The clipboard is a special location in your computer's memory that temporarily stores data that has been cut or copied from a document. This data can then be pasted to a new location. The clipboard will typically hold its information until you cut or copy something else, or log out of the computer. For example, a user may copy information from a word processor and paste that information into an e-mail message.

Many operating systems include "clipboard viewers" that display what information is currently being stored in the clipboard. These utilities may also be used to configure the clipboard with permissions, or view the clipboard's history.

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. 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