You misused Windows copy-paste

Did you know that Windows 10 and Windows 11 have an absolutely awesome cut and paste feature that can make your life easier? It’s called clipboard history, and it’s an absolute game changer.

After highlighting text, photos, and more, press Ctrl + C on your keyboard to copy. But instead of pressing Ctrl + V to paste, you can press Windows + V on your keyboard to bring up the Clipboard History menu. This lists up to 25 of the most recent items you’ve copied, including text, HTML, images, and more. Clicking on an entry will then paste the selected item.

However, despite being one of the best features of Windows 10 and Windows 11, Microsoft has been pretty bad at highlighting it. That’s a shame, because not only is it really useful, it’s also really easy to use, so let me make your life easier by showing you how to use the clipboard history feature in Windows 10 and Windows 11.

Windows 10 settings menu toggling clipboard history feature

(Image credit: Future/Microsoft)

1. Enable clipboard history

On some PCs, you may need to enable the feature first. To do this, click on the Start button, then click on ‘Settings’. In the window that appears, click “System”, then choose “Clipboard” from the menu on the left.

Under ‘Clipboard History’, make sure the toggle is set to ‘On’. You are now ready to go!

Option selection

(Image credit: Future/Microsoft)

2. Copy to clipboard

With clipboard history enabled, almost anything you copy will appear there automatically. To do this, you can select text, images, and more with your mouse, then right-click and select “Copy.”

You can also use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + C.

Screenshot of the Clipboard History menu

(Image credit: Future/Microsoft)

3. Using Clipboard History

Now when you want to paste something, select where you want it to go, then press Windows + V on your keyboard. The Windows key should feature the Windows logo and is located between the Ctrl and Alt keys on the left side of the keyboard.

The Clipboard History menu will appear, and you’ll see a list of all the things you’ve recently copied (except for some items that may not be compatible with the feature). Click on the one you want to paste and it will appear.

It’s much more useful than just pressing Ctrl+V, which only pastes the last thing you copied.

Screenshot of pinned items in the Clipboard History menu

(Image credit: Future/Microsoft)

4. Pin the important things

If there’s something you need to paste often and don’t want to lose it when copying other stuff, you can “pin” the object, so it always appears in the Press History menu -papers.

To do this, click on the three dots next to the entry you want to pin, then select “Pin”. This will ensure that the item is saved in the clipboard history, even if you restart your PC.

Screenshot of the Clipboard History menu

(Image credit: Future/Microsoft)

5. Delete Items

If you want to delete something from the clipboard history, select the three dots and click “Delete” to delete it. You can also clear all entries by clicking “Clear All”.


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Steven L. Nielsen