How to Use the Android Clipboard Effectively

How To Use The Android Clipboard Effectively Feature

Do you wish the built-in Android clipboard could do more? The stock clipboard is fairly basic, but once you know how to use it, it may be all you need. However, it’s designed for simple copy and paste only versus being a full-fledged clipboard manager.

Is the Clipboard Accessible via Settings?

Unfortunately, the clipboard is not easily accessible through your device’s settings. Depending on what device and Android version you have, you can see the clipboard option when you copy a text, but it’s not a sure thing.

How to Copy and Paste on Android Clipboard

Long-press on a word and tap “Copy” or take a screenshot to copy something to your Android clipboard. Your copied text or image won’t be stored in the clipboard forever, though. If you don’t paste it immediately, it will be erased from the memory after a short while or when you copy another piece of text.

Newer versions of Android keep a longer history that overwrites itself as you copy more items. You can test this out yourself by trying to copy multiple items to see if your device keeps multiple items at a time.

Switch to the app where you want to paste. Long-press on the text area where you want to paste, and the Paste option will appear. Tap on “Paste,” and your copied text will appear.


Another way to copy text to the clipboard is to also long-press on the text, but instead of tapping on the “Copy” option, tapping on the “Share” option. You might need to swipe left to see the “Copy to Clipboard” option.

You may also see another option beside “Paste.” If you see “Clip Tray,” tap it to see everything currently stored in your clipboard. If you have Android 9 or earlier, you can check for the clip tray in any app that accepts text. In Android 10 and later, only apps that have permission to copy and paste between other apps will show this.

How To Use The Android Clipboard Effectively Clip Tray

How to Have More Control Over the Android Clipboard

As you can see, the stock clipboard is extremely limited. If you need more control and usability, there are plenty of clipboard apps you can install from the Play store. Clipper is one good option since it gives you quite a few options to better organize your clips. It allows you to store your clipboard content and offers you multiple options to utilize them.

You can sort your clipboard items by date or by content. By tapping on the trash icon at the top on the main page, you can erase all your clips simultaneously. When you tap on the three dots to the right of a clip, you get options such as View, Edit, Delete, Pin, Move, Share, and Select.


If you see something you want to copy to Clipper, long-press on the text and select the “Share” option. The Clipper should be among the first options available. To add any text you already copied to the app, press the blue circle with the white plus sign and paste your text. Remember to give your note a title and select “Save.”


Do note that the clipboard manger saves everything you copied, including your password, so remember to clear your clipboard content regularly if you are copying/pasting sensitive content.

Of course, there are other Android clipboard managers available. It’s important to note that in Android 10 and later, clipboard access is limited, and you may need to enable special ADB permissions.

Wrapping Up

It’s disappointing that the only thing you can do with the stock Android clipboard is copy and paste text and screenshots. Considering that many users regularly copy text either online or from an app, you would think you would be able to see at least a list of what you copied. If you are using the Gboard app, then you would be glad to know that it comes with a useful clipboard manager.

Crystal Crowder
Crystal Crowder

Crystal Crowder has spent over 15 years working in the tech industry, first as an IT technician and then as a writer. She works to help teach others how to get the most from their devices, systems, and apps. She stays on top of the latest trends and is always finding solutions to common tech problems.

Subscribe to our newsletter!

Our latest tutorials delivered straight to your inbox