How to Clear the Clipboard on a Mac

By Richard Kalinowski

When you copy a file on an Apple computer, it is placed on the clipboard. A Mac's clipboard is stores the last copied or cut item for quick recall. When your clipboard contains a large image, it consumes system memory and slows down browsing speeds. You can clear virtually all of the clipboard's data by copying a blank piece of textual data. When you copy a small or blank piece of text, this overwrites the existing clipboard files, speeding things up and getting rid of the last item you cut-and-pasted.

Step 1

Open a blank note pad or word processing document on your Mac.

Step 2

Press the "Space" key.

Step 3

Click and drag your cursor over the space.

Step 4

Press "Command" and "C" to copy the blank text to your clipboard. This clears the existing clipboard data, replacing it with a blank space.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can click on the "Finder" button, click "Edit," and select "Show Clipboard" to verify that the clipboard is empty.
  • When you restart your Mac, the clipboard is automatically cleared.