X
X
The Best Tech Newsletter Anywhere

Join 250,000 subscribers and get a daily digest of news, geek trivia, and our feature articles.

How to Clear Your Clipboard History on Windows 10

Windows 10 Hero Image Version 2

If you have Clipboard history enabled in Windows 10, the feature keeps a record of items you have recently copied to the Clipboard while using copy and paste. Here’s how to clear your Clipboard history—or disable it if you prefer.

What Gets Stored in Clipboard History?

Clipboard history, first introduced in Windows 10’s October 2018 Update, stores a list of the 25 most recent items that you’ve copied to the Clipboard. These items can include text, HTML, and images smaller than 4 MB in size. Unless an item is pinned to the Clipboard, the Clipboard history list gets erased every time you restart your device.

How to Clear Clipboard History in Windows 10

Unlike other potentially privacy-invasive features in Windows 10, the Clipboard history feature only works if it has been enabled from Settings > System > Clipboard.

RELATED: Understanding Windows 10's Privacy Settings

When Clipboard history is enabled, pressing Windows+V will bring up a small window that lists the most recent items you have copied to the Clipboard.

The Clipboard history pop-up window on Windows 10

To remove individual items from Clipboard history, call up the list with Windows+V and then click the three dots (ellipses) beside the item you’d like to delete.

Click the ellipses in Clipboard history on Windows 10

A small menu will pop up. Click “Delete” and the item will be removed from the list.

Click Delete in Clipboard history on Windows 10

To clear the entire Clipboard history, click any set of three dots (ellipses) in the list and a menu will pop up. Select “Clear All.”

Click clear all in Clipboard history on Windows 10

Any remaining items on the list after you click “Clear All” are pinned in place. If you’d like to remove a pinned item, click the ellipses beside it and select “Unpin.” Then you can either delete it or try “Clear All” from the ellipses menu again.

If you’re running a version of Windows 10 from before build 1909, then the steps are nearly identical, but the interface has changed slightly.

When enabled, if you press Windows+V, you will see a small pop-up window that contains a list of the most recent items you have copied.

The Clipboard history window in Windows 10

To remove individual items from Clipboard history, call up the list with Windows+V, then click the small “X” beside any item on the list.

Click the X to remove items from your Clipboard history

To remove the entire contents of the Clipboard history list, click “Clear All” in the upper-right corner of the Clipboard history window.

Click Clear all to remove items from your Clipboard history

If any items remain on the list after you click “Clear All,” then they are likely pinned in place. Click the small pushpin icon beside the remaining items on the list and click “Clear All” again.

Note that with Clipboard history enabled, new items will continue to appear in the Clipboard history list every time you copy something to the Clipboard. If you would like to prevent Windows from storing your Clipboard history, you will need to disable the feature in Windows Settings.

Another Way to Clear All Clipboard Data

You can also clear your clipboard data in Windows Settings. Navigate to Settings > System > Clipboard and locate the “Clear Clipboard Data” section. Click on the “Clear” button, and the clipboard will be erased.

Click Clear to clear clipboard data in Windows 10

This is equivalent to pushing the “Clear All” button in the Clipboard history window, but it also works with Clipboard history turned off.

How to Disable 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 “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.

Can't show Clipboard history message in Windows 10

Now you’re free to copy and paste in privacy once again.

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.
How-To Geek is where you turn when you want experts to explain technology. Since we launched in 2006, our articles have been read more than 1 billion times. Want to know more?

x

The Best Tech Newsletter Anywhere

Join 250,000 subscribers and get a daily digest of news, comics, trivia, reviews, and more.