How to Clear the Clipboard in Excel: 3 Methods [2024]

Copy and paste are helpful commands we just can’t live without. But have you ever wondered where data are stored when copied? 🤔

When you copy data, it gets stored in a space called the Office Clipboard. Once stored, you can use that data and paste it across other Office programs.

In Excel, this is extremely useful when you need to copy formulas or formats.

But when you collect too many items on your Office clipboard, you might get a full clipboard. When you store a new item, you lose the other items previously stored in it 😟

In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to manage contents in your Excel clipboard and how to clear it in three (3) ways 😀

Clear the way, and let’s start!

How to clear all content in the clipboard in Excel

The Office clipboard can store virtually any type of data you recently copied or cut. Whether that data is text, links, or images, it can store up to 24 items in the clipboard.

There are enough reasons why you need to know how to clear the clipboard in Excel. This could include any of the following: 👇

  • You want to protect any confidential information especially when you’re using or sharing with someone else’s computer
  • You want to work faster in Excel by storing only the necessary items.
  • You want to free up space for new items to be stored.

Whatever the reason, clearing the entire contents of your Excel clipboard is easy! 😊

Here are all the steps to delete all the items in your Excel clipboard.

  1. Open Excel and Go to the Home Tab.
Home Tab
  1. In the Clipboard group, click the Clipboard dialog box launcher.
Office clipboard icon

The Clipboard task pane will appear on the left side of your spreadsheet.

It’s where all the items you copied are stored. This shows you your clipboard history.

clipboard task pane
  1. To clear the entire clipboard contents, click the Clear All button.
clear clipboard data in clipboard task pane

That’s it! 👍

All your clipboard items are now cleared out and you can start with an empty clipboard for your work.

clear the clipboard data

The Office Clipboard is a Microsoft Office feature that allows you to store items up to 24 items. The items stored can be accessed and used across all the other programs.

When you copy the 25th item, the very first item you copied will be automatically deleted.

Kasper Langmann, Microsoft Office Specialist

But what if you don’t want to clear clipboard history altogether because some clipboard data are necessary for what you’re currently working on? 🤔

Don’t worry, it’s possible!

Remove individual items from the clipboard

You don’t need to clear all the items from your clipboard. It is possible to delete individual items from the Office clipboard too 😀

Say, you copied a lot of items and you want to remove only some of them that you don’t need.

To do that, open the Clipboard task pane again and…

  1. Hover your cursor over the item you want to remove. Then click the dropdown icon on the right side of the item.
  2. Select the Delete option to remove the item from the clipboard.
delete clipboard item

You can remove other clipboard items that you don’t need so you can focus on the necessary items and have space for new ones 👍

Clear clipboard with shortcut

There is no keyboard shortcut that will directly clear the clipboard. But there is a keyboard shortcut to open the Clipboard task pane so you can clear clipboard history or single items in it.

You can open the Office clipboard by pressing these keys one after another:

Alt + H + F + O

Alt + H is the shortcut key to open the Home Tab. This will also highlight the keyboard shortcut keys to every button and option in the Home Tab.

Then press F, then O on your keyboard.

office clipboard icon

This will open up the Clipboard task pane on the left side of the spreadsheet 😀

see clipboard history

Enable Copy Twice to show the Office clipboard

Another way to open the Clipboard task pane is to enable the Copy Twice shortcut from within the Office Clipboard menu options.

When you open the Clipboard task pane, you will see the Options button at the bottom.

  1. Click on the Options button.
options button in the Office clipboard
  1. Click the Show Office Clipboard When Ctrl + C Pressed Twice option from the menu.

If a checkmark ✔ is seen to its left, then it means the option is enabled.

show clipboard

Now, whenever you press the Ctrl + C twice, the Office clipboard will appear 😊

That’s it – Now what?

Clearly, the Office Clipboard is such a useful feature that allows you to access multiple items you’ve copied to be pasted into your worksheet 👍

Now that you’ve learned how to clear the clipboard in Excel, you can just clear the clipboard history with a single click, or remove the items you don’t need.

Try to open the Office clipboard using the keyboard shortcut when you want to clear clipboard data. It will make you feel like an Excel PRO 😎

If you want to be a real Excel PRO, then it’s time for you to turbocharge your skills in Microsoft Excel. Learn advanced functions that you actually need (and more!) with my simple, practical, free Excel Intermediate training 💻

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