How to View the Clipboard History on a Mac

Wondering how to view clipboard history on Mac? You’ve come to the right place! In this post, we have listed a detailed guide on how to view and access the clipboard history on macOS.

No matter which OS you use, whether Windows or Mac, the clipboard has been a part of our computers for decades. Though its core purpose remains the same, a modern clipboard can do much more for you. As copy and paste are the two most handy functions on any device, a clipboard records everything you copy. You can easily accomplish tasks and boost productivity. Thanks to Mac’s built-in clipboard, you can access previously copied items.

Also read: How To Fix Windows 11 Clipboard History Not Working.

What is Mac’s Universal Clipboard?

With the help of Mac’s universal clipboard, you can easily copy any content, including text, images, and videos, across Apple devices. Yes, that’s right! So, if you copy anything on one Apple device, macOS automatically makes it accessible on other Apple devices as well that are signed in with your Apple ID.

Mac’s Universal Clipboard

You can use the universal clipboard on Mac, iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. As soon as you copy anything on one Apple device, the content becomes automatically available on nearby Apple devices that are logged in with your Apple ID. All you need to ensure is that Bluetooth and WiFi are enabled on all Apple devices.

Also, if you are facing issues while accessing the Universal Clipboard on Mac, here’s a little hack that might help. Log out of your iCloud account on each Apple device and sign in again.

How to View the Clipboard History on Mac

Let’s quickly learn how to view clipboard history on Mac.

To copy the content, press the Command + C key combination. Navigate to the folder where you want to paste the content and press the Command + V key combination. The main clipboard on your Mac only stores the previously copied item. There is a secondary clipboard that records the history of each item that you copied. Here’s how you can view clipboard history on Mac.

Launch the Finder app on your Mac. Tap on “Edit” and select the “Show Clipboard” option from the menu.

Show Clipboard

A new window will now appear on the screen, showing you the last thing you copied on your Mac. Your Mac’s clipboard has very little memory on your device and only keeps track of the last thing you copied on your Mac.


So, anything copied or cut before that won’t be accessible. If you need to access longer and better clipboard histories on Mac, we recommend using a clipboard manager app.

Also read Best Clipboard Manager Alternatives For Mac.

How to Use the Secondary Clipboard on Mac

Yes, Mac also has a secondary hidden clipboard that works better than the regular clipboard. So, you can copy any text from a document by pressing the Control + K key combination to cut and then using the Control + Y to paste it. If you follow this method, the original content won’t be overwritten when you copy anything new.

How to Clear the Clipboard History on Mac

You can use two ways to clear the clipboard history on Mac.

Method 1: Restart your device to clear the clipboard history.

Method 2: Launch Finder> Applications> Terminal. In the Terminal window, copy and paste the following command to remove the clipboard history on Mac:

Clear the Clipboard History on Mac

pbcopy < /dev/null

Also read: How To Clear Clipboard Windows 10


So, folks, this wraps our quick guide on how to view clipboard history on Mac. Mac’s clipboard has a few limitations as it only stores the last item you copied. Hence, you can download any third-party clipboard manager tool on your Mac to improve the workflow and boost productivity while working between apps. Many Mac Clipboard manager apps are available online that can come to your rescue as they can easily hold multiple items.

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