How To Use The Clipboard In Windows 10

Copying and pasting made easier

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In the October 2018 Update, a new clipboard feature was added to the Windows 10 operating system.

This new Windows 10 clipboard feature is significantly more advanced than the traditional clipboard experience, which was limited to pasting only the most-recently copied text or image. Now, you can view a variety of text and images which have been copied to your clipboard and choose which content you want to paste.

In addition to a greater number of items to paste, what really sets this clipboard feature apart is its ability to sync to other Windows 10 computers and tablets that use the same Microsoft account login. This means that you can copy images and text from one Windows 10 device and paste it onto another.

Here's how to use the modern Windows 10 clipboard feature.

How To Copy Content To The Windows 10 Clipboard

Basic copying of content to the clipboard on Windows 10 works in exactly the same way as in the past and can be done via the two following methods. The process is very similar to copying and pasting on a Mac.

  • Highlight your chosen text or image within an app and press Ctrl + C. This is referred to by many as the copy shortcut.
  • Right-click on text or images and select Copy from the pop-up menu.

How To Paste From The Clipboard On Windows 10

If you want to just paste the most-recently copied content from the clipboard into an app, you can still use the two traditional paste methods below.

  • Press Ctrl + V. This is the traditional paste shortcut used with most previous versions of the Windows operating system.
  • Right-click where you want to paste the content and select Paste from the pop-up menu.

By using the modern Windows 10 clipboard functionality, though, you can choose from a number of previously copied content from your clipboard history.

Only images smaller than 4MB can be saved to the Windows 10 clipboard.

To access this, you'll first need to view your clipboard history.

Windows 10 clipboard history.

This be done by pressing Windows + V. Once opened, scroll up or down to find the text or image you want to use and click on it to paste it into your open app.

How To Clear Clipboard Windows 10 Data

Deleting text and images from your Windows 10 clipboard can be done in three different ways.

Windows 10 clipboard with cleared content.
  • Open your clipboard by pressing Windows + V and then click on the X in the top-left of each item you want to delete. This is useful for when you only want to delete one item.
  • Open your clipboard by pressing Windows + V and then click Clear all. This will delete every single item within your Windows 10 clipboard with the exception of those that you've pinned.
  • Open Settings > System > Clipboard and click Clear. This will also delete everything within your Windows 10 clipboard except for your pinned items.

Pinning Windows 10 Clipboard Text

While clearing all of your clipboard content can be useful, there may be some content that you don't want to delete. Fortunately, you can manually select specific items and protect them from deletion by pinning them.

Pinned content within the Windows 10 clipboard feature.

To pin clipboard content, press Windows + V to open your clipboard and then click on the small pin icon to the right of whichever text and images you want to preserve. If done correctly, the horizontal pin icon should tilt to a 45 degree angle.

To unpin clipboard text or images, click on the pin icon again.

Once pinned, your selected content will be protected every time you clear your clipboard in the future.

How The Modern Windows 10 Clipboard Is Different

While the modern clipboard experience still uses the popular copy and paste shortcuts, Ctrl + C and Ctrl + V, it has some additional functionality that sets it apart.

  • All clipboard content can sync between Windows 10 devices that use the same account.
  • You can see your copied content before you paste it.
  • You can paste from a large selection of copied content instead of just the most-recent.
  • Clipboard items can be deleted. This is useful for those that don't want other users to see what they've been doing.
  • Select content can be protected against deletion by pinning.