Copying and pasting are such an important part of our daily computers that most of us just do it automatically. But sometimes we get confused – we copy something, forget to paste it and accidentally copy it. It feels like you’ve lost something forever.
That’s why I can’t survive without a clipboard manager. These tools allow you to rewind everything you’ve copied, so you won’t lose an important phone number or address just because someone sent you a meme that absolutely you there was to copy to the Office Slack channel.
There are all kinds of clipboard managers that you can download, but Windows users don’t need that, as the two latest releases of the operating system have one built-in. The trick: not so easy to find.
How to turn on the history of the Windows clipboard
First, open up Settings application on your computer. Under The systemyou will find a section called Clipboard. Turn on the switch to turn on the clipboard history.
When this feature is turned on, a pop-up window will appear each time you press Win + V—there you will be able to see your 25 last cut items.
You can scroll through the last clippings with the mouse or the up and down arrow keys. Select something by clicking on it (or by pressing the Enter key if you are navigating with the keyboard) to place this snippet immediately in any application you currently have open.
Keep in mind that you can also fix things by clicking pin icon in the lower right corner of each element. This is useful if you find yourself repeating the same message over and over again, for example.
Sync with other computers
We talked about how some applications allow you to copy and paste between devices, but again, Windows users have everything they need built right into the operating system. Clipboard syncing allows you to copy text to one computer and paste it to another, which is useful if you tend to constantly switch between devices or need to easily transfer information from your phone to your laptop.
To get started, go back to Clipboard section c Settings and turn on Sync your devices. Windows will ask you to sign in to your Microsoft account, and then everything you copy will appear on all the devices you signed in to with the same Microsoft account. Note that you will need to activate the setting of each device.
[Related: Make your life easier by syncing up all your Windows 11 devices]
I tested this between two computers: one with Windows 10 and another with Windows 11. It worked perfectly, although I had to restart one of the computers after turning on sync before the clippings started showing.
Note that if you’re using Windows 10 on your computer, you won’t be able to use clipboard sync unless you’ve installed the October 2018 update or later.
Sync the clipboard with Android phones
If you’re constantly switching between your computer and phone, having one clipboard that works on both at the same time can change the game. Windows 10 and 11 can sync your clipboard with an Android device running 5.0 or later, but only if you’re ready to replace your phone’s default keyboard with Microsoft’s Swiftkey. And that’s good, because Swiftkey is one of the best keyboard apps you can find.
To work with a unified clipboard on all devices, download and install Swiftkey and set it as the default keyboard. Then go to Swiftkey settings and make sure Sync clipboard history is turned on.
The application will ask you to log in to your Microsoft account, after which you will be able to place all the items copied to your phone on your computer and vice versa.
Although Swiftkey is available for iOS and iPadOS, you won’t find this feature to control the clipboard of Apple devices, but this may change in the future.
Windows has a hidden clipboard manager—here’s how to find it