How to Clear Windows 10 Clipboard History Using Shortcut

The new Windows 10 Clipboard lets you save multiple items in the clipboard so that you can use it later. You can also pin the required items in the Clipboard history panel so that they’re not discarded by the system, or accidentally deleted by the user.

clipboard history winkey + v

You may every now and then want to clear the clipboard to remove any sensitive information like password etc., from the history. This article explains how to create a desktop shortcut to clear the Windows 10 new clipboard history automatically.

Clear Windows 10 clipboard history using shortcut

Using GUI

To clear the clipboard history via the graphical user interface:

  • Press WinKey + V and click the ellipsis icon (denoted by three dots), and click Clear all
    (or)
  • Click Start → Settings → System → Clipboard → Clear
    clipboard user service name - clear history - settings

This removes the clipboard history in the local computer as well as in your Microsoft cloud account.

You’ll see the message “Your clipboard is empty” when you press WinKey + V.

clipboard is empty win v

Note: The pinned clipboard items, if any, are retained though.

To accomplish this using a shortcut or command-line, all you need to do is restart the Clipboard User Service.

Using Batch file

  1. Open Notepad and paste these lines:
    cmd.exe /c "echo off | clip"
    wmic service where "name like '%%cbdhsvc_%%'" call stopservice
    wmic service where "name like '%%cbdhsvc_%%'" call startservice
  2. Save the file as clear_clipboard.bat
  3. When you want to clear the clipboard history, right-click on the batch file and click Run as administrator.
    batch file run as administrator

Another Command-line Method

Find the short name of the Clipboard User Service using Services MMC.

  1. Launch the Services MMC (services.msc)
  2. Locate Clipboard User Service from the list
  3. Double-click Clipboard User Service and note down the service name.
    clipboard user service name - services mmc
    The service name contains a random string which varies from one Windows 10 computer to the other. In my system, the service (short) name is cbdhsvc_5d696

Alternately, you can use the Command Prompt to find out the Clipboard User Service’s service name.

  1. Open a Command Prompt window.
  2. Type the following command and press OK.
    sc query | findstr /i "cbdhsvc"

    clipboard user service name - cmd prompt

That shows the info you need.

  1. Open Notepad and paste these lines:
    cmd.exe /c "echo off | clip"
    net stop cbdhsvc_5d696
    net start cbdhsvc_5d696

    Of course, you’ll have to replace cbdhsvc_5d696 with the actual name of the Clipboard User Service as in your system.

  2. Save the file as clear_clipboard.bat
  3. When you want to clear the clipboard history, right-click on the batch file and click Run as administrator.

That’s it! Restarting the Clipboard User Service should have erased the Clipboard history. Open the clipboard history panel to check it out. The Pinned items in the clipboard will remain though.

Clipboard history Bonus Tips

Auto-paste to editor from the Clipboard history panel:



To open the Windows 10 new Clipboard history panel, you use the WinKey + V keyboard shortcut. When an item in the history list is clicked it’s copied to the clipboard automatically. Normally, many users simply use the clipboard history to copy an item from the history to the clipboard. Not many users know that the clipboard history panel also has the capacity to paste text to your active window as well.

clipboard history auto-paste to text editor

If you have a text editor or Word processor open and active, press the WinKey + V button and select an item from the history. The item is automatically pasted to your editor window exactly at the current cursor position. It thus saves you one keystroke — i.e., you don’t need to click on the Paste button or press Ctrl + V on your editor.

The auto-paste feature works in the Run dialog as well.

Clear the legacy Clipboard history – for all versions of Windows:

To clear the legacy clipboard history in any version of Windows, create a desktop shortcut to the following command:

cmd.exe /c "echo off | clip"

The above command clears the current clipboard memory, and works in all versions of Windows, including Windows 10. However, in Windows 10, the command doesn’t erase the new Clipboard history data. It just clears the currently selected item from the memory.

Editor’s note: I’ve not tested the behavior with the clipboard cloud sync (“Sync across devices”) option enabled. So, I’m not sure if the batch file also clears the clipboard history in the cloud or not. If you want to clear the history from the cloud (in addition), it’s better to use the Settings UI.


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Ramesh Srinivasan is passionate about Microsoft technologies and he has been a consecutive ten-time recipient of the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional award in the Windows Shell/Desktop Experience category, from 2003 to 2012. He loves to troubleshoot and write about Windows. Ramesh founded Winhelponline.com in 2005.

2 thoughts on “How to Clear Windows 10 Clipboard History Using Shortcut”

    • @SusanSS: Create a batch file with the following lines:

      cmd.exe /c "echo off | clip"
      wmic service where "name like '%%cbdhsvc_%%'" call stopservice
      wmic service where "name like '%%cbdhsvc_%%'" call startservice

      Run the batch file as administrator.

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