How to Empty the Clipboard

By Matt Skaggs

Whenever you copy or cut something, whether it's a file, folder or just some text, that data is stored on your Windows clipboard or in your Microsoft Office clipboard. Newer versions of Office even allow you to store multiple items in its clipboard. The clipboard is helpful, but sometimes you may want to thoroughly clear out all the data in it. You have several options for clearing the clipboard, and each one only takes a few steps.

Command Prompt

Step 1

Open the Command Prompt. In Windows XP, click the Start button in the lower left of your screen, click "Run," type "cmd" in the "Run" window and press the "Enter" key. In Windows Vista or 7, press the Start button and type "cmd" in the search box and press the "Enter" key.

Step 2

Type "echo off | clip" without the quotation marks. The "|" character is not a lower case "L;" it is the vertical line on the key above the "Enter" key.

Step 3

Press the "Enter" key. This clears your clipboard of all data.

Step 4

Exit the command prompt by typing "exit" and pressing the "Enter" key.

Clipboard Viewer

Step 1

Open the ClipBook Viewer. This does not work on operating systems after Windows XP. You can open the viewer by clicking the Start button in the lower left of your screen, clicking "Run," typing "clipbrd" in the "Run" window and then pressing the "Enter" key.

Step 2

Click the "Edit" menu at the top of the screen and select "Delete." Windows will ask you if you want to delete the clipboard data; click "Yes." This clears your clipboard.

Step 3

Close the clipboard by clicking the x-icon in the upper right of the window.

Microsoft Office 2007

Step 1

Select the "Home" tab if it is not already selected.

Step 2

Open the "Clipboard" task pane. You can do this by clicking the small options pop-out button in the lower-right section of the "Clipboard" menu at the top of your screen.

Step 3

Click the "Clear All" button in the task pane. This clears your clipboard.

Step 4

Close the task pane by clicking the x-icon in the pane's upper-right corner.

Microsoft Office 2003

Step 1

Click the "Edit" menu and select "Office Clipboard." This opens the clipboard task pane.

Step 2

Click the "Clear All" button in the pane. This clears your clipboard.

Step 3

Close the task pane by clicking the x-icon in the pane's upper-right corner.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can easily replace what's on the clipboard by selecting a single letter or word and copying that. However, if you have Microsoft Office open, other items may still be left on your clipboard.