Written by Eric Wyatt (last updated April 8, 2019)
The ability to copy and paste has been a part of Windows for many years. This capability has helped users countless times over the years, especially as they type. Whether it has been used to copy large amounts of text or a single word, copying and pasting has handled it all.
In the past, Windows users could copy items to the basic Clipboard by simply pressing Ctrl+C and then pressing Ctrl+V to paste the copied item in the new desired location. With the October 2018 update, Windows 10 now allows users the ability to view the items they previously copied to the Clipboard. To begin using the Clipboard History function it needs to be activated, since it is turned off by default. Enabling Clipboard History is a simple task and can be accomplished by following these steps:
Figure 1. The Clipboard Settings section of the Settings dialog box.
With Clipboard History enabled, all the items you copy to the Clipboard can be viewed by pressing the Windows+V shortcut. This will open the Clipboard panel which shows all of the items that you have copied with the newest item at the top. (See Figure 2.)
Figure 2. The Clipboard panel showing recently copied items.
With each item in your Clipboard History you can do one of three things. First, by clicking on one of the items in the history, the item will be pasted. Second, the copied item can be removed from the list by pressing the X in upper-right corner of the listed item. Third, you can pin the item to the history list.
By keeping a history, you may be worried about precious storage space being taken up. Windows has this covered by setting certain limits on the contents of Clipboard History. As of the writing of this article, Windows only allows for Text, HTML, and Bitmap images to be stored. There is a size limit of 4MB per item and a cap of 25 items that can be saved to the history. Older items are replaced automatically by newer copied items, unless an item is pinned. Pinned items will remain until you unpin them and remove them. You can also clear out all of the unpinned items by pressing the Clear All link in the top-right corner of the Clipboard panel.
Once you enable and start using the new Clipboard History feature, you'll find that it will change how you think about using copy and paste. By keeping commonly used items in your history, you can paste things faster and work smarter.
This tip (7346) applies to Windows 10.
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