How to Sync Your Clipboard Between Windows and macOS

Ever wish you could copy something on one computer, then paste it on another? Synced clipboards are becoming common: you can sync your clipboard between macOS Sierra and iOS 10, for example, without any third party software. Pushbullet allows you to sync your Windows clipboard to Android (along with other features.)

If you want to sync from macOS to Windows, however, you’ve got one main option: 1Clipboard.

This free application uses your Google Drive account to sync your clipboard between any number of macOS and Windows machines, and also gives you access to your clipboard history. This is really nice if you’re the sort of person who switches between computers a lot—especially if you’re using the same mouse and keyboard.

Setting Up 1Clipboard

Head to the 1Clipboard homepage and download the version for your operating system. Right now it’s just macOS and Windows (sorry, Linux users). Installing on Windows means launching the EXE installer; Mac users need to do the usual drag-and-drop dance.

Regardless of which OS you use, there are a few initial setup stages.

First, you’ll be asked whether or not you want to sync your clipboard—if not, everything you copy will be stored locally instead. We’re interested in syncing, so we’ll choose the option to “Sign into Google.”

Sign into your account—1Clipboard only asks for permission to manage its own configuration, so the rest of your data is secure. Repeat these steps on every computer you want your clipboard to sync to.

Using Your Newly Synced Clipboard

After you’ve set up 1Clipboard on all your computers, you’re done: copy something on one computer, and it will be on your clipboard on the other. You can browse your clipboard history by clicking the icon in the system tray on Windows and the menu bar on macOS.

Click anything, and it will be sent to the clipboard right away. You can also “star” previously copied items for future reference. You can browse your starred items by clicking the start in the left-hand sidebar.

There’s also search functionality, useful when you’re trying to find that thing you know you copied a few days ago.

The fourth button, with three dots, gives you access to a few settings.

From here you can disable the clipboard history, if you want, and also sign out of your current Google account. Click the “Preferences” option for access to a few more options.

From here, you can toggle whether 1Clipboard starts up when your computer does, and configure a keyboard shortcut for bringing up your clipboard history.

That’s about all the application can do, at least for now. It’s a great way to ensure you never lose anything you copy to your clipboard, and the best way I’ve found to sync your clipboard between Windows and macOS systems.

Justin Pot is a staff writer for How-To Geek, and a technology enthusiast who lives in Hillsboro, Oregon. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, if you want. You don't have to.