Windows 10 Hero Image Version 2

Windows 10 takes copy and paste to another level with a feature called Clipboard history, which lets you see a list of items you have copied to the clipboard recently. Just press Windows+V. Here’s how to turn it on and view your clipboard history.

What Gets Stored in Clipboard History?

Clipboard history first appeared in Windows 10’s October 2018 Update (Version 1809). Currently, Clipboard history supports text, HTML, and images less than 4 MB in size. Larger items won’t be stored in the history.

Clipboard history stores a maximum of 25 entries, with the oldest items disappearing as new ones appear. Also, unless an item is pinned to the Clipboard, the Clipboard history list will reset every time you restart your computer or device.

How to Enable Clipboard History in Windows 10

First, click the “Start” button, and then click the “Gear” icon on the left side of the Start menu to open the “Windows Settings” menu. You can also press Windows+i to get there.

In Windows Settings, click on “System.”

Click System in Settings on Windows 10

On the Settings sidebar, click on “Clipboard.” In Clipboard settings, locate the section called “Clipboard history” and toggle the switch to “On.”

Click on the Clipboard History Switch in Windows 10 System Settings

Clipboard history is now turned on. You can now close Settings and use the feature in any application.

How to View Clipboard History in Windows 10

Once you have enabled Clipboard history, you can call up a list of items you have copied recently while using any application. To do so, press Windows+V.

A small window will pop up. The most recent items you’ve copied are at the top of the list.

The Clipboard history pop-up window on Windows 10

You can click on any item in the Clipboard history list to paste it into an open application.

Click an item in Clipboard history to paste it into a document on Windows 10

To remove items from Clipboard history, click on the ellipses (three dots) beside the item you’d like to delete. Select “Delete” from the small menu that pops up.

If you’d like to remove all the items from Clipboard history, click “Clear All” In the ellipses menu.

Click Delete or Clear all in Clipboard history to remove items on Windows 10

It’s also possible to pin an item on the Clipboard history list. That way, it will stay on the list even if you reboot the computer or click a “Clear All.” To do so, click on the three-dot menu and select “Pin.” You can unpin the item later by selecting “Unpin” from the ellipses menu.

Click Pin in Clipboard history on Windows 10

The Clipboard history interface has a slightly different look to it on older versions of Windows. Here are instructions for those running a build prior to 1909.

After using the Windows+V keyboard shortcut, a small floating window will pop up either near the application you are using, or if all windows are closed or minimized, in the lower-right corner of your screen. The most recent items you have copied will be at the top of the list.

The Clipboard history window in Windows 10

While the Clipboard history window is open, you can click on any item in the list to paste it into an open application or document.

Click on an item in the Clipboard history list to paste it

To remove items from Clipboard history, click the small “X” beside an item on the list. Or you can clear the entire list by clicking “Clear All” in the upper-right corner of the Clipboard history window.

Click the X or Clear all to remove items from your Clipboard history

You can also pin an item to the Clipboard history list by clicking on the tiny pushpin icon beside the item. That way, the item will remain on the Clipboard history list even if you reboot the computer or click “Clear All.”

Click the push-pin icon to pin an item to your Clipboard history

How to Disable Clipboard History in Windows 10

To turn off Clipboard history in Windows 10, navigate to Settings > System > Clipboard. Locate the option titled “Clipboard history” and toggle the switch to “Off.”

Click on the Clipboard History Switch in Windows 10 System Settings to turn it off

Once disabled, if you press Windows+V, you will see a small window alerting you that Windows 10 cannot show your clipboard history because the feature is turned off.

Benj Edwards Benj Edwards
Benj Edwards is a Staff Writer for How-To Geek. For over 14 years, he has written about technology and tech history for sites such as The Atlantic, Fast Company, PCMag, PCWorld, Macworld, Ars Technica, and Wired. In 2005, he created Vintage Computing and Gaming, a blog devoted to tech history. He also created The Culture of Tech podcast and regularly contributes to the Retronauts retrogaming podcast.
Read Full Bio »

The above article may contain affiliate links, which help support How-To Geek.