Home Issue How to View and Troubleshoot the Mac Clipboard

How to View and Troubleshoot the Mac Clipboard

Posted: April 1, 2021

Whenever you copy some text on any operating system, it is temporarily stored in a component known as the 'clipboard.' On some operating systems, like Android and iOS, users have access to an extended clipboard history, which shows not just the last thing they copied, but also other content they may have copied recently. Unfortunately, this exact feature is not available on macOS out-of-the-box – users need to rely on 3rd-party utilities to save and view the clipboard history on their Mac. Currently, macOS users can only see the last thing they copied.

To see the macOS clipboard you need to go to the top menu bar, select Edit -> Show Clipboard. However, do not forget that this will only display the last thing you copied. As we already mentioned, viewing other clipboard items requires the use of 3rd-party software.

If your clipboard appears to be malfunctioning (e.g. you cannot copy text,) then you may need to reset it. You can perform this simple troubleshooting tip by going to Applications -> Utilities -> Activity Monitor. Search for pboard and use the X button on the top-left to quit the process. It will restart automatically, and this should fix any clipboard issues you were experiencing.