Pasteboard stops working for some customers

Number:rdar://25691051 Date Originated:2016-04-12
Status:Duplicate Resolved:
Product:OS X Product Version:10.11
Classification:Serious Bug Reproducible:Sometimes
[I submitted this to DTS (Follow-up: 639288258) and got the reply: "Our engineers have reviewed your request and have determined that you are experiencing an issue for which there is no known workaround at this time."  So here's a bug report to upvote.]

I have an app, Time Out, that users typically leave running, either as a normal or background (status item) app.  It provides breaks on a regular basis.

Some users have reported that after some time their pasteboards stop working: copy/paste and dragging.  The only solution is to restart the Mac.

I haven't experienced this myself, but I have had a few reports, and at least one of the users has offered to help test any fixes.

When the issue occurs, the following line appears in the Console (for pretty much every running app):

    CFPasteboardCreate(CFAllocatorRef, CFStringRef) : Lock timeout

I can't think of anything I do in the app that could cause a pasteboard issue; it doesn't do much in related areas.  

This issue isn't unique to my apps; a Google search reveals other examples, e.g.

I suspect that this is an obscure OS bug, but it's hard to know what the cause might be.  Do you have any information about this issue?  Can you help?


Steps to Reproduce:
I can't reproduce, but have a customer who can help.

Expected Results:
Pasteboard keeps working.

Actual Results:
Pasteboard stops working, with the above-mentioned error.



This issue was fixed (worked around) in version 2.1 and later of the Time Out app, after working with an DTS engineer. The cause was the break web view helper terminating before it has a chance to clean up, which left the global pasteboard in an unexpected state. It is an acknowledged Apple bug, which still exists, but possible to work around it. If anyone experiences this issue with Time Out 2.1 or later, let me know via

Possible cause

This drove me crazy for a long while!

It seems that this bug can be caused by an application named "Timeout" This was mentioned in

Hope it helps all those banging their heads with this too!

I have the same experience and console error messages after installing TimeOut

By banko.adam at May 10, 2016, 11:41 a.m. (reply...)

So, if you quit pboard process, the error went away. What makes this highly inconvenient is that I had to restart my applications where I want pasting to work.

Finder drag/drop also started working after relaunching Finder once I killed pboard.

I'm experiencing this as well.

In addition to clip board not working I also cannot drag/drop files in Finder (desktop or finder app).

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