The copy and paste functionality on Android smartphones might seem to be a "one-time" thing. Once you copy a snippet of text, you need to paste it before copying or cutting another. If you don't, you won't have access to it anymore.
Also, if you copy text and turn your phone off before pasting, the text will disappear into thin air.
This is because Android smartphones save copied text to RAM (Random Access Memory), a short-term type of memory.
But there's a way to access the clipboard on your Android phone and see those copied items – and that's what this tutorial is all about.
How to Access the Clipboard on an Android Phone
You can get access to the clipboard in two ways: the first is through Gboard, a keyboard app by Google. The second is by using clipper, a third-party app that lets you manage copied items in a slightly more efficient way.
Google has banned third-party clipboard managers for Android 10 and above due to security reasons, so the guides in this tutorial will be based on using Gboard to access and clear the clipboard.
How to Download and Setup Gboard
Step 1: Download Gboard
First of all, you need to download Gboard from the Google PlayStore by typing "Gboard" on the search bar and tapping the search icon.
Install the app and open it. In my case, I have it installed already, and it looks like this:
Step 2: Configure the Gboard App
After opening the application, you need to go through some basic configurations to get it up and running.
The first thing you need to do is select Gboard in your language and input settings. The app will prompt you to do this.
If it doesn't (on very rare occasions), go to settings, tap System, click on "Languages & Input", tap "Virtual keyboard", then select Gboard.
Step 3: Set Gboard as your Default Keyboard
Next, you will be prompted to select Gboard as your default keyboard. Click on Input Method and choose Gboard in the modal that pops up next.
That's all you need to configure. Tap Done to start using Gboard.
How to Access the Clipboard on Android
To get access to the clipboard functionality of Gboard, open a note app or any other app you want to type in.
Sometimes you will see the clipboard icon right away in the menu alongside settings, GIF, and others. But if you don't see the icon, tap the three dots at the right to reveal the hidden icons. There you will see the clipboard icon.
You can choose to keep using it like that, or you can tap, hold, and drag the clipboard icon to the main menu as shown in the screenshot below.
How to Turn Clipboard On
By default, the clipboard functionality is turned off. You can turn it on by clicking on the glider icon at the right and tapping "Turn on Clipboard":
Immediately after that, you will see some default items on the clipboard. They are instructions on how to use the clipboard functionality provided by Gboard.
To paste the items, simply tap on them, as I have done below:
How to Copy with Clipboard
To start copying and pasting, type your own text, hold and drag the ends to the where you want to start and end, then tap "Copy", or "Cut", as the case may be.
How to Paste with Clipboard
To paste the copied text, check your clipboard to reveal the copied snippet(s). The recently copied snippets should be under the "Recent Items" tab.
Tap on the item to paste it in any text editor you want, whether it's Note, Messages, or social media websites.
How to Clear the Clipboard on Android
You can clear the items on your clipboard with Gboard in two ways.
Option 1 to Clear the Clipboard
Open the clipboard, tap and hold the item, and click on delete. You have to do this for each item.
Option 2 to Clear the Clipboard
Open the clipboard, click the pencil icon on the right-hand side, select all the items, and click the trash icon.
How to Pin an Item to the Clipboard
Please note that any item copied with GBoard disappears after one hour. To stop this from happening, you need to pin the copied item.
To pin a snippet, open the clipboard, tap and hold the snippet of text, and click pin.
To pin a group of snippets, tap the pencil icon, select the items to pin, and click the pin icon.
I hope this tutorial helps you access the Android clipboard and effectively manage it. Thank you for reading and have a good time.