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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.

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

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.”

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.

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

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.

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.”

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

Profile Photo for Benj Edwards Benj Edwards
Benj Edwards is a former Associate Editor for How-To Geek. Now, he is an AI and Machine Learning Reporter for Ars Technica. For over 15 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.
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