How to View Copy-Paste History on Macbook or Mac

How to View Copy-Paste History on Macbook or Mac

Copy-pasting has made a revolution in productivity. This may sound strange to you, as everyone knows how common it is. Every person who has a Mac, a computer, a phone or a tablet copy-pastes nearly every day. And it is great, as without this kind of functionality we would have to write everything from scratch spending tons of time. So let’s see how to copy and paste on Mac like a pro.

By the way, I have recently found a cool app for Mac called Setapp, subscription to which allows me to save money and get access to more than 150 popular Mac apps. Try it too (Setapp it’s free for Download).

You know that Mac users can copy and paste by using simple keyword combinations: cmd/⌘+C for copying, cmd/⌘+V for pasting. However, you can copy and paste just one thing at a time. If you will copy something else, then your previous clipboard may be lost. What a pain! And even the most innovative and expensive Macs have just 1 clipboard.

So, let’s begin our How to copy and paste on Mac’ instruction with managing the clipboard history.



What is Clipboard History

After you have copied something, your previous copied piece of information is lost. Mac’s memory function can keep in it only one thing at a time. And if it’s gone, then it is gone forever. Still, there are software solutions called ‘clipboard managers’. Here is the one strongly recommended by me.


How Do You Copy and Paste Different Clipboards on Mac

Mac’s clipboard is a kind of software that is constantly running in the background. You can find your clipboard in Finder. Go to the toolbar at the top, select ‘Show clipboard’ and see what you copied most recently.

copy paste mac image3
How does it work?

Actually, it works as other Mac’s native functions. This is a light basic program that practically doesn’t load your machine at all. Nevertheless, there is a limitation of the number of items you can copy.
The good news is that we now have a solution that allows users to see the clipboard history and find what is necessary.


How to Find Clipboard History

The cmd/⌘+V combination shows you the last copied item. By the way, you can copy not only texts or images but files and folders as well. For that, go to Finder and use cmd/⌘+C and cmd/⌘+V combinations to copy-paste everything you need there.

Let’s get back to how to copy and paste, or view the clipboard history on Mac. It works on MacOS Sierra and iOS 10 and is called ‘Universal Clipboard’. You will need turned on Wi-Fi and Bluetooth and being logged into iCloud to sync your clipboard history on both devices. After you connect the devices, you can copy something on the first one and paste to the second one.
To troubleshoot any issues with Universal Clipboard, log out from your iCloud on all devices and log in once again.

Here are the alternatives for this copy-paste tool:

  1. Using text clippings. Select text in a document, just drag it to your Mac’s desktop. When you want to paste it somewhere, drag it from the desktop to another program (if it supports this kind of drag-and-drop interaction). You may leave the desktop behind and drag and drop a piece of text directly to another window.
  2. The Paste software is straightforward. It keeps everything copied by you in all the formats from texts to pictures and links. Use its smart search to browse your clipboard history and share your copied items to other devices.
  3. Rocket Typist is one more nice app that allows users to create clipboards of what you frequently use (from text snippets to PHP scripts). You can set some trigger combinations for every snippet to easily paste those pieces wherever you need.
  4. Unclutter is an app that allows you to store notes. It works like a clipboard manager and keeps everything you copied even after you copy new information. An easy-to-use interface helps users quickly browse their clipboard history.

copy paste mac image2

How to Paste from Clipboard on Mac

cmd/⌘+V is a standard combination. Still, if you use some software like Paste, there are a few options for doing that:

  • Drag and drop items to the necessary application.
  • Select and paste several items at a time.
  • Paste everything as text regardless of what was the original.
  • Paste files from several devices using iCloud synchronization.
  • Use customized shortcuts for old and recent items.
  • Allow other users to paste your clipboards via AirDrop.


How to Recover Your Clipboard History

When it comes to copying and pasting on Mac, everyone is interested in whether it is possible to recover the clipboard history. MacOS has no built-in features for that, however, you can press cmd/⌘+Z to undo the recent changes and each press will take you to the previous change. You may do this repeatedly until you get to what you need.
If you use apps like Unclutter or Paste, viewing the clipboard history becomes possible and simple. They store all the snippets you’ve made.

copy paste mac image1
How to Clear Your Clipboard

It is a piece of cake. MacOS overwrites it constantly, so you don’t even need to think about clearing the clipboard. In Paste or other apps, you can clear this history in a couple of clicks.
So, if you want to save yourself from accidental overwriting your clipboard, feel free to use any of these apps. What’s more, they are available in Setapp collection which helps you maximize the experience of using Mac.

You now know how to copy and paste on Mac or MacBook, so try how it works now! If you have some questions, please contact me. Thank you very much for reading my article!