Create a shortcut to clear the clipboard in Windows Vista and Windows 7

By | May 4, 2011

We’re going to show you how to create a shortcut that will let you clear the Windows clipboard anytime you like by clicking its icon. Why would you want to clear the clipboard? Because massive amounts of data copied to the clipboard can slow your computer down significantly. Plus, information stored on the Windows clipboard may contain personal and private information you don’t want anyone else to access, for instance credit card numbers, phone numbers, addresses and the like. Information stored on the Windows clipboard is the least secure of all. Any Web site can access your clipboard with a simple script. In fact, many Web sites do – but not for malicious purposes. Any Web site that allows you to fill forms, write email, documents, etc. will have a copy/paste feature. Where do you think that information goes to and comes from? Right! Your Windows clipboard.

It’s better to keep it clear of data just to be on the safe side and to keep your computer running at optimal speed.

And this is also a quick and easy way to clear your clipboard if you copied something that you don’t want to leave on the clipboard that someone could come along and see – even by accident. It could be embarrassing in a work environment for example.

Enough yammering! Here’s how you create a shortcut to clear the Windows Vista and Windows 7 clipboard.

Right click on an empty area of your desktop and choose “New” and “Shortcut”

Type in the following command (exactly)

cmd /c “echo off | clip”

Now, click “Next” and then give the shortcut a name (“Clear Clipboard” would be nice, eh?)

Click “Finish” and that’s all there is to it. The Clear Clipboard icon will on your desktop but it doesn’t have to stay there if you don’t want it there. You can drag it to your start menu or to your Quick Launch toolbar (in Vista) or to your Taskbar in Windows 7. Or, if you’re not a neat-freak, you can leave it right there on your desktop.

Now, anytime you want to clear the clipboard, all you have to do is just click your “Clear Clipboard” icon.

27 thoughts on “Create a shortcut to clear the clipboard in Windows Vista and Windows 7

  1. Laura Boivin

    In the command copy below
    cmd /c “echo off (|) clip”

    In brackets, I do not see straight bar that on my keyboard. Can you help?

    Thanks

    Reply
  2. Colin Jones

    This didn’t work I got as far as”New” and then “Shortcut” and then…nothing. Thanks for nothing.Mind you I am running Vista Home Premium so this maybe explains everything. If I could afford it I would go to Mac.

    Reply
  3. Artie

    I had to go thru the instrs for making the shortcut to clear the clipboard. The second time around, I used my desktop when asked where to put the shortcut. I didn’t see that in the instrs but it came out ok anyway. Thanks for all the tips and good advice you give to all of us.

    Reply
  4. Betty Mascheri

    I had wanted to make the shortcut to clear my clipboard. But came across a problem. Where do I find on my keyboard the sign that’s between the words off & clip?

    Reply
  5. MSgtMackel

    Thanks a bunch. I have wanted this for a long time.

    Reply
  6. Adele

    Hi,When I click on the icon I get a small black screen that flicks on and off so fast, then it’s gone.What happened? And can this be uninstalled? Can’t find it on add and remove.or Revo. Thanks for any help.

    Reply
    1. infoave Post author

      The flash is a DOS window opening and close… you’re running a DOS command. You can tell if you cleared your clipboard by opening notepad and pasting something. If nothing appears then you’ve cleared your clipboard. The flash is normal.

      Reply
  7. Ellie

    Did as the instructions said. It’s there on my desktop, but when I click on it, it only flashes and I don’t know if it’s cleared anything or not. If I right click and run as administrator or click “open” it still only flashes. I have Vista Home premium and I.E. 9, do you suppose that’s the problem?

    Reply
    1. infoave Post author

      The flash is a DOS window opening and close… you’re running a DOS command. You can tell if you cleared your clipboard by opening notepad and pasting something. If nothing appears then you’ve cleared your clipboard. The flash is normal.

      Reply
  8. N

    To avoid the quick flashing screen, right click on the icon you just created and choose “properties”. In the resulting window, where it says “run”; select “minimized”.

    Reply
    1. infoave Post author

      Clearing the clipboard takes less than a second – there is no need for the command window to remain open – there is no info to be gathered, there is nothing useful you’d need to see. The command to clear the clipboard clears the data from the clipboard and that’s it. There’s no reason to “see” what it’s done, nor does the momentary flash mean something’s not working correctly. The command, when properly executed, clears the clipboard in a fraction of a second and then closes. There is no reason to “run minimized”.

      The only time a command window should flash and disappear is when your running a command to clear the clipboard. Since this only takes a fraction of a second, there is no need for the command Window to remain open. If you’re running a command to see available wireless networks (and this was what the comment referred to) you’ll need the command Window to remain open so you can get information from it. You can also copy from a command window and paste it in a text file or Word doc.

      For other commands – like seeing available wireless networks, you have to run CMD from an elevated command prompt. Type CMD in the start menu search. When it appears at the top, right-click “CMD” and choose “Run as administrator” from the right-click menu. When the Command window opens, type in the command line and press Enter. This applies to almost every command line you want to execute where you need to gather information from the command window. But for Clearing the Clipboard it’s not necessary to see the command dialog – since there is nothing to see anyway.

      Reply
  9. Matt

    I did as the instructions said, and it all did what it was suppose to.. However I still cant copy something on one page and then paste it on another, if its on the same page, then I usually works.. What is going on?? Any ideas as to what I should be doing to correct this??

    Reply
  10. Ron

    I did everything to the point of checking to see if the clipboard was cleared but its still pasting info to notepad ?

    Reply
    1. infoave Post author

      If there is something on the clipboard after you cleared it — then:

      1. You didn’t follow the instructions carefully
      2. You put something else on the clipboard after you cleared it
      3. You’re using some sort of security program that prevents you from clearing your clipboard

      Reply
  11. ronb

    When I copy and paste the command from the website to the shortcut, the “clean Clipboard” did not empty the clipboard. When I physically typed the command in exactly as shown it worked perfectly. Of course then I had to change the icon…
    Thanks much for the simplistic little gem. :)

    Reply
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  13. HelpMe!

    umm it didnt work.. :/ i tried to do a print screen but still it said ’24 of 24 – clipboard Item did not collect: Delete items to create space’
    I typed it, copied and pasted it but still wouldnt work.. any ideas? (the shortcut when clicked on flashed up but the clipboard was still full after this..)
    Please help! it’s kinda a big issue :/

    Reply
  14. Scruffy

    This is great – thank you! For those who are having problems might I suggest you copy the command in the tip and paste it into the dialog box that opens when you click ‘New’ and ‘Shortcut’ rather than type it? Here’s the command line to copy in its entirety:
    cmd /c “echo off | clip”

    Reply
  15. C10916

    Works just fine, thank you!

    I can now opne up my A1 picture rich poster in Publisher in a wisk rather than popping the kettle on everytime I open the file.

    Reply
  16. Kendall

    thought I did everything— but when I copy and paste into microsoft word and then click the icon on the desktop and go back to word I can still past. did not clear clipboard thanks for help

    Reply
    1. infoave Post author

      You must type commands exactly as given including the spaces. This is not a new tip — it’s always worked in any version of Windows and works well when the shortcut is made correctly.

      Reply
  17. Jim

    Worked after a few tries. Had to type it in rather than paste it as well. Typed this in.

    C:\Windows\System32\cmd.exe /c “echo off | clip”

    Thank you.

    Reply

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