Easy Hacks to Access Your Windows Clipboard History
We’re here to answer all those burning questions about the inconspicuous tool — the clipboard. What is a clipboard on a computer? What’s the purpose? What does it do? Where is it?
So, the traditional clipboard is a space in your computer’s RAM that allows you to temporarily store and transfer data between application programs like Microsoft Word, Excel, and Powerpoint, to name a few.
Windows also offers a cloud-based clipboard that allows you to transfer data automatically across devices (more on that later). Why does this matter — why would you need the clipboard? If you save text and images on your PC, you can use them later. This is very handy if you are writing a paper, editing a document, creating a presentation or something similar to those tasks.
For example, let’s say you want to save several recipes you found online and combine them into a single Word doc. Both the Windows and OneLaunch clipboards allow you to copy as many as 25 recipes and then paste them into a single Word document, without having to go back and forth between browser pages and Word.
To copy and paste you have a couple of options.
How to Copy/Paste Using Your Mouse
- Select the text or image by pressing down the left mouse key and dragging the blue highlight across the entire area you want to copy.
- Right-click your mouse and select Copy.
- Place your cursor where you want to save the “clip” like in a Word document, right-click again, and select Paste.
- You will immediately see the text or image you copied.
How to Copy/Paste Using Shortcut Keys
- Select the text or image with your mouse as we did above.
- To copy: Press the Ctrl button on your keyboard and the letter C at the same time.
- To paste: Place your cursor where you want to paste your selection and press the Ctrl keyboard button and the letter V, simultaneously.
You can also copy/paste links and files from one location on your computer to another using either your mouse or keyboard shortcuts.
Now that you’ve got the copy/paste basics, let’s see how you can transfer its contents across computers and mobile devices using Windows.
About the Windows Clipboard
Back in 2018, Microsoft released its cloud-based clipboard. This new Windows tool brought several new features such as the clipboard history, the ability to pin frequently used items in your clipboard history, and the ability to sync your clips across multiple computers or mobile devices. By default, the clipboard history and ability to sync clips across devices are disabled in both Windows 10 and 11, which means you must go into your computer’s settings and enable the features. Here’s how:
- Tap the Windows Start menu on your home screen and tap the Settings gear icon.
- In Settings, type “clipboard” in the search bar.
- Toggle the buttons for Clipboard history and Sync across devices. The latter is optional if you want to copy/paste items to multiple computers or mobile devices. If not, leave it off.
Note: To sync across devices, you must enable the sync feature on each device.
Now it’s time to answer the burning question about how to access the Windows clipboard. Where is the clipboard in Windows 10? To view the contents of your clipboard in Windows 10 or 11, simply press the Windows key and the letter V simultaneously. This method of accessing the clipboard in Windows is called the Windows clipboard history shortcut.
When you open the clipboard, you can view up to 25 of your past clips. In Windows 11 you will see a pin icon in each clip. Tap that pin to save that clip. For Windows 10 you’ll need to tap the three-dot menu in each clip to pin them. Any clips over the max 25, will remove your oldest unpinned clip(s) in your clipboard history to make room for new ones. This is true for both Windows 10 and 11.
Using the clipboard in Windows 10 and 11
Once your clipboard history is enabled, you can copy your text/image, etc. with a right click of your mouse or the Ctrl+C shortcut. The item you copied will go into your clipboard. To paste one of your clips, press the Windows + V to open your clipboard. Tap the clip, text, or image, you want to insert into the document. Next, place your cursor in a Word document or Google Doc (or whatever file and program you’re working in), right-click your mouse, select paste and it will immediately appear. If you start with your cursor in an open document and then open your clipboard and tap on a clip it will automatically paste into wherever your cursor is. The clip remains in your clipboard (until you or Windows deletes it).
Using the clipboard across computers/devices
You can view and use all the clips you’ve copied and pasted into the clipboard on another device providing they, too, have the sync feature enabled in Settings. One feature Windows 11 clipboard has that Windows 10 lacks is the ability to paste/insert emojis, gifs, symbols, or kaomojis right from your clipboard into your currently open document.
While Microsoft makes the clipboard in Windows convenient across multiple computers, there is one thing you can do to make accessing your clipboard easier.
OneLaunch Clipboard History
The OneLaunch clipboard history works like the clipboard in Windows 10 and 11 with one big advantage. Your clipboard is visible at all times, so there’s no need to go searching for it with extra keystrokes. So, where is OneLaunch’s Windows clipboard? It is located at the top right of your OneLaunch desktop. Tap the clipboard icon to view, copy, search, or clear your clips. To make copying an item into your clipboard history, easier tap the OneLaunch Snippet tool (scissors icon) and select from image options from full screen to a custom shape. What if you want to open the OneLaunch clipboard using a keyboard shortcut? Simply press Ctrl+Alt+v.
Watch this short video from OneLaunch on how to find and use your clipboard!
Clear Your Clipboard History
If you’ve accumulated several clips in your clipboard history you can select and clear the clips of your choosing. OneLaunch’s and Windows’ clipboards save the last 25 clips automatically. By manually clearing clips you don’t want, you have some control over those 25 clips in your clipboard history.
Clearing your Windows 10 clipboard
To clear individual clips or the entire clipboard history in Windows 10 open your clipboard and tap the three-dot menu. There you can delete each clip individually or select Clear all to remove your entire clipboard history.
Clearing your Windows 11 clipboard
With your clipboard history open you can tap the three-dot menu and trashcan icon to delete each clip, or you can select the Clear all button at the top of the clipboard history window.
We’re sure you’ll find the clipboard history a handy tool when working on your PC. If you have any questions about copying and pasting in Windows or using the OneLaunch clipboard history feel free to reach out to us at [email protected].