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Windows 10 Clipboard History Not Working: How to Open My Clipboard History?

Windows 10 has a built-in clipboard manager. This is a somewhat recent feature that was added to extend the capabilities of the clipboard on Windows 10. 

Windows users have long used clipboard managers to hold more than one item in the clipboard. With third-party tools, there is always the danger that sensitive data may leak which is why having an on-board solution like the Windows 10 Clipboard History is better.

Windows 10 clipboard history

Windows 10 Clipboard History Not Working

In order to use the Windows 10 Clipboard History, you must meet the following system requirements;

  • Running Windows 10 October 2018 or later build
  • Add a Microsoft Live account to Windows 10

To enable Clipboard History after making sure you meet the above requirements, follow these steps.

  1. Open the Settings app with the Win+I keyboard shortcut.
  2. Go to System>Clipboard.
  3. Turn on the ‘Save multiple items to the clipboard to use later…’ switch.

Using Clipboard History on Windows 10;

  1. Copy items with the Ctrl+C keyboard shortcut like normal.
  2. Tap the Win+V keyboard shortcut to open Clipboard History.
  3. Select the item you want to paste.
  4. Once selected, use the Ctrl+V keyboard shortcut to paste it.

How to Access Clipboard (History)

If you’ve gone through the set-up process and Clipboard History is not working, try the fixes listed below.

1. Restart Windows Explorer

If you’ve enabled Clipboard History but the feature isn’t working, your first troubleshooting step should be to restart Windows Explorer.

  1. Right-click the Taskbar and select Task Manager from the context menu. 
  2. Go to the Processes tab.
  3. Look for and select Windows Explorer.
  4. Click the Restart button at the bottom right.

Note: It may be worth restarting the system once after you’ve enabled Clipboard History.

2. Enable Clipboard History from Registry

For some users, the Clipboard History has to be enabled from the Windows registry. It’s not clear why this happens but may have to do with the locale that you’ve set in Windows 10.

  1. Tap the Win+R keyboard shortcut to open the Run box.
  2. In the run box, enter regedit and tap the Enter key.
  3. Go to this key: KEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\System
  4. Look for the value AllowClipboardHistory. If it doesn’t exist, right-click the System value and select New>DWORD (32-bit) value from the context menu. Name it AllowClipboardHistory.
  5. Double-click the AllowClipboardHistory value and set its value to 1.
  6. Restart Windows Explorer (see previous section).

3. Edit Group Policy

If you have the Pro version of Windows 10, you also have the group policy editor in addition to the registry editor. You will have to enable Clipboard History in the Group Policy separately. 

  1. Tap the Win+R keyboard shortcut to open the run box.
  2. In the run box, enter gpedit.msc and tap the Enter key.
  3. Go to Computer Configuration>Administrative Templates>System>OS Policies.
  4. Look for and double-click Allow Clipboard History
  5. Select the Enabled option in the window that opens.
  6. Click Ok.
  7. Look for Allow Clipboard synchronization across devices and double-click it.
  8. Select the Enabled option, and click OK.

Note: It is a good idea to restart Windows Explorer after making this change.

Conclusion

Clipboard History works if you have a Microsoft Live account set as the user account on your system. This is, for many users, the only shortcoming this feature has. If you do not use a Microsoft Live account, enabling it will probably be the most time consuming part of enabling Clipboard History. This feature works as soon as it is enabled and generally, there is no wait period for it to activate. 

 

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