How to Copy and Paste on a Chromebook

Get the info and transfer it where you want

Acer Chromebook with Lorem Ipsum on screen

Maurizio Pesce / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

You can copy and paste on Chromebooks just like you can on other computers.

This can be accomplished with both key combinations, where you press specific sets of keys together, and through the context menu, you get when right-clicking on things like web pages. If you have a touchscreen Chromebook, or your Chromebook doesn't have a right touchpad button, you can still copy and paste.

How to Select and Copy Text on a Chromebook

Copying and pasting text selections on a Chromebook is very straightforward. First, you need to find the text you would like to copy, then you have to select it. With the text selected, you can copy it with either a key combination or by right-clicking.

how to copy and paste text selections on chromebook

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

  • Locate some text you would like to copy. The text can be on a webpage, in an email, or in any other document that allows you to select text.
  • Left-click the left edge of the text you want to select.

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

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

  • Select Copy.
  • Open the app 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.
  • Right-click where you want to paste the text.
  • Select Paste.

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.

copy and paste keyboard shortcuts on chromebook

Here are the keyboard shortcuts to copy and paste on a Chromebook:

  • Press Ctrl+C to copy
  • Press Ctrl+V to paste

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.

chromebook select all shortcut

If you want to quickly select an entire webpage or document, here is the key combination:

  • Press Ctrl+A to select all

With the text selected, you can then copy it with the context menu by right-clicking, or use Ctrl+C shortcut to copy the whole thing.

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.

copy and paste images chromebook

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

  1. Locate an image that you would like to copy.
  2. Right-click the image, or hold Alt+Left-click.
  3. Select copy image.
  4. Open an image editing app, and create a new image.
  5. Press Ctrl+V to paste the image.

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, so this is very handy if you find a video you'd like to share.

copy video chromebook

To copy a video link on a Chromebook:

  • Locate a video you want to share.
  • Right-click on the video, or hold Alt+Left-click.
  • Select Copy video URL.

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.

  • 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.
  • Right-click where you want to paste the link, or hold Alt+Left-click.
  • Select Paste.