Three methods to clear the Windows Clipboard

The following guide provides you with three methods to clear the Windows Clipboard from content that it holds at the time.

Microsoft has not improved the clipboard functionality of its Windows operating system in a long time. Even the Windows 10 version allows you to only hold one entry in the Clipboard at all times. When you copy something new, the old is no longer available.

That's probably the main reason why third-party clipboard managers such as Clipboard Help+Spell or Clipboard Master are popular programs. These programs allow you to keep a record of previous items copied to the clipboard, and may introduce additional functionality such as spell checking, item manipulation, or fast access to the previous ten or so entries.

Methods to clear the Windows Clipboard

The following methods provide you with options to clear the Windows Clipboard so that the stored entry is no longer available.

While there are not that many situations where you might want to clear the clipboard, some that come to mind are to avoid pasting data accidentally, avoid that software may record what is stored in the clipboard, or block others with access to the PC from checking it out.

Method 1: using the command line

clear windows clipboard command line

One of the easier options. Simply run echo off | clip from the command line to clear the Windows Clipboard.

  1. Tap on the Windows-key, type cmd.exe, and hit the Enter-key. You may speed this up by pinning a link to the Windows command prompt to the taskbar, desktop or start menu.
  2. Type echo of |clip and hit the Enter-key.
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The clipboard is now empty. You can speed things up further by creating a batch file and pinning it to a location you have access to quickly.



Method 2: Overwriting the content

If it is just about getting rid of whatever information is stored in the clipboard, you may simply copy something else into it to overwrite the previous entry.

To do so select a word, letter or even a blank space and hit Ctrl-C to copy it to the clipboard. Simple but faster than the command line option listed above.

Method 3: Using ClipTTL

ClipTTL is a free simple program for Windows that automates the process. The program wipes the clipboard in 20 second intervals.

All you need to do is run it to make use of its functionality. While it is certainly more comfortable than using the other methods, it may overwrite content too early or not quickly enough due to the 20 second interval that it uses.

Now You: Have another method not listed here? Let us know in the comment section below.

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Three methods to clear the Windows Clipboard
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The following guide provides you with three methods to clear the Windows Clipboard from content that it holds at the time.
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Ghacks Technology News
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Responses to Three methods to clear the Windows Clipboard

  1. Robert G. October 31, 2016 at 6:48 pm #

    Thanks Martin for the trick in command line.

  2. Peter October 31, 2016 at 7:10 pm #

    Using AutoHotkey assigned Shift + Win + V to this script:
    +#V::
    Clipboard :=
    return

    • Velocity.Wave November 1, 2016 at 12:10 am #

      That's a great little AutoHotkey script Peter! (I love AutoHotKey!)

      • Peter November 1, 2016 at 8:51 am #

        Yeah, AHK is great

  3. Yuliya October 31, 2016 at 7:47 pm #

    I just copy a space (symbol) or some text from a page, whenever I want to clean the clipboard of more important information (be it text, image, etc).

    What I also like to clean after dealing with more important data (I don't know how much related to the clipboard this is though) is the "Undo copy/move/rename" from context menu. To do that just create a new file on desktop, send it to Recycle bin then empty it. It happened many times to me to move back some file, somewhere; but I don't know what file and where, with the initial move operation being done probably hours ago.

    It would have been nice if the context menu items Paste/Undo had like a small [x] button on the right to empty the clipboard.

  4. Haakon October 31, 2016 at 8:01 pm #

    Skwire ClipTrap - A simple clipboard manager.
    http://skwire.dcmembers.com/fp/?page=cliptrap
    Options screenshot is outdated. User settings and features are considerably enhanced in v1.2.2.
    Within the context of this tutorial, the clipboard and the ClipTrap cache (a temporary local txt file) can be individually auto-cleared in user set seconds, minutes or hours.
    I have it working OK on two Windows 10 systems; 90 seconds for the clipboard, 5 minutes for the cache.

  5. Mike O October 31, 2016 at 8:15 pm #

    I created a shortcut using

    TARGET:
    C:\Windows\System32\cmd.exe /c "echo off | clip"
    START IN:
    C:\Windows\system32

    I got a 'clipboard' icon for shortcut from: C:\Windows\System32\shell32.dll

    I have it sitting between the Start button and Windows Explorer icon on my Taskbar. I have been using this for years and I use it multiple times every day.

  6. Mike O October 31, 2016 at 8:23 pm #

    Very cool! I created this useful shortcut and been using it for years. I use it multiple times every day. Sits on the Taskbar between the Start and Windows Explorer buttons

    TARGET:
    C:\Windows\System32\cmd.exe /c "echo off | clip"
    START IN:
    C:\Windows\system32

    I got a 'clipboard' icon for shortcut from: C:\Windows\System32\shell32.dll

  7. Tom Hawack October 31, 2016 at 8:31 pm #

    I ignored the command-line trick. Nice.

    Here I use Nirsoft' nircmd application with the command-line parameter 'clipboard clear' : nircmd.exe clipboard clear

  8. Bugu October 31, 2016 at 11:47 pm #

    I always:
    1. WIN+R
    2. type x
    3. CTRL+A
    4. CTRL+X (to overwrite the clipboard)
    5. CTRL+V (to double check if it went right)

    It sounds complicated, but in fact I do all of this in just a second and it just works.

    • Space July 12, 2017 at 1:21 am #

      you type Space, not X.

  9. Tod November 1, 2016 at 4:20 am #

    I prefer ClipboardMaster for Windows.

  10. chesscanoe November 1, 2016 at 4:44 am #

    The popular IrfanView has Edit-Clear Clipboard.

    • scylla November 3, 2016 at 2:06 am #

      Despite using IrfanView for donkey's years I'd never noticed it. It works! Thanks!

  11. Igor November 1, 2016 at 9:43 am #

    I use CoodClip, simple and efficient.

    BTW. when I was installing it last time I already had something in my Windows clipboard but after installing CoodClip I could see not just last clipboard entry but also few previous. So it looks like Windows is actually keeping more than one entry but it is only showing you the last one.

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