Fix Retrieving Data, Wait A Few Seconds And Try To Cut Or Copy Again

“While using the online version of Microsoft Excel, you might come across an error message that says, ‘Retrieving data, wait for a few seconds and try to cut or copy again.’ This message appears when you’re trying to transfer copied data to your computer. The Microsoft community forum has seen multiple reports of similar issues with Excel, and if you’re facing this problem too, the following troubleshooting tips can assist you in resolving this error.”

Many users have encountered the frustrating “Retrieving data, wait a few seconds and try cutting or copying again” error when working with Excel. This error message appears when attempting to copy and paste data from an Excel worksheet into another application, and it can also occur when copying between the Web and Desktop versions of Excel.

Understanding the Error

This error occurs when the expected data isn’t pasted correctly into the destination field. Despite the perception that this issue might be related to a specific Excel version or operating system, the problem is not limited to these factors. The root cause of this error lies in the synchronization process. In the past, Microsoft Office programs primarily operated offline, lacking the capability to extend features or functions through an internet connection. Consequently, data loss was common, especially during the days of Windows XP.

To address this, all data entered into the program was synchronized for backup purposes, ensuring that any changes made to a document were uploaded to an online server. If the synchronization process fails during copy/cut and paste operations, the error message appears.


Here are several methods to resolve this error:

1. Use Microsoft Office to Open the Excel File

  • Open the Excel document you wish to download.
  • Click on “File” and choose “Save As.”
  • Select “Download a copy.”
  • After downloading, open the file on the Excel desktop.
  • Now, you can copy and paste data without encountering retrieval errors. Note that Microsoft Office must be installed on your computer for this method to work.

2. Use Microsoft Excel App (for mobile devices)

  • If you don’t have access to MS Office offline, follow these steps:
    • Visit the Play Store on your Android device.
    • Find and install the Microsoft Excel app.
    • Once installed, open the downloaded file using the app.
    • Now, you can edit the datasheet without encountering errors.

3. Download the Document in an Offline Format

  • If you are using the online version, it’s advisable to download an offline copy and make modifications via your computer:
    • Access the document causing the error.
    • Click the “File” button, then choose “Save As.”
    • Select “Download a Copy.”

4. Use a Different Browser

In many cases, the error is more common in Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer. Try using a different web browser if you’re unable to resolve the issue with these browsers.

5. Re-select the Data After De-selecting It

  • To copy and paste selected data from the Excel web app, first deselect the data you want to copy/paste:
    • Deselect all data, then wait a few minutes.
    • Re-select the data you wish to duplicate.
    • Using the external application, paste the data.
    • In most cases, you should be able to paste data into Excel after synchronization is complete. Keep in mind that sometimes you may need to attempt this process multiple times.

These methods should help you resolve the “Retrieving data, wait a few seconds and try to cut or copy again” error. Choose the one that best suits your situation to ensure smooth data copying and pasting in Excel.

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