Want to learn what Windows clipboard is? Where Windows clipboard is? Want to view the Windows clipboard? Or even how to clear the Windows clipboard history manager? See the answers below.
What is Windows clipboard?
The clipboard, like in many other Operating Systems such as Linux, macOs, or even in your mobile phone, is a special location in your devices memory that temporarily stores the data, files or documents.
When something is copied to the clipboard, then it can be pasted on a new location. It can be files within your computer that can be copied from one folder to another. Or it can simply be information that you copy from the internet browser and paste that information to a email or document file.
The clipboard holds the information until you shutdown your device or copy something else.
The latest Windows version comes with a functionality that allows to manage the windows clipboard. See bellow how to manage it.
Cut, Copy and Paste explained and shortcuts
These three functions that can be used almost everywhere in all Windows programs and applications:
Cut – when cut is used, the item is placed to the Windows clipboard and ready to be moved to another location.
TIP: The easiest way to cut an item is by selecting it and pressing Ctrl + X on your keyboard. You can also right click on it and select cut from the context menu.
Copy – when you copy something, it remains at the same location and a copy of the item is placed in the Windows clipboard.
TIP: The easiest way to copy an item is by selecting it and pressing Ctrl + C on your keyboard. You can also right click on it and select copy from the context menu.
Paste – When paste is used, the item is copied from the Windows clipboard to the location that you have selected. You have to be aware that the item that you placed in the clipboard is compatible with the destination of the item. For example, you can’t copy text from the internet browser and paste it in windows file explorer, you have to paste it somewhere that supports text, like a document, a text file, into an email and so on.
TIP: The easiest way to paste an item is by choosing the destination and pressing Ctrl + V on your keyboard. You can also right click on it and select paste from the context menu.
If copy is used before, you can paste the item as many times as you want and in different locations, making multiple copies of it.
You can also keep copying items to the clipboard and then, later you can view your clipboard history and re-use copied items again instead of going back to original location and copy it again. This the advanced features of the windows clipboard and they are not enabled by default.
If you want to enable this features, I will explain below how to setup and view the windows clipboard and manage it.
Where is windows clipboard
Many people ask this, the simplest way to explain it is that Windows clipboard, as explained before, is a special location in your devices memory that temporarily stores the data, files or documents.
The windows clipboard isn’t a file, it is a feature, when Windows clipboard is used, its contents are stored in the device memory, to use this contents, simply go to the program or place you want to use it in, click the place where you want the contents to be put, and then paste the contents from windows clipboard.
If you want to access your Windows clipboard manager and history, just check below how to do it.
Turn on clipboard history
To turn on the clipboard history, go to Settings (Win + I) and click at “System”:
At the left panel click at “Clipboard” and in the right panel, we are going to click at “Clipboard History” to turn on the option:
Alternatively, the Windows clipboard can be turned on using a keyboard shortcut:
Let’s open the Windows clipboard history manager using keyboard shortcut keys “Win + V”, and then, click at “Turn on” button:
How to use the windows clipboard manager
With this feature turned on it doesn’t change the way how users can copy/paste content through Windows clipboard.
Users can still use keyboard shortcuts like “Ctrl + C” and “Ctrl + V”, and also the options “Copy” and “Paste” from the context menu.
After clipboard history is turned on, users can use the keyboard shortcut “Win + V” to open the Windows clipboard manager.
For example, after you copy the content you want, you go to the application that you want to paste the content.
Within the place that you want to paste the content, we are going to open the Windows clipboard history manager by the keyboard shortcut “Win + V” and then click the content you want to paste:
If there are items that you want to use more often, we can Pin them to the clipboard for a faster access.
To do that, just click the “3 dot” button and then click “Pin”:
How to sync clipboard between devices
Cloud synchronization is the most advanced feature of the windows clipboard. Through this feature, the users can copy/paste images and text between devices.
First, in order to be able to use this feature, it is needed a Microsoft Account and you have to use the same account between devices.
For privacy reasons, by default the cloud synchronization is turned off and it is needed to be manually setup if the user wants to use it.
To turn on this feature, go to “Setting” -> “System” -> “Clipboard” as explained before and at the right panel click “Turn on” at “Sync across devices”.
How to clear the Windows clipboard
The Windows clipboard also has the option that allows the user to clear the clipboard history.
This option could be used for privacy reasons or to solve issues between cloud synchronization.
To do this we go to “Settings” -> “System”.
Then we click “Clipboard” and in the right panel at “Clear clipboard data”, click at the “Clean” button:
After this step, all clipboard history is cleared from local computer and also from the Microsoft Account of the user.
Alternatively, we can click in the button “Clear all” from the windows clipboard history manager to delete all the contents of the same: