How to Clear Clipboard in Excel

The clipboard is an excellent tool that stores the things you copy. At any time you want, you can go to the Excel clipboard and paste one of the saved items. But sometimes you may need to clear the clipboard in Excel. If that’s the case, you’re at the right place.

In this tutorial, we will learn why we may want to clear the clipboard, how to access the clipboard, and how to clear all or some items in the clipboard in Excel.

Why Clear the Clipboard in Excel?

The clipboard in Excel holds and stores copied information. So why should you clear it?

Here are some reasons:

  • You may want to speed up the Excel program and only store relevant and important data.
  • You may pass your computer onto someone else, and you don’t want them to access your copied items.
  • You may worry about data safety, and protect confidential or private data.

If for these or any other reasons you want to clear the clipboard in Excel, first, you need to learn how to access it.

Access the Clipboard in Excel

1) Using the Clipboard launcher icon

If you want to access the clipboard, first go to the Home tab in Excel. On the left side of the Home tab, click on the diagonal arrow on the right of the Clipboard group name.

Click on the Clipboard arrow icon

2) Using the Keyboard Shortcut

If you want to use the Ctrl+C keyboard shortcut to automatically open the clipboard in Excel, you first need to enable this option from inside the clipboard.

Step 1: Open the clipboard with the previous method, using the Clipboard launcher icon.

Step 2: Click on Options inside the Clipboard panel.

Open Options inside the clipboard

Step 3: Check the option that says “Show Office Clipboard When Ctrl+C Pressed Twice”.

Enable the keyboard shortcut for clipboard

Now, any time you press Ctrl+C twice on your keyboard, the clipboard will automatically open.

Clear All Items in the Clipboard

Now that we learned how to access the clipboard and check out its contents in Excel, we can learn how to clear the clipboard. There are three ways of clearing all the items in the clipboard.

This is also one of the methods you can use when fixing problems with the clipboard in Excel.

1) Clear All Items through the Clipboard panel in Excel

Step 1: Open the clipboard panel the way you learned in the previous section: using the clipboard launcher icon or the Ctrl+C keyboard shortcut.

Step 2: Click on Clear All to clear all items from the clipboard.

Clear all items through the clipboard panel

This will clear all copied items and freshen up your clipboard.

2) Clear All Items through the Clipboard Icon in Taskbar

If the “Show Office Clipboard Icon on Taskbar” option is checked in the Options of your clipboard, then the clipboard icon will appear whenever Excel is open and you start copying data.

If it doesn’t automatically appear, you can enable this option. Simply go into the clipboard panel within Excel, click on Options, and check this option.

Show office clipboard icon in taskbar option

If the option is enabled, you can clear the clipboard through here.

Step 1: Right-click the Office clipboard icon in the taskbar.

Office clipboard icon in taskbar

Step 2: Click on Clear All.

Clear all items through the taskbar icon

This method will clear all the items, and it doesn’t even require opening or finding the Clipboard panel in Excel. Simple, right?

3) Clear All Items by Closing Excel

If you want to clear all items from the clipboard, you can also save and close the Excel application. This is a very straightforward way of clearing the clipboard.

Important Note: If you have multiple Excel programs or any other Office programs open, the clipboard may not be cleared when you close one Excel window. You may need to close all open Office programs to clear the clipboard.

Clear Some Items in the Clipboard

If you don’t want to delete all the items in your clipboard, but only some items, you can partially clear the clipboard too.

Step 1: Open the clipboard panel using the clipboard launcher icon, or using the Ctrl+C keyboard shortcut as described above.

Step 2: Hover over the item you want to remove and click on the arrow that appears to the right of the item. Click on Delete to remove the item.

Clear a single item from clipboard

Step 3: Repeat Step 2 for all items you want to remove.

This way, you only get rid of the items you choose, instead of clearing the whole clipboard in Excel.

In this tutorial, we learned ways of accessing and clearing the clipboard and removing all or some items. Nice job! Now you can easily control the copied items you want to save or remove.

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