The clipboard is a background buffer service that stores your copied links, messages, and photographs (temporarily) before pasting them elsewhere. Prior to October 2018, when Windows implemented Clipboard history, users had to rely on third-party clipboard managers to keep track of anything they copied. However, with this update, you can now use the supercharged native clipboard instead of those managers.
Is it, however, safe to leave copied material on the clipboard? Maybe not so much if you have to copy confidential information every now and then. Here are six ways to empty the clipboard on Windows 10 and why you should do so on a regular basis.
Why you should clear the clipboard on Windows 10
If you’ve allowed Clipboard history on your screen, you can see up to 25 of your clipboard items by pressing Win+V. HTML, text fragments, tiny images (4MB and under), and other compressed data types fall into this category.
However, if you’re dealing with classified information, keeping a list of everything you’ve copied since you signed on can be risky. Anyone who has even a few seconds access to your laptop will see everything you’ve copied to the clipboard since you turned it on. To prevent any risks to your privacy, it is recommended that you clear your clipboard history before leaving your device.
Empty Clipboard on Windows 10
You can empty the clipboard history in a variety of ways. While most of them only need a few clicks, some of them can be configured to dump the clipboard with a single click. They are as follows:
Method #1: With Clipboard Hotkey (Modern Clipboard)
A quick hotkey combination – Win+V – will bring up the modern Windows 10 clipboard. If you’ve activated the history option, a small window should appear, showing up to 25 of your copied content items in note format.
To delete items individually, simply click on the three dots next to them.
Then select Delete.
If you want to delete them all, select Clear All.
Related: How To Mute an App on Windows 10
Method #2: From Settings
You can also clear clipboard history from Windows Settings. Follow the steps given below to do so:
Press Win+I to open Settings, then click on System.
In the left pane, click on Clipboard. On the right, under “Clear clipboard data”, click Clear.
And just like that, your clipboard history will get deleted in one fell swoop.
Method #3: From Command Prompt
Those who like to alter their system settings with commands can use the command prompt to good effect for clearing clipboard data. For this, open Command Prompt. Press start, type “cmd”, then click on Run as administrator.
Then type in the following command, and press Enter:
for /f tokens^=2* %i in ('sc query^|find "Clipboard"')do >nul cd.|clip & net stop "%i %j" && net start "%i %j"
This command will stop and then restart clipboard, effectively clearing the history.
Method #4: From PowerShell
Power users can clear clipboard history from PowerShell as well. Here’s how to do so:
Press Start, type “PowerShell”, then click on Run as administrator.
Now, copy the following command in PowerShell, and press Enter:
Restart-Service -Name "cbdhsvc*" -force
And just like that, your clipboard service will restart which will clear its history.
Method #5: Add a “Clear Clipboard” option to the desktop context menu
A “clear clipboard option” can also be added to the desktop context menu. To do so, press Win+R to open the RUN box, then type “regedit” and press Enter.
Navigate to the following registry address:
Alternativly, you can cope the above and paste it in the registry address bar.
In the left pane, right-click on the Shell folder, select New, then click on Key.
Name this folder Clear clipboard.
Now, right-click this Clear Clipboard folder, select New, then Key.
Name this key Command.
With this key selected in the left pane, double-click on Default in the right pane.
Now, under “Value data”, type in the following:
cmd.exe /c echo off | clip
Press OK, then exit the registry.
Now, whenever you right-click on the desktop, you will see a Clear clipboard option.
You only need to click on it once to clear the clipboard history.
Method #6: Disable Clipboard History
If you don’t want to use clipboard history, you can simply disable it from Windows Settings. To do this, press Win+I to open Settings, then click on System.
In the left pane, select Clipboard. On the right, toggle Off the “Clipboard history” button.
And that’s it! You don’t have to worry about items being saved to clipboard history anymore.
These were all the options for deleting the clipboard history in Windows 10. While your computer’s clipboard history is cleared when you shut it down, it’s always a good idea to clear it while you’re away from the keyboard just to be secure.