How to Recover Old Items on Windows Clipboard

clipboard 2 image by William Berry from

The Windows clipboard serves as a temporary storage space for data that you need to transfer to another part of a document or into another program. If you use the "Copy" or "Cut" functions in a Windows program, the selected data moves onto the clipboard and, when you use the "Paste" function, the data reappears in your current document. While Windows does not provide a built-in tool to recover old items on the clipboard, several programs do offer this capability.

Download ClipX for your Windows system. Once ClipX is installed to your computer, whenever you use a Windows program in which you copy and paste, such as Microsoft Word or Excel, a clipboard icon appears in the taskbar at the bottom right of your screen. Right-click the clipboard at any time and hover over "Clipboard History" in the menu to see a list of clipboard items from the recent past, or click "Load History" to see older clipboard items.

Get TenClips for your Windows computer. Like ClipX, TenClips adds a clipboard icon to the system tray of your computer. The program allows you to store and switch between items stored on ten different clipboards. After installing TenClips, right-click the icon that appears in the system tray and click "Settings" in the menu. Type in any key combination, such as "Ctrl+K" or "Ctrl+%" in the box by each of the clipboards to set the key combination that pastes the item stored on that clipboard. While in a program, press the key combination at any time to paste the clipboard data.

Install Clipdiary to keep long-term track of items stored on your Windows clipboard. Clipdiary automatically launches each time the computer starts up and adds every piece of data that is copied or cut to the clipboard to its database. Access the Clipdiary database to recover old items on the clipboard at any time by pressing "Ctrl+D." If you prefer another key combination to open the Clipdiary database, go to "File>Options" and enter the new key combination in the box labelled "Open the Clip Selection Dialog Box".

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