Windows 10 update just reinvented copy and paste for millions of users

Windows 10 start menu new look
(Image credit: Microsoft)

The copy-and-paste function in Windows 10 is set to change in a huge way with the operating system’s next update.

Windows Latest reported that with Windows 10 Build 20185, Microsoft is reworking the Clipboard function — which records copied text and images — to add a new panel that allows emojis, GIFs and other content to be inserted into documents, emails and messages.  

The new Clipboard panel, which will still be accessed by pressing the Windows key and V, contains an emoji section that provides access to a whole suite of emojis, as well as a landing page containing those you’ve most recently used. It also has a GIF section that serves up trending GIFs and a search function so you can dig around the perfect GIF to spam on Slack.

Windows 10 Clipboard emojis

(Image credit: Windows Latest)

The latest Windows 10 build also adds in a Clipboard history function, which unsurprisingly provides a snapshot of the recent content you have copied and pasted. Such an option does exist in the current iteration of Clipboard, but it’s somewhat limited, as it can only record up to 25 text entries. The new history function removes that limit and also supports other HTML content and images, rather than just text. 

A major impact for everyday tasks

Much like Microsoft’s redesign of the Windows 10 Start menu, this is but a small change that could have a rather significant impact by making day-to-day work in Windows that much easier. And easier processes means people can get stuff done a lot faster and more efficiently. 

Furthermore, richer copy-and-paste functions will certainly make it easier to shift information and images about, and allow you to track things like copied links or snippets of text, which can so easily go missing in everyday computer use. 

The new Clipboard was created for use in Windows 10X, Microsoft’s version of Windows that’s being designed to work across dual-display touchscreen devices like the Surface Neo. But Windows 10X development has seemingly slowed, and it looks like Microsoft is set to bring some of its features to the full version of Windows 10 in the near future. 

Currently, Windows 10 Build 20185 is only available to members of the Windows Insider program. But a lot of the changes made in this test environment tend to make it over to the full release of Windows 10, so we’re expecting the new Clipboard to come sooner than later to shake up how we copy-and-paste forever. 

Roland Moore-Colyer

Roland Moore-Colyer a Managing Editor at Tom’s Guide with a focus on news, features and opinion articles. He often writes about gaming, phones, laptops and other bits of hardware; he’s also got an interest in cars. When not at his desk Roland can be found wandering around London, often with a look of curiosity on his face. 

  • OldSurferDude
    The title of this article should have been "Microsoft revives a Windows3.1 function"
  • lackofmentalfocus
    Wow, Windows is finally doing what most Android keyboard apps have been capable of since... Galaxy S II or earlier.
  • dougjensen
    So then Windows 10 clipboard will do a small subset of what Clipmate has been able to do for many years.
  • tonyc035
    Thank you Roland for the article. It is - as usual - very informative, so what follows is not directed at you in any way.

    An update to the Clipboard function, really? Is that all MS can think of to add to their next update. Wow! Oh well, I guess if they don't add much, then they only have to put minimal effort into testing it and continue to have the public be their beta testers. I will not be upgrading to this release until I am forced. These minor changes are simply not worth the effort to upgrade.