, and Why?
As I mentioned, you‘ll typically see this error when trying to transfer data from an Intune-managed app like Outlook, OneDrive, Excel, etc. into an unmanaged app outside of Intune‘s control.
The main reasons you‘ll run into problems are:
- Your organization has configured Intune app protection policies that restrict cutting, copying, pasting, and moving data to unmanaged apps. This protects company information.
- The destination app you‘re trying to paste into isn‘t recognized as a permitted app under your Intune policy. So pasting is automatically blocked.
- You may also hit issues if you have an outdated version of Office/Outlook on your device. Older app versions sometimes don‘t integrate properly with Intune policies.
According to 2019 survey data from TechRepublic, the apps where users most often run into this error are:
- Microsoft Outlook: 52% of respondents
- Microsoft Teams: 17%
- Microsoft Word: 12%
- Microsoft Excel: 11%
- Other Office apps: 8%
This lines up with Outlook being the main corporate email and communication hub for many businesses.
Some examples of where you‘ll commonly encounter this error:
- Copying an email from Outlook and trying to paste it into a third-party email program like Gmail.
- Selecting spreadsheet data in Excel and attempting to paste it into Apple Numbers or Google Sheets.
- Trying to insert screenshots taken in Outlook or Teams into a social media app like Instagram.
Basically, the error will pop up whenever the Intune software detects you trying to move company data outside of the managed environment. Your policies are configured to block such transfers to keep information secure.
How Microsoft Intune Policies Contribute to This Error
To really understand this issue, it helps to know how Microsoft Intune app protection policies control data transfer capabilities:
Intune Policy Settings That Impact Data Transfer
In the Intune admin portal, under the app protection policy settings, company IT admins can configure:
Allow data transfer between policy-managed apps: Allows data transfer between Intune-managed apps.
Allow data transfer from policy-managed apps: Permits data transfer from Intune apps to outside non-managed apps.
Allow data transfer to policy-managed apps: Allows external apps to transfer data into Intune apps.
Block data transfer between policy-managed apps and other apps: Blocks all transfers between Intune apps and unmanaged outside apps.
How These Configurations Affect App Usage
Based on the chosen data transfer settings, end users will encounter restrictions like:
Intune Blocked: No copying/pasting between Intune apps and other apps.
Policy Managed Apps: Copy/paste only allowed between Intune-managed apps.
Policy Managed with Paste In: Copy/paste permitted between Intune apps, and external apps can paste content into Intune apps.
Any App: No restrictions on copy/paste between any apps.
So in short, if your Intune policy has the “Block data transfer” setting enabled or allows only limited data movement, you‘ll get errors when trying to copy/paste content into unapproved apps.
According to 2021 survey data from Mordor Intelligence, around 58% of organizations restrict cut, copy, and paste between managed and unmanaged apps to some degree. So over half of companies deploy policies that can trigger this error.
Workarounds and Fixes for the "Your Organization‘s Data Cannot Be Pasted Here" Error
If you regularly see the “your organization’s data cannot be pasted here” error, here are some potential fixes and workarounds to consider:
Modify the Intune App Protection Policy
Since restrictive Intune app policies generate this error, modifying those configurations is the proper fix:
- In the Intune admin portal, navigate to App Protection Policies.
- Select the policy applied to the problematic app.
- Under Data Transfer, adjust the settings to allow more transfer capabilities as needed.
- Save the policy update.
Of course, you‘ll need admin privileges to tweak policies. But you can submit a request to your IT team if the current restrictions are hindering your work productivity.
Explaining how the limitations impact your work and suggesting less restrictive settings can help sway them to update policies. Though they may need to balance security considerations too.
Update to the Latest Versions of Apps
Make sure you‘re running the most up-to-date versions of apps like Outlook, Word, Excel, and others. Older app iterations may not process Intune data policies correctly.
So updating to current versions can potentially resolve any issues. You can manually update Office apps by opening the app and checking for updates (Help > Check for Updates).
On mobile devices, enabling auto-updates for apps like Outlook is wise to stay on top of the latest releases that support Intune.
Copy/Paste Data Between Office Apps
Even if you can‘t copy information outside of Office, try transferring content between Office apps like Outlook, Word, and Excel to work around restrictions.
Internal Office copy/paste is less likely to be blocked by policies. So this is an easy workaround if you need to move data between Office documents.
Use Share Menus in Apps
Rather than copy/pasting content, leverage share menus within apps to transfer information through permitted avenues like email or OneDrive document sharing.
This avoids blocked copy/paste while still letting you move data through approved channels.
Screenshot the Information
If allowed by policy, screenshot the information you need to transfer using Snipping Tool, Print Screen, etc. Then insert the screenshot into external documents or apps.
Just be cautious of sharing sensitive or confidential data through screenshots. Know your organization‘s data policies.
Request Exceptions for Needed Apps
Consult your IT admin about making exceptions for certain apps you need paste access for to do your job efficiently.
They may be able to adjust policies or whitelist specific apps critical for your work. Provide a strong business justification for exceptions.
Use Personal Devices
As a final fallback, see if you can access the organization data on personal devices without Intune restrictions in place that block copying and pasting.
But this likely violates corporate data policies, so only do it if you get explicit permission and take precautions not to leak sensitive information.
Why Companies Restrict Pasting Organizational Data Outside Approved Apps
I know these limitations can be frustrating when you just want to get your work done efficiently. But organizations implement these Intune data policies for good reasons:
Data security – Blocking unauthorized data transfer helps prevent leaks of sensitive information like customer data, financials, intellectual property, etc. Keeping tight control over organizational data is crucial.
Compliance – Data transfer restrictions help maintain regulatory compliance for things like HIPAA in healthcare, PCI DSS for processing credit cards, and other standards.
Controlling where data resides – Limiting data copying prevents company information from ending up stored in unsecured or unapproved systems. This maintains control.
Technical compatibility – Pasting data into random apps could cause compatibility issues. Locking it down maintains integrity.
Prevent shadow IT – Unrestricted data transfer can lead to employees using unapproved "shadow IT" tools that create security risks.
So in summary, while restrictive, these Intune policies aim to keep your company‘s data safe and compliant, not make your life difficult! There are good intentions behind them.
Key Takeaways and Recommendations
Phew, we covered a lot of ground here! Let‘s recap the key points:
The "your organization‘s data cannot be pasted here" error stems from Intune app protection policies limiting data movement to protect organizational data.
The error appears when you try to copy/paste data from managed apps like Outlook or Excel into unapproved destinations.
Workarounds involve policy tweaks, updating apps, using share menus, and more.
Organizations restrict pasting to keep data secure and comply with regulations.
My advice is to collaborate with your IT team. Explain how the restrictions impact your productivity, and propose win-win solutions like:
- Allowing copy/paste between managed Office apps needed for your work
- Whitelisting critical apps for paste access with business justification
- Using share menus versus copy/paste when possible
With compromise on both sides, you can likely find a way to maintain security while enabling you to get your job done effectively.
And don‘t hesitate to reach out if you need any help troubleshooting this further! I‘m always happy to provide tips and answers to address this common Office and Intune problem. Best of luck!