How to Increase the Size of the Clipboard

If Windows 8 flashes the "Item too large for clipboard" alert whenever you try to copy a large item, expand your clipboard by increasing the size of your system's virtual memory or swap drive via the Windows System utility. As far as the clipboard and applications you run are concerned, virtual memory is the same as real, physical RAM.

Business Woman with Hard Drive
Virtual memory emulates system RAM using your hard disk or SSD drive.
credit: Leslie Banks/iStock/Getty Images

Step

Sign in as Administrator, right-click the "Start" button and then click "System." Another way to access this utility is to launch the Control Panel, click "System and Security" and then "System."

Step

Click "Advanced system settings," then the "Advanced" tab on the System Properties dialog box. The Performance section also has the tools you need to help your system run faster and more efficiently.

Step

Click "Settings" in the Performance section and then the "Advanced" tab on the Performance Options dialog. Under the Virtual Memory section, note the paging file description. Windows creates this file on your disk to temporarily hold system and application data.

Step

Click "Change" under the Virtual Memory section, then deselect the box labeled "Automatically manage paging file size for all drives" and select "Custom size." The "Currently allocated" amount is the current size of your virtual memory.

Step

Set "Initial size" to twice the amount of physical memory your system has installed. For example, if your PC has 3GB or 3,000MB of RAM installed, set the initial virtual memory size to two times 3,000MB, or 6,000MB. As you run programs and utilities, Windows normally increases the size of your virtual memory up to three times the amount of RAM your system contains. If you increase the initial virtual memory yourself, however, your virtual memory and clipboard size do not have to gradually grow to an acceptable level.

Step

Set "Maximum size" to four times the amount of physical memory your system has installed. For example, if your PC has 3GB or 3,000MB of RAM installed, set the maximum virtual memory size to four times 3,000MB, or 12,000.

Step

Click "Set" and then "OK" to make your change permanent. You don't need to reboot Windows when you increase the initial or maximum size of your virtual memory paging file. If you reduce either setting, however, your change won't take effect until you restart your system.

Step

Click "OK" to close the Warning, Performance Options and System properties dialog boxes.