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Clearing Out the Clipboard

Monday, December 20th, 2010 by | Filed Under: File & Disk Management, Shortcuts & Keyboard Tricks, Uncategorized

Elaine from San Diego, Calif. asks:

I am currently in a job where I have to do a lot of copying and pasting images and text. My clipboard gets really full and I would like a way to clear it quickly. Do you know of any way to do this?

Yes, I do, Elaine, and you will be one happy camper when you get through with this article!

What we’re going to do is create a shortcut to clear your clipboard whenever you want (you can even drag it to the quick launch toolbar if you want to). For those of you who do a lot of cutting and copying and pasting of photos and such, this will help you, as well. When you are working with large files, you may or may not notice that your work speed decreases; if you clear your clipboard regularly, your work speed will increase by a huge amount.


Type the following command (including the quotation marks) into the box that pops up:

cmd /c “echo off | clip”

Then click Next.


Name the shortcut and type the name in the box. (Clear Clipboard came to mind for me.)


This is what mine looked like after I finished the steps above:


Now you can stop here if you want to. I always have to take things a little further just to have fun, so I went searching on the net to find another icon. You have to have .ico for an extension for Windows to recognize it as an icon, so I typed .ico icons into Google and came up with a huge selection, including icon search engines. However you want to do it, make sure whatever you download and save has an .ico extension.

I hope that made sense. Back to business.

To change your icon, right-click on your current icon and select Properties.


In the box that pops up, you will see various tabs across the top. Left-click on the one that says Shortcut, then left-click on Change Icon. A new box will pop up; type the following in the box:


Since I don’t want the regular Windows icons, I need to Browse to go get the one I chose. Since I saved mine to my desktop, that’s where I will browse to.


Next click on OK, then Apply, then OK. And this is what my icon looks like:


Okay, but what if you don’t want to look for clipboard icons on the net? Maybe you want to choose from some that are already loaded into Windows. In that case, make sure the correct command is in the Browse box, and then just hit OK. Now the box is full of Windows icons.

Once again, make sure that the command I gave you above —


—is in the Browse box. If anything else is in there, you will not be taken to the icon folder. Only the command above will give you the Windows icons. If there is something different in the Browse box and you want the Windows icons, simply copy and paste (or type) the command above into it and hit OK. Your icon folder will pop up then.


And if you really want quick and convenient access (in addition to a tidier desktop), left-click your new icon and drag it to the quick launch toolbar.


There you go, Elaine! Not only do you have a quick way of clearing your clipboard, but you can customize it to your liking by making or changing the icon and even putting it in the quick launch toolbar for added speed and convenience!

Thank you so much for writing!

~ Lori Cline

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