The problem with disabling paste and what to do instead

Disabling paste is usually done in the name of security.

For example, let’s say the user has to type their email address twice. Using 2 separate inputs means a mismatch can be caught. But that doesn’t work if they paste an error from the first input into the second.

But disabling paste degrades UX and is a terrible way to stop users from making mistakes.

Here’s why:

Problem #1: It makes the interface feel broken

This is because users expect to be able to paste but instead it just gets ignored with no feedback.

Trying to paste into the password field gets ignored as paste is disabled

Problem #2: It slows users down

This is because the user has to type everything again from scratch.

User has to type the password manually because paste is disabled

Problem #3: It increases the chance of error

This is because typing manually increases the chance of a mistake.

Give control and let users check answers

To do this consider using:

  • an email verification step
  • a ‘check answers’ page
  • a password reveal