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How to Copy, Cut and Paste on Windows PC

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Copy, cut, and paste are three basic operations that every Windows user should know by heart. The concepts behind them apply to nearly every application you’ll ever use. Here’s how they work.

Understanding the Clipboard

When you copy or cut something (such as a block of text, an image, or a link), Windows temporarily stores the data in a special memory location called the Clipboard. Think of it as a temporary holding pen. When you Paste the information you copied, Windows retrieves the contents of the Clipboard and puts it where you want it to go.

Typically, the contents of the Clipboard reset when you restart your PC, although it is possible to pin items to the clipboard in Windows 10 using an opt-in feature called Clipboard History. Then you can recall them as many times as you want quickly by pressing the Windows+V keyboard shortcut.

In Windows 10, you can even synchronize your Clipboard between devices using the cloud. But that is an optional setting you have to turn on in System Settings.

COPYRIGHT_NOVA: Published on https://www.novabach.com/copy-cut-paste-on-windows-pc/ by Daniel Barrett on 2022-08-20T12:51:13.000Z

The Difference Between Copy and Cut

When you copy something, Windows makes a copy of the information you want to the Clipboard and also leaves it in its original location. In contrast, when you perform the cut operation, Windows copies the information to the Clipboard but also removes the information from the original location.

That means you typically use copy to duplicate information and cut to move the information from one location to another. These fundamental concepts apply across almost every application, so let’s go over the various ways to copy, cut, and paste in Windows.

Also read: How To Take A Screenshot On Windows 10 PC

How to Copy and Paste in Windows 10

You can copy and paste text, files, and folders in Windows 10 using keyboard shortcuts, right-clicking with your mouse, or using the Windows Clipboard. Here are three ways to copy and paste on a Windows 10 PC:

How to Copy and Paste in Windows 10 Using Keyboard Shortcuts

To copy and paste in Windows 10 using keyboard shortcuts, first select the item you want to copy. Then press Ctrl + C on your keyboard to copy. Next, open the destination program or file path and press Ctrl + V on your keyboard to paste.

  • Go to the destination where you want to paste the item. This could be another program, where you can paste text or images (like Microsoft Word). For files and folders, use File Explorer to navigate to your destination path.
  • Press Ctrl + V on your keyboard. This will paste the copied image or text. For text, it will include the original formatting from the source.

Note: If you don’t want to keep the formatting of your text when you paste it, you can press the Ctrl + Shift + V keys. This will cause your pasted text to take on the formatting of the text around it, or the standard formatting of the document.

For files or folders, Windows will instantly paste small files. For large file sizes, you will see a progress bar. It will disappear once Windows is done copying the folder. If you are copying files in the same file destination, Windows will append the file name with “ – Copy.”

How to Copy and Paste in Windows 10 Using a Mouse

To copy and paste in Windows 10 using your mouse, select an item and right-click on it. Next, select Copy from the pop-up menu, then go to your destination file or folder path. Right-click again and choose Paste for files or folders or any of the three paste formatting options for text or images.

  • Select the item(s) you want to copy.
  • Right-click with your mouse.
  • Choose Copy from the menu.
  • Go to the destination where you would like to paste the item. This could be another program where you can paste text or images, like Microsoft Word. For files and folders, use File Explorer to navigate to your destination path.
  • Position your cursor to where you would like to paste the item. If you are pasting files and folders, you can right-click anywhere in the main box of File Explorer.
  • Right-click with your mouse.
  • Choose Paste or your preferred Paste option. For text, you can keep the source formatting, merge the formatting, or keep it in plain text only. For images, you can keep the source formatting or simply paste the picture.

If you want to copy and paste files or folders, Windows will instantly paste items with small file sizes. For folders with big file sizes, you will see a progress bar at the top. It will disappear once Windows is done pasting the contents of the folder. If you are pasting files with the same name, Windows will add “ – Copy” to the end of the new file name.

How to Copy and Paste in Windows 10 Using the Clipboard

To copy and paste in Windows 10 using the Clipboard, turn on Clipboard history first. Press the Windows key + V and click Turn on. Select the text or image you want to copy, then bring up the Clipboard using the shortcut. Click on the text you want to copy from the Clipboard, then paste it to your destination file or program.

  • Select what you want to copy and press Ctrl + C on your keyboard. You can also use your mouse to copy with the previous method.
  • Press the Windows key + V on your keyboard.
  • Click on the Turn on button. This will enable Clipboard history, letting you see the last 24 items you copied on the Clipboard.
  • Select the text or image you want to copy. Double-click to select a word, triple-click to select a whole paragraph, or use Ctrl + Shift with the arrow keys to make a selection. For images on Office programs, click on the image until you see the white picture-formatting buttons.
  • Press the Windows key + V on your keyboard.
  • Choose what you would like to copy. Windows 10 arranges several of your recently copied items in blocks, with the most recent items at the top and older ones at the bottom. You can also choose to pin an item to the Clipboard, so you can paste it later.
  • Go to your destination folder or program.
  • Position your cursor to where you would like to paste the item.
  • Finally, press the Ctrl + V shortcut or right-click with your mouse then choose your preferred paste formatting option.

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How to Cut and Paste in Windows 10 Using A Mouse

To cut and paste in Windows 10 using a mouse, select the text, files, or folders you want to cut, then right-click with your mouse. Click on Cut from the menu, then go to your destination file or folder path. Right-click again and choose either Paste for files or folders or any of three paste formatting options for text or images.

  • Select the item you want to copy.
  • Right-click with your mouse.
  • Choose Cut from the menu.
  • Go to the destination where you would like to paste the item.
  • Position your cursor to where you would like to paste the item.
  • Right-click with your mouse.
  • Choose Paste or your preferred Paste option.

How to Copy and Paste in Windows 10 from Command Prompt

To enable copy-paste from the Command Prompt, open the app from the search bar then right-click at the top of the window. Click Properties, check the box for Use Ctrl+Shift+C/V as Copy/Paste and hit OK.

  • Click the magnifying glass icon in the bottom left corner of your screen.
  • Then type “cmd”.
  • Click Open. You can also press Enter on your keyboard after the search results appear.
  • Point your cursor at the top of the window. Point anywhere at the top white section of the Command Prompt window.
  • Right-click with your mouse.
  • Then click Properties.
  • Check the box or Use Ctrl+Shift+C/V as Copy/Paste. You will see this under the Options tab, which opens up by default.
  • Select OK.
  • Select the command you would like to copy.
  • Press Ctrl + C on your keyboard.
  • Go to Command Prompt.
  • Press Ctrl + V on the command line.

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About The Authors

Daniel Barrett

Daniel Barrett

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