As the world continues to digitally evolve, the simple act of copy-pasting has become a daily routine. The clipboard, which briefly holds copied or cut content, is often underestimated in terms of its importance in our digital lives. But what if you need to retrieve something you copied several hours ago, or even yesterday? This is where clipboard history comes in. This article guides you through the process of accessing your clipboard history on MacOS.
To view the content currently held in your clipboard, initiate the Finder application and proceed by selecting ‘Edit’ from the menu options. From the ensuing dropdown, opt for ‘Show Clipboard’ to display the information your clipboard presently harbors.
What Is a Clipboard and Clipboard History?
Before diving into the specifics, it is essential to understand the fundamental concept of the clipboard and clipboard history. The clipboard is a software facility used for short-term data storage and transfer between documents or applications, via copy and paste operations. Each time you copy something, it’s saved into the clipboard, but when you copy something else, the previous content is replaced.
Clipboard history, on the other hand, is a feature that maintains a history of the items you have copied or cut. This feature allows you to revisit your copying history and retrieve content you copied earlier, preventing any data loss that might occur when the clipboard content is overwritten.
Clipboard History on MacOS: An Overview
Apple MacOS, as of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021, does not natively support clipboard history. The system clipboard keeps track of only the most recent item you copied. To access a clipboard history, you will need to use a third-party application. There are several options available, some free and some paid, each with its own set of features.
How to Access Clipboard History on MacOS
Now let’s get into the main topic: How to access your clipboard history on MacOS. As mentioned earlier, you’ll need to use third-party tools. Here are the steps to access clipboard history using two popular apps, Paste and Flycut.
Paste is a robust clipboard manager for MacOS that allows you to access your clipboard history easily. It comes with a free trial, and if you find it useful, you can purchase the full version.
- Download Paste from the Mac App Store and install it on your MacOS device.
- Once installed, you can access the app from the MacOS menu bar.
- By default, Paste starts recording your clipboard history as soon as it’s installed and running.
- To access your clipboard history, click on the Paste icon in the menu bar. This action will display a visual timeline of everything you’ve copied to the clipboard.
- To paste an item from the history, just click on it, and it will be available for pasting using the regular Cmd + V shortcut.
Flycut is another excellent clipboard manager for MacOS. It’s a free, open-source application that stores your clipboard history and makes it easily accessible.
- Download Flycut from the Mac App Store and install it on your MacOS device.
- Once installed, you can access Flycut from the MacOS menu bar.
- By default, Flycut starts recording your clipboard history as soon as it’s running.
- To access your clipboard history, click on the Flycut icon in the menu bar. A dropdown menu will appear, listing your clipboard history.
- To paste an item from the history, click on the item you want. It will be loaded into your current clipboard and can be pasted using the Cmd + V shortcut.
Other Clipboard Managers
Apart from Paste and Flycut, other third-party applications also allow you to access clipboard history on MacOS. These include:
- Clipboard History Pro: This application allows easy access to clipboard history and offers features like favorites, data type view, and much more.
- CopyClip: This tool is straightforward and easy to use, keeping your clipboard history at your fingertips.
- Unclutter: This is a paid app that combines clipboard history management with file management and quick notes.
Even though MacOS does not support clipboard history natively, multiple third-party applications can serve the purpose efficiently. These applications not only enable access to clipboard history but also offer a wide range of other features that can streamline your workflow. Whether you choose a free or paid application largely depends on your specific needs and preferences. By utilizing these tools, you’ll ensure you never lose a piece of valuable information that has been copied, enhancing your productivity and digital experience on MacOS.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why doesn’t MacOS natively support clipboard history?
As of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021, Apple has not incorporated clipboard history into MacOS. The exact reasons for this decision are known only to Apple. However, third-party applications are available to fill this gap.
Can I access my clipboard history without installing a third-party application?
No, as of September 2021, you cannot access your clipboard history on MacOS without using a third-party application. The system clipboard only stores the most recent copied or cut item.
Is there a free application to access clipboard history on MacOS?
Yes, there are several free applications available, such as Flycut, which allow you to access your clipboard history. However, these free apps may not have as many features as their paid counterparts.
Are these third-party clipboard managers safe to use?
Generally, applications available on the Mac App Store are safe to use. They’ve been reviewed by Apple for safety and security. However, always read reviews and research applications before downloading them to ensure they meet your privacy and security expectations.
How many items can I store in my clipboard history using third-party apps?
The number of items you can store in your clipboard history depends on the specific application you are using. Some apps may allow you to store an unlimited number of items, while others may have a set limit.
Can I sync my clipboard history across multiple MacOS devices?
Yes, some third-party applications like Paste provide a sync feature that allows you to access your clipboard history across multiple MacOS devices. However, this feature might not be available in all applications.
What if I copy sensitive information? Will it be stored in these third-party applications?
Yes, clipboard managers typically store everything that is copied. If you often copy sensitive information, look for a clipboard manager that allows you to exclude certain applications from the clipboard history, or one that supports a private mode. Always make sure to review the privacy policies of any app you download.
Is there a way to clear my clipboard history?
Yes, most clipboard managers provide an option to clear the clipboard history. The exact steps vary by application, but it usually involves going into the app’s settings or preferences.