How to Use the Improved Clipboard Manager in Windows 11

The Windows 11 Clipboard has a new features like symbols, GIFs, and emojis. Learn how to use the enhanced Clipboard Manager here.

Many users copy and paste text and images from one software package to another. When you copy any text or image, Windows 11’s clipboard stores the copied item so you can paste it. Therefore, the clipboard manager is an essential feature for a lot of users.

The clipboard manager has undergone an overhaul in Windows 11. A revamped clipboard manager is most welcome because the Windows 10 version was a bit limited. Let’s learn how you can fully use the enhanced Clipboard Manager in Microsoft’s new desktop platform.

What Is Clipboard History?

Earlier, you could only copy one item at a time to the clipboard in Windows, which sucked. With this restriction, many users turned to third-party clipboard manager software to copy multiple items.

Microsoft eventually woke up and gave users the Windows clipboard history feature they had been crying out for. In 2020, Windows 10 added a clipboard history feature that saves up to 25 copied items. Then, you can select which item you want to paste from the Clipboard window.

Thus, the clipboard history effectively is Windows 11’s clipboard manager. In Windows 10, the clipboard panel merely displayed a selection of copied items for you to paste. That now includes additional images, emoticon, and symbol tabs on top, making it more useful.

How to Enable Clipboard History in Windows 11

Clipboard history has a Windows key + V hotkey to open it. However, you can’t open clipboard history with that keyboard shortcut if it’s not enabled. This is how you can enable that feature in Settings.

  1. Press the Start taskbar button.
  2. Select to open the pinned Settings app from the Start menu.
  3. Click Clipboard on the System tab.
  4. Then click the toggle button for Clipboard history to enable that feature.
The Clipboard history option

If you want to share copied items across devices, you’ll need to enable clipboard syncing. To do so, press the Get started button for the Share across devices option. Next, select an email address to verify your identity. Then enter the code you receive for a selected email address, and click the Verify option.

The code text box

You’ll be able to select two alternative syncing options within the clipboard settings. First, choose Automatically sync text I copy if you want automatic syncing. If not, select the Manually sync text that I copy radio button instead.

When you’ve enabled clipboard history in Settings, you should be able to open the Clipboard window. Press the Windows key + hotkey to bring up the clipboard manager. Now you can try out this feature in the new desktop platform.

How to Copy and Select Different Copied Items

Copying text to the clipboard is straightforward. Select some text to copy in a word processor or web browser by holding the left mouse button and dragging the cursor over it. When you’ve selected the text, press the Ctrl + C hotkey.

After that, open the clipboard manager with its hotkey. You can see all copied items on its Clipboard history tab. Select a copied item there. Open a text editor to paste the selected item in, and press the Ctrl + V keyboard shortcut.

The Clipboard history tab

To copy an image, open File Explorer’s window by pressing its folder taskbar icon. Then open a folder that includes some pictures. Right-click an image file there and select the Copy option. You can also copy pictures on websites by right-clicking them and selecting the Copy context menu option.

You can select the copied image in clipboard history like any text item. Open an image editing application to paste the selected item with a Ctrl shortcut.

How to Add Emoticons to Documents

You can add emoji and kaomoji emoticons to your documents with Windows 11’s clipboard manager. To do so, open any document.

Make sure you’ve clicked inside a document file or text box, and open the clipboard manager. Click the Emoji or Kaomoji tab within the clipboard manager. Then select an emoticon to add it to the document, as in the snapshot directly below. To find a more specific emoticon, enter a keyword like laughing or smiling within the search box.

The Emoji tab

How to Input Symbols From Clipboard History

Your keyboard can only include so many keys for symbols and special characters. So, it’s a good thing you can add a wide variety of symbols to your documents with Windows 11’s clipboard manager. The clipboard manager includes currency, Latin, geometric, mathematical, and language symbols, among others.

To add some symbols, open a document file; and click inside it to enter some text. Open clipboard manager, and select its Symbols tab. Click the left and right arrows at the top of the tab to choose a symbol category. Then select a symbol to insert within the document.

The Symbols tab

How to Select GIF Images for Documents

Do you need to add a few images to a document or email? If so, you might find the GIF tab in the Windows clipboard manager useful. That tab includes a multitude of pictures for you to choose from.

Open a document in a word processor (or text editor that can handle GIF images). Click where you want to add an image in the document and press the clipboard manager’s Windows + V hotkey. Then select the GIF tab, and choose a picture to insert from there. To find a more specific image content, enter keywords in the search box.

The GIF tab

How to Quickly Find Recently Used Items

If you need to select the same emoticons or symbols a lot, take note of the clipboard manager’s Most recently used tab. That tab includes your recently selected symbols, images, and emoticons. So, you can quickly find and select symbols or emoticons you frequently add to document from there.

The Recently used items tab

How to Clear the Clipboard History

Sometimes you might want to wipe your clipboard history clean. You don’t have to restart Windows 11 to do that. Instead, clear clipboard history via Settings as follows.

  1. Press your taskbar’s Start button to select Settings on the menu.
  2. Select the Clipboard navigation option within the System tab.
  3. Click the Clear button.
The Clear option

Alternatively, you can clear copied items from within clipboard history. Open clipboard history with its hotkey. Then, press the Clear all button on the Clipboard history tab.

To erase specific copied items from the clipboard, click the See more (three dots) buttons for them on the Clipboard history tab. Then you can click Delete options for specific items.


Windows 11’s Revamped Clipboard Manager is a Great New Feature

The revamped clipboard manager stores multiple copied items, symbols, emoticons, and GIF images to insert in text boxes and text editors. Finding special symbols is now a breeze, thanks to Windows 11’s clipboard manager. The emoticons are handy for posting on web forums.

Yes, the revamped clipboard manager could still be better, but it’s a significant enhancement on what it was before. So, think of ways to use it and improve your copy-pastes better.

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