2 Best Ways to Check and Recov­er Clip­board His­to­ry on Android

Olanrewaju Sodiq

The clipboard is where texts you copy on your smartphone are stored. The default Android clipboard functionality, however, only lets you recover (read: paste) the recent entry, i.e., the last text you copied. What then happens to the email address you copied 30 minutes before copying another text? Do you have to retype it? Nope. Not if you are able to check and recover content from your device's clipboard.

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In this post, we go over two (2) common but efficient ways to check clipboard history on an Android smartphone. When you're done reading this, you'd have learned how to easily retrieve any previously-copied text without ever having to worry about losing them. Oh, by the way, you would soon be able to copy images (not just text) to your Android clipboard soon. Exciting times, no?

1. Using Google Keyboard (Gboard)

One of the easiest ways to view and recover clipboard history on an Android device is by using the keyboard. Interestingly, many keyboard apps now have a clipboard manager that can be used to access previously-copied texts. We've listed some of the best Android keyboards with clipboard history support, but in this article, we'll show you how to recover clipboard history using Gboard, Google's official keyboard app.

GBoard is the most used and installed Android keyboard app on the Google Playstore. It is very reliable and easy to use. All that can be attributed to the fact that it comes pre-installed on the majority of Android devices. The Clipboard Manager feature was integrated into the Gboard app about two years ago, and here's how you can use it to check and recover clipboard history on your Android smartphone.

Step 1: While typing with Gboard, tap the clipboard icon next to the Google logo.

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That launches the Gboard clipboard manager.

Step 2: To recover a particular text/clip from the clipboard, simply tap on it to paste in the text box.

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Caveat: By default, clips/texts in the Gboard clipboard manager are deleted after an hour.

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To get the best out of the Gboard clipboard manager, you want to make sure the feature is always enabled and active. If you launch the clipboard manager and it says 'Gboard clipboard is off,' simply toggle it on using the switch.

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If the clipboard manager is disabled, Gboard will not back up copied texts. And then, there would be no way to recover them. If you cannot find or use the clipboard manager feature on your phone's Gboard, ensure the app is up-to-date. You can visit the Google PlayStore on your device to update it or use the link below for quick access.

If Gboard (or its clipboard manager) still doesn't work the way it's supposed to, you should check out some troubleshooting options in this article to fix it.

2. Using Dedicated Clipboard Apps

Another efficient way to check and retrieve clipboard content on your Android device is to use third-party clipboard apps. Some of these apps even offer advanced and faster copying and pasting features than Gboad. If you are a serial texter or you often have to copy and paste a lot of content on your smartphone, you'd find some of these clipboard apps even more interesting.

Some clipboard apps can filter and organize the content of your clipboard into categories (URLs, addresses, etc.); encode clipboard content into QR codes; share clips with friends; translate clips to several languages and some other advanced features that keyboards don't offer. There are numerous clipboard apps on Google Play Store. Go through their features to see which one offers features you need. For security and privacy purposes, however, ensure you peruse the required permissions of whichever clipboard app you choose to install.

Clipboard Safety Tips

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  • Copying sensitive information like passwords, credit card details, PINs, etc. to your phone's clipboard isn't advised, mainly when using third-party clipboard apps.
  • If you have sensitive data stored or pinned to your phone's clipboard, do make sure you unpin or delete them.
  • Only download and use trusted third-party clipboard apps. Go through the reviews of any clipboard app you intend to use/install.

Go Back in Time

Presently, these are the most effective methods that afford Android users the luxury of retrieving any copied content from their phone's clipboard. The Google keyboard (Gboard) clipboard manager is basic but gets the job done. It's also safer and more reliable — security-wise. Should you need something more advanced and exciting, you can experiment with third-party clipboard apps.

Next up: Are you looking for Android keyboard apps with big buttons? You will find seven such apps in the article linked below. Check it out.


The above article may contain affiliate links which help support Guiding Tech. However, it does not affect our editorial integrity. The content remains unbiased and authentic.

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Sodiq has written thousands of tutorials, guides, and explainers over the past 3 years to help people solve problems relating to Android, iOS, and Windows devices. He also enjoys reviewing consumer tech products (smartphones, smart home devices, etc.) and previously worked with GearBest in that capacity.