Windows 10: How to Enable, View, and Clear Clipboard History

It’s 2020, and even Microsoft has realized that regular copy and paste is old news. These days, the Windows 10 Clipboard history feature provides the functionality across device, space, and time, letting you copy on one computer and paste the text days later on a different PC. All of it is possible via the Windows 10 clipboard manager, which lets you view, delete, pin, and clear clipboard history at will.

We’re going to show you how to enable the feature, clear clipboard history, and enable/disable clipboard sync to meet your preferences.

What data does Windows 10 clipboard history store?

Windows 10’s clipboard history is a big improvement, but it’s not free of limitations. Some things you copy won’t be stored in the clipboard manager, and that can make for a frustrating experience if you aren’t aware of the requirements.

Clipboard history will store text, HTML, and Bitmap items, so long as they aren’t over 4 MB. You can copy most images, including .jpg and .png files, but you can’t upload .webp files and may struggle with pictures and wallpapers over 4K. The file size of images can be quite difficult to judge, so it’s best to open the Windows 10 clipboard manager and check if you’re trying to save something important.

Either way, you should not be using the clipboard manager as cloud storage. It stores a maximum of 25 items and non-pinned items can be removed at reboot.

How to Enable Windows 10 Clipboard History

Time needed: 1 minute.

Once you know of its existence, enabling Windows 10 clipboard history is very easy:

  1. Open settings


    Press the Windows key and click the cog button on the left-hand side of the Start menu.

    Windows 10 - Open Settings

  2. Enter System Settings


    In the settings app, click the “System” category.

    01.1 Windows 10 - Settings

  3. Enable Clipboard history


    Under the “Clipboard” menu, find the “Sync across devices” heading. Toggle the option that reads “Paste text on your other devices”.

    Windows 10 - Settings - System - Clipboard History

How to Manage and Clear Windows 10 Clipboard History

Once enabled, the clipboard manager can be accessed with a simple hotkey.

  1. Open the clipboard manager


    You can open the clipboard manager and view your clipboard history with the “Windows + V” hotkey. Here you’ll see your recently copied items.

    Windows 10 - Clipboard History

  2. Paste into an open application


    You can paste content on the same PC by clicking any item. It will automatically be copied and pasted next to your cursor in an open application. If you don’t have a compatible app on-screen it will simply copy it.

    Windows 10 - Clipboard History - Select

  3. Delete and clear clipboard history


    You can press the three dots next to any item in the clipboard item to open a fly-out menu. Press “Delete” to remove it, or “Clear all” to remove all of the items.

    Windows 10 - Clipboard History - Delete or Clear all

  4. Pin an item to the clipboard manager


    You can also use this sub-menu to Pin an item. This will keep it at the top of the list while ensuring it persists on a reboot and will remain if you press ‘Clear all’.

    Windows 10 - Clipboard History - Pins