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How to use clipboard on Android phone (2024 guide)

Let’s face it. Manually copy-pasting multiple texts, images, or links from one app to another is tedious. But you can make the process a breeze by using the clipboard on your Android phone. The clipboard stores all the items you cut or copy on your phone and lets you access them later for a limited time.

While this tool is handy, many users find it difficult to access or view the clipboard history. In this article, I’ll explain how to find, use, and edit the clipboard on your Android phone.

Where to find clipboard on Android?

Most Android devices have Gboard as the default keyboard. The clipboard is part of this keyboard app. Gboard saves up to five recently copied items and keeps them for an hour. After five items, the clipboard removes the oldest copied item whenever you copy any text or take a screenshot.

However, when using Gboard for the first time, you must enable the clipboard to view it. Once enabled, you should see a clipboard icon πŸ“‹ in the menu bar at the top of the keyboard. If you don’t see that icon, do the following:

  1. Launch any app where you can type text.  
  2. Tap the text field β†’ Gboard keyboard will pop up at the bottom.
  3. Select the four-square icon at the top left of the keyboard β†’ Choose Clipboard.  
  4. Since you are using it for the first time, toggle on Clipboard or tap Turn on clipboard.

    Select the four-square icon, choose Clipboard and toggle on Clipboard on your Android phone

Now that you know how to enable the clipboard on Android, let me show you how to use this tool optimally.

How to use clipboard on Android using Gboard

The main function of the clipboard is to help you copy-paste multiple items in one go.

  1. To store items in the clipboard, long-press any word and drag the text selector cursor to highlight the text you want to copy.
  2. Then pick Copy from the floating toolbar.
  3. Now, when you start writing in a text field, you will see the copied text above the keyboard. Place your cursor where you want to paste the text and tap the cursor.
  4. Then select Paste from the floating menu. It will paste the last copied item from the clipboard.

    Drag the cursor from the word you want to copy and select the Copy from floating menu on your Android phone and select Paste

However, you may wonder how to access the older copied items or view the clipboard history on your Android. Well, you can easily manage the clipboard with a few quick steps. Let’s find out!

How to access clipboard history on Android

To view the content on your clipboard, launch the keyboard in a supported app β†’ Before you type anything, tap the menu icon β†’ Select Clipboard. Here you will see all the latest copied text and screenshots.

You may paste any item by tapping it on the clipboard. The Gboard clipboard also lets you easily pin and delete your copied content.

How to pin and delete clipboard content on Android

  1. Open a text field.
  2. Select the four-square icon on the keyboard β†’ Tap Clipboard.
  3. Tap and hold any item and choose either of the following options:

    Select the four-square icon, Tap the clipboard, Tap and hold any item and choose either Paste, Pin or Delete
    • Pin: You can pin important content to restrict deletion after one hour. To unpin, simply press and hold the item > tap Unpin.
    • Delete: If you don’t need a copied item, you can delete it.  

Alternatively, if you have multiple items to pin or delete, you can do the following.

  1. Access the Clipboard on your Gboard.
  2. Tap the Pencil icon.  
  3. Select your desired items.
  4. Choose the Pin or Bin icon at the top based on your preference.

    Select the Pencil icon, choose the desired item or text and then choose either Bin or Pin icon

Like most Android features, you can customize your Gboard clipboard settings to your taste. Curious to know more about it? Jump to the next section.

How to customize Gboard clipboard on Android

Google allows you to customize your Gboard clipboard to ensure easy content accessibility. To do so, follow the steps: 

  1. Go to a text field.
  2. When the keyboard pops up, select Settings (gear icon) at the top right.
    In case you don’t find it in the top menu, select the four-square button β†’ Choose the gear icon.
  3. In the new window, select Clipboard.  
  4. Here, you get three options. Toggle on the settings based on your requirements.
    • Show recently copied text and images in the suggestions bar 
    • Show items such as addresses/phone numbers within recently copied text 
    • Save recent screenshots in clipboard
      When you toggle on this option for the first time, you get a prompt to allow or disallow Gboard to access the files on your device. You must tap Allow to activate this toggle.

      Select the Settings gear icon, tap on Clipboard and toggle on the three options you see

You are probably surprised by how useful Gboard can be. What if I tell you there’s more? Don’t believe me? Then check out our detailed guide on Gboard tips and tricks!

Till now, we have learned how to access and use a clipboard on your Android phone; let me show you a quick tip to save you time. Have you also faced this situation where you want to share a copied text with others but need to edit it beforehand?

In this situation, most users paste the text first into the notepad and edit it as required. Next, they copy or cut the edited text and send it to others. But if you don’t want so much hassle and bustle, there’s a straightforward way to edit and share clipboard content on Android. Let me show you.

How to edit clipboard content on Android using Visual Clipboard

Starting with Android 13, you get a copy-paste tool called Visual Clipboard. It is a built-in system feature enabled by default on compatible phones.

After copying a text, the Visual Clipboard lets you see a preview of the text you have recently copied. The preview thumbnail pops up at the bottom left of your screen. Tapping the preview lets you edit the clipboard content before pasting it to your desired place. Here’s a step-by-step guide.

  1. Open any web page/document of your choice.  
  2. Press and hold the text you want to select.  
    Adjust the length of the text by dragging the pointer.  
  3. Pick Copy from the popup menu.  
  4. You see a small preview of the copied text in the bottom-left corner.  
  5. Tap the thumbnail. It takes you to a window where you can see all the text you have just copied.

    Select the text and tap copy, tap on the small preview at the left-bottom and that will take you to the copied text  
  6. Now, edit the text as you prefer. All the changes are automatically saved to the clipboard.
  7. Open the app where you want to paste the text.
  8. Now tap the suggested text shown above the keyboard.

You may also tap the Share icon next to the preview thumbnail to send the copied text directly to others.

Get copied texts handy!

It’s a wrap! As we conclude this guide on how to access the clipboard on Android phones, you must be confident in using the feature.

If you have an interesting Android clipboard secret, I missed here, please share it in the comments. Also, keep visiting us for more such guides, app reviews, and everything Android.

Author

  • Ava Biswas

    With over three years of prolific content creation in the Android and Windows niches, Ava stands as an accomplished tech content editor. Her ability to break down technical concepts into reader-friendly content has established her as a go-to authority for consumer tech. She cultivated her expertise during her tenure at iGeeksBlog and TechBurner. Armed with a Bachelor's degree in Computer Applications, she has a solid foundation for comprehending and simplifying complex technological topics. So, Ava is dedicated to bridging the gap between complex tech jargon and everyday readers, ensuring technology is accessible and enjoyable for all.

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