Can You Clear the Clipboard on an iPhone?

Yes, there's an easy workaround you can use

What to Know

  • The iPhone clipboard saves only one item at a time. Clear it by replacing the item with empty text using an app like Notes.
  • Open Notes and type two spaces into the search field. Tap and hold on the spaces and select Copy.
  • To confirm you've cleared the clipboard, open an app, tap and hold on a blank text field and select Paste.

This article explains how to clear the iPhone clipboard by replacing the saved item with empty text.

How to Clear the iPhone Clipboard

The clipboard in iOS is fairly limited. It can only hold one piece of information at a time, and it's not directly accessible to a user. But, you can use that limitation to your advantage.

Replacing the text in the clipboard with empty text is a good way to effectively wipe out the old information saved there. All you need to do is copy a space and you'll be set. Here's how to do that.

The method below also works for the Universal Clipboard feature (the shared clipboard between your iPad, iPhone, and Mac) on Apple devices.

  1. Open any app that has a text input field. We recommend Notes.

  2. Type two spaces into the search field.

  3. Tap and hold on the spaces and select Copy.

    Copy blank text to write over data on your iPhone's clipboard.

That's it! Any data you had in your clipboard will be replaced by the two spaces. 

How to Confirm the Clipboard is Empty

To verify that your clipboard is essentially empty (containing two spaces) all you have to do is paste that into an app.

  1. Open any app with a text field. Again, we recommend Notes.

  2. Tap and hold on the search field at the top. 

  3. Tap Paste.

    Paste blank data from the iOS clipboard.

Why Do I Need to Clear My iPhone's Clipboard?

The clipboard built into iOS is limited to a single string of text, but developers can write their apps to allow access to that string of text. There are legitimate reasons for needing this access, but not all apps have legitimate intentions. For example, TikTok was found to be accessing the clipboard some time ago, and has since pledged to stop doing it.

Not everything that you copy and paste necessarily poses a security risk. There are plenty of situations where you'll copy and paste information and not want that information to get out. Passwords, banking information, telephone numbers, addresses and more can be copied and pasted. Of course, you wouldn't want any of that information to get out, so it's a good idea to simply clear your clipboard by following the steps above once you're done moving information around.

A Note About Third-Party Apps

It is important to note that iOS offers several third-party clipboard managers, and this method will not necessarily clear those. You'll need to consult individual app support if you use a third-party clipboard manager. This method of clearing the clipboard only works for the built-in iOS clipboard you get with your phone.

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