Sometimes improperly referred to as the pasteboard, the clipboard is the location in a computer operating system such as Microsoft Windows that stores information that has been cut or copied from a document or other location. The clipboard will hold this information until it has been overwritten by new information. For example, a user may copy information from a word processor and paste that information into an e-mail message.

Many operating systems include software utilities known as clipboard viewers that enable a user to see what information is currently being stored in the clipboard, setup the clipboard with permissions, or view the history of the clipboard.

How do I open the clipboard?

Windows 7 and Windows 8 users

Unfortunately Microsoft has decided to no longer included any clipboard viewer in Microsoft Windows 7 and Windows 8. In order to view the contents of the clipboard you need to download a third-party utility

Windows 2000 and XP users

Microsoft Windows 2000 and XP users may find it difficult to locate the clipboard because it has been renamed to the Clipbook viewer. It can be located by opening Windows Explorer, opening the "Winnt" or "Windows" folder, then the "System32" folder, and finally double clicking the clipbrd.exe. Users can also click Start, Run, type clipbrd and press enter to execute this program.

Windows 9x, ME, and NT users

Microsoft Windows 95, 98, NT 4.0, and ME come installed with a clipboard viewer that can be run by clicking Start, Programs, System Tools, and clicking Clipboard Viewer. The clipboard viewer is also executable through the clipbrd.exe file in the Windows directory.

Related questions

Also see: Copy, Cut, Office Clipboard, Operating system terms, Paste