Copying and pasting data is one of the first Windows skills all new users learn. The power to move or replicate vast amounts of information can give you quite the rush of power the first few times you try it.
Most users think that you are limited to pasting only the last cut or copied selection.
What about those scenarios where you are copy/pasting the bits of information over and over, requiring you to operate like a tennis match between the source material and the target?
Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to queue up all your copied information at once, then paste it all down in one session, possibly in a different order than it was copied?
And what about a copied set of information that you need frequently. Wouldn’t it be great to call up that information for pasting without having to copy it each time you needed it?
Enter the Clipboard History
The Clipboard History acts as a repository of cut or copied data. Not just the last cut or copied block of data, but potentially dozens of blocks of data.
As an example, suppose you need to copy and paste several small bits of text from a much larger article. You begin by highlighting the needed bits and copying them one at a time with traditional cut/copy techniques, like CTRL-X and CTRL-C, or any other technique you prefer.
You then move on to the destination document. The trick here is to not perform a traditional Paste operation (CTRL-V), but instead, press the Windows key and the letter V (Win-V).
This presents the Clipboard History.
You are now able to paste the copied data in any order you prefer by clicking on the corresponding preview in the history window.
You are no longer required to switch back and forth between applications, copying and pasting the bits separately. You also don’t run the risk of losing some copied text because you forgot to paste it before copying another block of text.
You can copy text, HTML, and bitmap images up to 4MB per item.
Activating the Clipboard History Feature
The Clipboard History may not be activated on your system by default. To activate the feature, click your Start button and type “clipboard”. You should see “Clipboard Settings” as a selectable option.
In the Clipboard controls, toggle the “Clipboard history” feature to an ON state.
If you are signed in with a Microsoft account, you can enable “Sync across devices”. This means you could copy something at work on your work device and paste it later at home on your home device. VERY cool.
If there are security concerns when using this feature, such as copying credit card information, you can set the feature to only sync copied data that you declare by selecting “sync” in the Clipboard History.
You can also clear your copied history if you just want to perform a bit of spring cleaning.
Persistent Copied Data
With traditional cut/copy/paste operations, the cut or copied data is no longer available after a reboot.
If you have a block of copied data that you use frequently, you can eliminate the need for re-copying each time you need to paste the data. Once the data is initially copied, you can press the ellipse button next to the entry in the Clipboard History and select “Pin”.
This will keep the copied data in the history for use at any time without repeated copying. When the pinned data is no longer needed, press the ellipse button and select “Unpin”.
Unpinned items are cleared after each reboot of the device, but pinned items will remain in the history ready for future use.