How to Copy and Paste on a Chromebook

Get the info and transfer it where you want

You can copy and paste on Chromebooks using keyboard shortcuts or through the context menu that appears when you right-click text or images. If you have a touch-screen device, or if your Chromebook doesn't have touchpad buttons, you can still copy and paste.

How to Select and Copy Text on a Chromebook

Copying and pasting text selections on a Chromebook is straightforward. Find the text you want to copy and select it. With the text selected, you can copy it with either a key combination or by right-clicking.

Here's how to copy and paste a text selection on a Chromebook using the right-click method:

If your touchpad only has one button or the entire touchpad clicks, it's a left-click by default.

  1. Locate text you want like to copy. The text can be on a webpage, in an email, or in any other document that allows you to select text.

    Text in a Google Doc.
  2. Left-click the left edge of the text you want to select.

  3. With the left touchpad button held down, drag the cursor on the screen to the right until you have selected the relevant text.

    Text selected in a Google Doc.
  4. With the text selected, right-click anywhere on the selection.

    If your touchpad has no right mouse button, hold Alt while clicking. You can also tap the touchpad with two fingers instead of one to right-click. To right-click on a touchscreen, hold your finger to the screen instead of tapping it.

  5. Select Copy from the context menu.

    Chromebook with selected text and Copy chosen in the menu
  6. Open the file you want to paste the text into. This could be an email, a Google Docs file, or anything else that allows you to paste text.

  7. Right-click where you want to paste the text and select Paste from the context menu.

    Right-click menu with Paste highlighted on Chromebook

Chromebook Enhanced Clipboard

The Chrome OS 89 update adds an enhanced clipboard, which saves your five most recently copied items. To bring up the enhanced clipboard, press the Launcher key + V, then select the item you wish to paste. If you don't have access to this feature, you can enable it in your Chrome flag settings.

How to Copy and Paste Text Using a Keyboard Shortcut

In addition to the context menu, you can also use keyboard shortcuts to copy and paste text on a Chromebook. These are actually the same standard shortcuts that are used on Windows computers, which makes them easy to remember.

The keyboard shortcuts to copy and paste on a Chromebook are:

  • Press Ctrl + C to copy
  • Press Ctrl + V to paste
  • Press the Launcher key + V to bring up the enhanced clipboard (exclusive to Chrome OS)

It's easy to remember Ctrl + C since the C stands for copy. Ctrl + V can be harder to remember, but it may be useful to think of the V as standing for velcro. This command cannot use Ctrl + P because that's used for printing.

Time Saver: Copying an Entire Webpage or Document

Selecting text to copy the old fashioned way isn't that difficult, but it can be troublesome if you want to select an entire webpage or document, especially if you need to scroll to view the entire thing. Doing so may take a long time, or scrolling may cancel out your selection.

To select an entire webpage or document, press Ctrl + A to select all.

Web page with all the text selected in Chromebook

With the text selected, you can copy it from the context menu by right-clicking and selecting Copy or by using the Ctrl + C shortcut to copy the whole thing.

Chromebook showing Copy highlighted in right-click context menu

How to Copy Images From Web Pages

Text isn't the only thing you can copy on a Chromebook. If you see an image you like, you can use the right-click context menu to save it, or you can copy and paste it into an image-editing app. This allows you to modify the image in any way you like prior to sharing it.

Here's how you can copy an image on a Chromebook:

  1. Locate an image that you want to copy.

    Image of a baked potato on a website.
  2. Right-click the image or hold Alt + Left-click to bring up the context menu.

    Right-clicking on an image within a webpage.
  3. Select Copy image in the menu.

    Chromebook with Copy Image chosen in menu
  4. Open an image editing app, and create a new image.

    The Paintz app within Chromebook.
  5. Press Ctrl + V to paste the image.

    An image of a baked potato pasted into the Paintz app.

Some images cannot be copied this way, and some image editing apps don't allow you to paste images that have been copied in this way. If your image editing app can open images from a universal resource locator (URL), try right-clicking the image, then selecting copy image URL instead.

How to Copy Videos on a Chromebook

You can't copy a video on a Chromebook in the same way you can copy images, but you can copy the URL. The URL of a video is the link you can share with people so they can also watch the video.

To copy a video link on a Chromebook:

  1. Locate a video you want to share.

    A video on the YouTube webpage.
  2. Right-click on the video or hold Alt + Left-click to bring up a menu.

    Right-clicking on a video within YouTube.
  3. Select Copy video URL.

    Chromebook with right-click menu and Copy video URL selected

Select copy video URL at current time to get a link to share that will let your friends start the video at that specific point. This is useful if a video takes a while to get going, or you want to share an especially funny or interesting moment.

  1. Open the app where you want to paste the video link. This could be an email, a messaging app, or any other app that allows you to paste text.

  2. Right-click where you want to paste the link, or hold Alt + Left-click to bring up a menu.

    Right-clicking in a Google Doc.
  3. Select Paste.

    Paste selected in the Chromebook right-click menu
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