Boost your productivity skills with this awesome Windows 10 feature!

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The picture was taken by Caspar Camille Rubin

ave you ever been in a situation where you need to paste something, but you overwrite it by accident because you copy something else? You are not alone!

The Windows clipboard has already been around for a couple of years, but in the last release with the new Windows 10 October 2018 Update, Microsoft presented several impressive features. One that stands out is the new clipboard history— it adds new skills and options to help you copy and paste more efficiently.

The clipboard history shows you a visual representation of copied items. You can easily view the list, find the item you want to paste, save it for later reuse, and do not have to think about overwriting anything. So the next time you start working and need to paste something you have copied earlier, just open the clipboard history!

How to enable the Clipboard history

The only two prerequisites required to get started is to run the latest version of Windows 10 and activate it which takes seconds to do because it is already installed on your computer. Additionally, it takes seconds to learn and utilize the tool. It is also important to note that it does not change anything except make you more productive.

There are two ways of activating the clipboard history; the first one is to open the start menu and search “clipboard”, open “Clipboard settings”, and then enable it.

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The other way is to type windows key + v which opens a minimized window as shown below.

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Once you activate it, the following sections will now explain how to use it. If you cannot find it make sure you are running the latest version of Windows 10.

Paste copied item

It is worth knowing that clipboard history does not change how you copy and paste things, but adds a graphical interface to make the process more intuitive. Everything you need to know to access it can found by typing windows key + v.

This opens up a graphical toolbar on the page that shows the list or history of copied items. To paste something you simply click on one of the items you want to paste, it can be an image, a text, or whatever the copy feature supports.

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Delete copied item

Say you work as a software developer and when you share your screen and use the clipboard history, you probably do not want everyone in the team to see it, perhaps, it is sensitive information.

If you copy something and want to remove it, you can either remove a single item or clear the whole list. These two options can be found when you hover over the item you want to handle.

Note: the Clear all button is only visible once you hover over an item, this should have been on top somewhere because it applies to all items.

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Save copied item

What if you copy a password that you need shortly? With the clipboard history, you can easily achieve this.

To save a copied item, click on the Pin button. Later on, if you want to clear everything, the items that are pinned will not be removed. This is useful when you do not want to keep track of sensitive information or other things that have been copied.

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Summary

The clipboard history is not a replacement for the conventional way of doing copy and paste, but an improvement that has always been needed but never thought about, or maybe, but never implemented! The first thing that came to my mind when hearing about this tool is that I did not feel comfortable putting copied items somewhere that is visible and accessible; one for security reasons, and the other for personal reasons.

However, after using clipboard history the reasons are not that critical in terms of the productivity and flexibility it offers.

One personal tip to the Microsoft team behind this awesome tool is to find a way to blur it when used in screen-sharing sessions. Apart from that, I highly recommend anyone to give it a try.

Let me know what you think about the clipboard history after you try it, or if you have already used it?

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