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How to use Clipboard history on Windows 11

Windows 11 Clipboard History
Windows 11 Clipboard History (Image credit: Windows Central)

On Windows 11, the Clipboard history is a feature that extends the functionality of the traditional Clipboard functionality. It does this by adding an interface that records the things you copy (text and images), which you can open to paste the content as needed. You can organize the contents for quick access to frequent items. And it can upload the items to the cloud and sync them across all your devices linked to the same Microsoft account.

The only caveat is that this is an optional feature that you must enable and configure manually through the Settings app.

In this Windows 11 guide, we will walk you through the steps to enable, configure, and use the Clipboard history feature across your devices.

How to enable Clipboard history on Windows 11

You can enable the Clipboard history in two ways, including using the Settings app or emoji panel.

Enable Clipboard from Settings

To enable Clipboard history through the Settings app, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on System.
  3. Click the Clipboard page on the right side.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Turn on the Clipboard history toggle switch.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

Once you complete the steps, you can start copying and pasting as before, with an added interface to manage the contents you copied.

Enable Clipboard from emoji panel

To enable Clipboard history through the emoji panel, use these steps:

  1. Invoke the Windows key + V keyboard shortcut.
  2. Click the Turn on button.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

Since the Clipboard history is part of the emoji panel, you can also access the feature using the Windows key + ; or Windows key + . keyboard shortcuts and opening the "Clipboard" tab.

How to sync Clipboard history on Windows 11

On Windows 11, when you enable Clipboard history, you can also configure the feature to upload and sync the contents you copied across your devices linked with the Microsoft account, including those still on Windows 10.

To sync the content history to the cloud and across devices, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on System.
  3. Click the Clipboard page on the right side.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Turn on the Sync across your devices toggle switch.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Select the sync option to use with the Clipboard:
    • Automatically sync text that I copy — The Clipboard history will sync to the cloud and across your computers linked with the same Microsoft account.
    • Never automatically sync text that I copy — You have to select the contents to upload to the cloud to make them available across devices.

After you complete the steps, the items stored in the Clipboard history will sync across your devices, allowing you to paste text and images that you copied on other devices.

How to use Clipboard history on Windows 11

The Clipboard history works similarly to the classic experience. The only difference is the interface that lets you review and manage the stored content. Also, if you choose the sync option, you will be able to paste text and images that you uploaded to the Clipboard across devices.

On Windows 11, when the feature has been enabled, you can continue to use the Ctrl + C keyboard shortcut to copy and the Ctrl + V keyboard shortcut to paste whatever you stored in the history. You can do the same using the context menu or the command bar in File Explorer.

However, one more addition is the Windows key + V keyboard shortcut that opens the emoji panel (in the "Clipboard" tab) to view the list of items copied from other applications, such as Microsoft Edge, Word, OneNote, Notepad, and others.

Copy and paste with Clipboard

To copy and paste content with this feature, use these steps:

  1. Open an app.
  2. Select the text or image.Quick note: Clipboard history only supports copying images from certain applications, such as the Snipping Tool. You can't copy image files (for example, .jpg) to the Clipboard history. However, you can still copy and paste files as usual; they just won't appear in the history interface.
  3. Right-click the selection and choose the Copy (or Cut) option.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Switch to the app to paste the content.
  2. Invoke the Windows key + V keyboard shortcut.
  3. If you want to paste the content as is, select the item to paste it.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. If you want to paste as text without formatting from the source, click the See more (three-dotted) menu and click the Paste as Text option.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

Once you complete the steps, the text or image will appear in the application, depending on your output selection.

Manage items in Clipboard

To manage items in the history, use these steps:

  1. Invoke the Windows key + V keyboard shortcut.
  2. Click the Pin button for faster access to content you use frequently.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Click the See more (three-dotted) menu button and click the Delete option to remove the items from the history.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

After you complete the steps, the text or image will no longer be available in the history.

How to clear Clipboard history on Windows 11

To delete all the items in the history (excluding pinned items), use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on System.
  3. Click the Clipboard page on the right side.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Click the Clear button for the "Clear clipboard data" setting.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

Once you complete the steps, the history will clear on your device, except pinned items.

How to disable Clipboard history on Windows 11

To disable the Clipboard history on Windows 11, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on System.
  3. Click the Clipboard page on the right side.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Turn off the Clipboard history toggle switch.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

After you complete the steps, you will still be able to copy and paste as before, but you won't have access to the history, and the contents won't sync across devices.

More Windows resources

For more helpful articles, coverage, and answers to common questions about Windows 10 and Windows 11, visit the following resources:

Mauro Huculak is technical writer for WindowsCentral.com. His primary focus is to write comprehensive how-tos to help users get the most out of Windows 10 and its many related technologies. He has an IT background with professional certifications from Microsoft, Cisco, and CompTIA, and he's a recognized member of the Microsoft MVP community.

4 Comments
  • Nothing new, this was introduced in Windows 10.
  • Yeah, my thoughts also!
  • Also on Windows 10 is lighter and faster thanks to native tech, instead in win11 they decided to use the "amazing web tech"
  • Hey, thanks I'd completely forgotten about that feature. I use a Surface Go2 with Windows 11 and an older laptop running Windows 10, and remembering this will ease some of the copying back and forth