How to clear the clipboard on a mac

Written by richard kalinowski
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How to clear the clipboard on a mac
Copying blank text with your keyboard removes existing clipboard data. (Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

When you copy a file on an Apple computer, it is placed on the clipboard. A Mac's clipboard is stores the last copied or cut item for quick recall. When your clipboard contains a large image, it consumes system memory and slows down browsing speeds. You can clear virtually all of the clipboard's data by copying a blank piece of textual data. When you copy a small or blank piece of text, this overwrites the existing clipboard files, speeding things up and getting rid of the last item you cut-and-pasted.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Open a blank note pad or word processing document on your Mac.

  2. 2

    Press the "Space" key.

  3. 3

    Click and drag your cursor over the space.

  4. 4

    Press "Command" and "C" to copy the blank text to your clipboard. This clears the existing clipboard data, replacing it with a blank space.

Tips and warnings

  • You can click on the "Finder" button, click "Edit," and select "Show Clipboard" to verify that the clipboard is empty.
  • When you restart your Mac, the clipboard is automatically cleared.

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