A person typing on a Windows keyboard while holding a clipboard.

How to use the built-in clipboard manager in Windows

Copying and pasting is such an essential part of our daily computing that most of us do it automatically. But sometimes we make mistakes – we copy something, forget to paste it, accidentally copy it. It looks like you’ve lost something forever.

That’s why I can’t live without a clipboard manager. These tools allow you to scroll backwards through everything you copied, so you never lose an important phone number or address just because someone just sent you a meme for you king To copy to the Office Slack channel.

There are all kinds of clipboard managers that you can download, but Windows users don’t need to, because the two most recent versions of the operating system have one built in. Important: it is not easy to find it.

How to turn on the Windows clipboard history

Run this tool and you will be able to see a lot of copied items recently. Justin Pott

First, open a file Settings The application on your computer. under Systemyou will find a section called clipboard. Toggle the switch to On to turn on clipboard history.

When this function is turned on, a popup will appear every time you press Win + Vā€”There, you will be able to view the 25 most recently clipped items.

You can scroll through recent clips with the mouse or the up and down arrow keys. Select something by clicking on it (or by hitting the enter key if you’re navigating with your keyboard) to immediately paste that snippet into whatever app you’re currently opening.

Note that you can also install things by clicking on File pin icon In the lower right corner of each item. This is useful if you find yourself constantly repeating the same message, for example.

A block of text copied into the built-in Windows clipboard manager, with an arrow pointing to a pin icon that you can use to bookmark frequently used items.
Pin, bookmark ā€” the same thing. Justin Pott

Sync with other computers

We’ve talked about how some apps allow you to copy and paste across devices, but again, Windows users have everything they need built into the operating system. Clipboard sync allows you to copy text on one computer and paste it on another, which is useful if you tend to switch between devices frequently, or need to easily transfer information from your phone to your laptop.

To get started, go back to clipboard swear in Settings and run Sync across your devices. Windows will ask you to sign in to your Microsoft account, after which everything you copy will appear on all devices where you’re signed in with the same Microsoft account. Note that you will have to enable the setting on each device.

[Related: Make your life easier by syncing up all your Windows 11 devices]

I tested this between two computers: one running Windows 10 and one running Windows 11. It worked perfectly, although I needed to restart one of the computers after turning on sync before the clips started showing up.

Note that if you’re running Windows 10 on your PC, you won’t be able to use clipboard sync unless you install the October 2018 Update, or any later update.

Sync clipboard with Android phones

The settings you use to sync your Windows computer clipboard to your Android phone.
Just switch that and paste. Justin Pott

If you’re constantly switching between your computer and your phone, having one folder running at the same time on both can be a game-changer. Windows 10 and 11 can sync their clipboard to an Android device running 5.0 or later, but only if you want to replace your phone’s default keyboard with Microsoft’s Swiftkey. And that’s fine because Swiftkey is one of the best keyboard apps that you can find.

To work with a unified clipboard across devices, download and install Swiftkey and set it as the default keyboard. Next, head over to the Swiftkey settings and check that Sync clipboard history running.

The application will ask you to sign in to your Microsoft account, after which you will be able to paste all the items copied on your phone to your PC, and vice versa.

While Swiftkey is available for iOS and iPadOS, you won’t find this clipboard management feature on Apple devices, but that may change in the future.

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