How to View the Windows 10 Clipboard History

The limited functionality of the humble Windows Clipboard has long since gotten overshadowed by third-party software. A growing need for added functionality created a rich environment for so-called clipboard managers to gain popularity. If you’re a power user, chances are you’ve been using a clipboard manager for a long time, but that may soon change.

How to View the Windows 10 Clipboard History

In October 2018, version 1809 of Windows 10 brought with it the long-awaited Clipboard History feature. Taking a cue from user experience, Microsoft decided to integrate more functions into their native clipboard. For some users, this will altogether remove the need for third-party clipboard managers.

How Does Windows Clipboard History Work?

Clipboard History, in a nutshell, allows you to copy multiple items to your clipboard rather than overwriting the last one when another gets added. This process is the most basic advancement, but more valuable features get added as well. Clipboard History also allows you to pin items, which then remain in your history, as well as sync your history across devices. This last part is helpful for remote work, as it allows quick access to files without uploading them or transferring them physically.

Windows 10

To use Windows Clipboard History, follow the steps below.

  1. Activate Clipboard History if not done already. To do so, head over to Windows “Settings” and click on “System.
  2. In the System panel, click on “Clipboard” and shift the slider for clipboard history to “On.”
  3. In the same panel, you can choose if you want to sync your clipboard with other devices you’re signed in to. To do this, shift the slider under “Sync Across Devices” to the “On” position.

An important consideration when using automatic sync is that you will be keeping a record of everything you copy on all synced devices. This process can include sensitive information such as passwords or private pictures. Ensure that you clear your history periodically or keep the automatic sync turned off.

Using Your Clipboard History

Once Windows Clipboard History gets activated, it awaits your next move. Here’s how to use Windows Clipboard History.

  1. Press the “Windows key” and the “V” key together.
  2. A window appears showing the items you’ve clipped in order from newest to oldest.
  3. From this panel, click on any of the content to paste it into your application.
  4. Each item has a “Menu” button in the form of three horizontal dots in the top-left corner. This button opens a menu from which you can pin any stored item to keep it in history when it’s cleared. You can also delete items individually or remove the entire list from the same menu.

Automatic Sync Feature

Windows’ sync feature can automatically transfer your clipboard history to all signed-in computers.

If you activate this option, the default setting syncs everything you copy regardless of the file type. As the name implies, Automatic Sync works without any additional actions on your part. You also have the option not to sync automatically but to do so manually. You can sync individual files from the clipboard window through the drop-down menu.

A consideration is that the clipboard history has a size limit of 4MB, so while you can copy items higher than 4MB in space, they will follow the “last in, first out” protocol.

What If You Need More?

The Windows Clipboard History certainly adds a lot of functionality to the standard clipboard. However, for some users, even this won’t be enough. If you need even more functions, you may want to look into what’s available from third-party developers.

As already mentioned, clipboard managers have long been a staple of productivity enthusiasts, so plenty of choices are available. If you want to try an all-in-one solution with just about every feature you’ll ever need, Clipboard Master is the right choice for you.

This software will truly offer more functions than you know what to do with, and it also supports pictures, files, and text. A built-in search feature makes it easy to find what you’re looking for among the 10,000 entries that the app can handle. Clipboard Master has a Fixed Clipboard feature to store the most common items you use for quick access. It even has an encrypted password manager.

If you want to go the extra step, try out Clipboard Master today.

The Copycat’s Out of the Bag

Microsoft’s new Clipboard History feature solved a known issue very simply and elegantly. The average user will find it more than fitting to streamline their work process, and the no-frills design makes it very easy to use. Of course, some users will want a broader range of functions, and there are undoubtedly many choices out there that surpass the functions added by Microsoft.

Do you have a favorite clipboard manager?

2 thoughts on “How to View the Windows 10 Clipboard History”

Narvey says:
I’ve used ArsClip for a long time, and it has been somewhat useful, but I can’t call it dependable since it has bugs and sometimes covers the entire screen and is very difficult to stop without Task Manager.
I’ll try to replace it with this built-in feature, with automatic sync turned off for security.
Aaron says:
Anybody else having this issue: When pasting with Win-V after the 1903 upgrade, current app just hangs for 15-20 seconds unless I alt-tab out and back in.. Worked great in 1809..

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