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Apple admits iOS 16 has copy-paste bug — and a fix is coming

iOS 16
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Update: iOS 16.1 second beta just launched — and it fixes the paste bug.

Anyone running iOS 16, whether you've got a new iPhone 14 or an older model, has likely run into the new software's frustrating insistence on asking for permission every time you copy and paste something.

The good news is that Apple's aware of it, and it's not an intended function. Although there's no sign of a fix just yet.

If you have yet to upgrade to iOS 16 (or can't), pop-ups appear when you copy and paste things on your iPhone, to make sure you know which app's data is currently stored in your clipboard. However, many users have reported excessive prompts, with the notification appearing every time they copy and paste from one app into another.

This isn't how it's meant to work. This was confirmed in an email from Ron Huang, vice president of Sensing & Connectivity at Apple and one of the inventors of the "Authenticated Interface Element Interactions" patent that this feature is based on. The message was shared with MacRumors by a reader who attempted to get a response from Apple's Tim Cook or Craig Federighi, but got a reply from Huang instead.

In the email, Huang writes that "This is absolutely not expected behavior and we will get to the bottom of it." Curiously, he says that Apple hadn't come across this feature internally, although Huang adds that there are others outside Apple who've been experiencing it.

There have been quite a number of iPhone 14 problems reported since the new iPhones went on open sale last Friday. These include activation and Messages and FaceTime issues, freezing during data transfer, and camera shake on the iPhone 14 Pro.

None of these appear to be hardware-based issues, so hopefully Apple will issue software patches soon to address the bugs. However, as an iOS 16-specific bug, the copy-paste permission problem may require its own patch that'll fix things for iPhone 13 and older iPhones.

In the meantime, you'll have to deal with these as best you can, including all those irritating copy/paste pop-ups. But, as Huang said when concluding his email, we should apparently "Stay tuned," which hopefully means there should be an answer soon.

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Richard Priday
Staff Writer

Richard is a Tom's Guide staff writer based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.