How to Enable Copy-Paste in Windows 10 Command Prompt

Featured Image Windows Command Line Copy Paste

One of the annoying problems with the Windows Command prompt is that it doesn’t let you copy-paste stuff inside. To address this, we bring you the latest guide to enabling copy and paste functionality within the command prompt in Windows 10.

We will also discuss command line text selection and current line clearing, as they go hand in hand with copy-paste techniques. Put together, all these workarounds can help you leverage the command prompt as a typical Word processor tool.

Note: these tips should work best for Windows 10, latest versions 1909 or 1903. If you haven’t upgraded from earlier Windows 10 versions, consider doing it right now from “System Settings ->Check for Updates.” In case of any trouble, you can self-diagnose and resolve any pending issues using the Update Troubleshooter or SetUpDiag.

Enable CTRL + V in Windows Command Prompt

We will first examine how to resolve the CTRL + V issue in the command terminal, as it is easier to fix. Always ensure that your system is up to date.

1. Right-click anywhere in the command prompt and select “Properties.”

Cmd Copy Paste Properties 1

2. Go to “Options” and check “Use CTRL + SHIFT + C/V as Copy/Paste” in the edit options.

3. Click “OK” to save this selection. It should now effectively enable the copy-paste commands in the Windows command prompt.

Cmd Copy Paste Select Options 1

Check for any suitable browser text or other legitimate code online. You may copy this selection using either right-click “Copy” or Ctrl + C, whichever you find easier.

Cmd Copy Paste From Online 1

4. Use the approved keyboard shortcut Ctrl + Shift + V to paste the text inside the terminal. You can also paste using a right-click.

5. You can also use the simpler Ctrl + V for pasting without the confusing Shift key. Such variations don’t really make sense except to Windows developers! Thus, if there are any issues, always go back to Ctrl + Shift + V as a default for paste.

Cmd Copy Paste Ctrl V From Outside Cmd 1

Enable CTRL + C within Command Prompt Text

Using CTRL + C within the Command Prompt is a bit more complex than CTRL + V. That’s because you cannot select any of the text using a mouse cursor display. Fortunately, there is a workaround for this.

Cmd Copy Paste Cannot Select With Mouse 1

1. Use either Ctrl + A or “Select All” from a right-click menu to highlight the entire text in the command prompt. This is just a simple tweak to select a given text line for copying.

Cmd Copy Paste Select All Text Cmd 1

2. Simply release the mouse. It will deselect the entire screen, but a tiny mouse cursor display is activated.

Cmd Copy Paste Release Mouse Select 1

3. You can easily select any line item within the terminal, and it will take the property of the mouse cursor display. Whether you use a laptop trackpad or a proper mouse, there is a pointer that can select as much or as little of the target text as you want.

Cmd Copy Paste Drag Pointer 1

You can use the above trick to select any line of text as shown here. This can now be copied using Ctrl + C. Unfortunately, right-click may not work, as it simply deselects everything, and then you will have to repeat the procedure again. Because of this, it’s recommended to use the Ctrl + C shortcut. You can also use Ctrl + Shift + C if needed.

Cmd Copy Paste Select Specific Line 1

The following image shows the simultaneous use of “CTRL + C/CTRL + V” in the command terminal window itself.

Cmd Copy Paste Ctrl C Within Cmd 1

Other Important Text-Editing Keys in Cmd

Apart from CTRL + C/CTRL + V, you should know how to fix a few simple editing errors in the command terminal. One of the common errors is copy-pasting the wrong code or a typo. Of course, you can hit backspace, but it can be time-consuming for a long line of code.

Cmd Copy Paste Removing Selected Line 1

Simply hit the ESC key on your keyboard, and the error line will disappear.

Cmd Copy Paste Escape Button 1

All the text in a current line can be cleared using the ESC key.

Cmd Copy Paste Escape Cleared Text 1

Likewise, using the cls command will wipe the entire command terminal clean.

Cmd Copy Paste Cls Cleanup 1

By default, Windows 10 copy-paste does not work from either the right-click or keyboard shortcuts. This is such a vital function, but for strange reasons, many users complain that they are unable to use CTRL + C/CTRL + V in the Windows command line.

Now that you know how to copy and paste in the command prompt, you can proceed to set up commands to run automatically at command prompt start or master this list of command prompt tricks. You might also want to learn how to run a Java program from the command prompt.

Sayak Boral Sayak Boral

Sayak Boral is a technology writer with over ten years of experience working in different industries including semiconductors, IoT, enterprise IT, telecommunications OSS/BSS, and network security. He has been writing for MakeTechEasier on a wide range of technical topics including Windows, Android, Internet, Hardware Guides, Browsers, Software Tools, and Product Reviews.