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How to periodically clean the clipboard on Windows 10

Windows 10 has two different types of clipboards. The first the same clipboard you’ll find on any OS, desktop or otherwise, which can hold only one item at a time. The second is the new clipboard which can maintain a history of all the items you’ve copied and allow you to quickly copy an item again. You can turn the second type off if you’re not comfortable with your clipboard content being stored for so long. The default clipboard works fine however, if you want to periodically clean the clipboard, you can do so with an app called ClearClipboard.

Periodically clean the clipboard

Download and run ClearClipboard. By default, it will clear everything and anything copied to the clipboard after 30 seconds. This means that you can copy something to the clipboard and use it for 30 seconds before it’s gone.

To change how often the clipboard is cleaned, you need to create a configuration file for the app. Open a new Notepad file, and enter the following in it;

[ClearClipboard]
Timeout=90000

The value given for Timeout is in milliseconds and it determines how long the app will wait before clearing the clipboard. Decide how long you want the app to wait, convert the time to milliseconds, and enter it in the Notepad file.

Once you’ve done that, name the file ClearClipboard.ini. Make sure this file is placed in the exact same folder that the ClearClipboard.exe file is in.

Additional commands that you can add to the file include TextOnly= and Sound=. The TextOnly command tells the app to run and clear the Clipboard only if there is text copied to it. The Sound command plays a sound when the clipboard is cleared. There are a few additional commands that the app supports. You can check them out, and additional details about the commands mentioned here on the app’s Github page.

This app does not work with the modern Windows 10 clipboard. In fact, if you’ve enabled the modern clipboard and you run this app, it will ask that you disable it first. That said, if you tend to copy sensitive information such as passwords, banking details, or other personal information to the clipboard often, scrubbing the clipboard regularly is probably a good idea.

If you’re using the modern Windows 10 clipboard, you’re either going to have to manually remove items, or make sure you clear everything before a system shut down. There is no similar app/feature like this for the modern clipboard and while it may be useful, it does have its risks.

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