How To Clear Excel Clipboard: A Step-by-Step Guide

Clearing the clipboard in Excel is a simple yet essential task that can save you from unnecessary frustration. To clear the Excel clipboard, go to the Home tab, click on the small arrow on the bottom right corner of the Clipboard group to open the Clipboard pane, and then click on the “Clear All” button. It’s as easy as that!

After you complete this action, the clipboard will be emptied, and you will no longer have access to any previously copied data. This is particularly useful when you’re dealing with sensitive information or if your clipboard is cluttered and slowing down your work.


Have you ever copied something in Excel, only to find that it’s still hanging around when you don’t need it anymore? We’ve all been there. It’s like having a piece of sticky tape that won’t come off your fingers! Knowing how to clear the Excel clipboard can help you keep your data secure and your workflow smooth.

The clipboard in Excel is a handy feature that allows you to copy and paste data within the program. But sometimes, it can hold onto information a little too well. This can lead to unintentionally pasting old data, or worse, it can pose a security risk if you’re handling sensitive information.

So, whether you’re a professional dealing with confidential data, a student organizing your research, or just someone who likes to keep a tidy digital workspace, this article is for you. Let’s get into how to make your Excel experience more efficient by clearing that pesky clipboard.

Related: How to Add Developer Tab in Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide

Step by Step Tutorial to Clear Excel Clipboard

The following steps will guide you through the process of clearing the Excel clipboard to ensure you have a clean slate for your copying and pasting needs.

Step 1: Open the Clipboard Pane

Click on the small arrow in the Clipboard group under the Home tab.

This will open the Clipboard pane on the left side of your Excel window. You’ll see a list of items that you’ve copied recently.

Step 2: Clear the Clipboard

Click on the “Clear All” button at the top of the Clipboard pane.

This action will remove all items from the clipboard, ensuring that it’s empty and ready for new data to be copied.

Step 3: Close the Clipboard Pane

You can now close the Clipboard pane by clicking on the “X” in the top right corner or by simply clicking anywhere outside the pane.

Closing the Clipboard pane will not affect the clearing action you just performed, so don’t worry about your clipboard filling up again immediately.


Secures Sensitive DataClearing the Excel clipboard helps protect any sensitive data you might have copied. It ensures that this information is not left hanging around for someone else to stumble upon.
Reduces ClutterAn empty clipboard means a cleaner workflow. You won’t accidentally paste outdated or irrelevant data, saving you time and confusion.
Enhances PerformanceA cluttered clipboard can slow down Excel. Clearing it out can help the program run more smoothly, especially if you’ve copied a lot of data.


Data LossOnce the clipboard is cleared, there’s no getting that data back. Be sure you’re done with any copied information before you clear it.
Extra StepsWhile not overly complicated, clearing the clipboard is an additional step in your workflow that you need to remember to do.
Habit FormationYou may find yourself clearing the clipboard too often out of habit, which might interrupt your work flow more than a cluttered clipboard would.

Additional Information

While the steps above are straightforward, there are a couple of things to keep in mind when managing the Excel clipboard. Firstly, the Excel clipboard is separate from the Windows clipboard. This means that when you clear the Excel clipboard, it doesn’t affect anything you’ve copied outside of Excel. Secondly, if you’re using Excel with a shared workbook, clearing the clipboard will not remove the data from the clipboards of other users. Therefore, be mindful of this when working with shared documents.

Another useful tip is that you can use the Office Clipboard settings to control how items are collected and displayed in the clipboard. This can be accessed by clicking on the “Options” button at the bottom of the Clipboard pane. Here, you can set preferences like ‘Show Office Clipboard When Ctrl+C Pressed Twice’ or ‘Collect Without Showing Office Clipboard.’

Remember, knowing how to clear Excel clipboard is an integral part of Excel proficiency and data management. It’s a simple habit that can make a significant difference in your productivity and data security.


  1. Open the Clipboard Pane by clicking the small arrow in the Clipboard group under the Home tab.
  2. Click on the “Clear All” button at the top of the Clipboard pane.
  3. Close the Clipboard Pane by clicking the “X” or clicking outside the pane.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens to the data after I clear the Excel clipboard?

The data is permanently removed and cannot be retrieved.

Can I clear individual items from the Excel clipboard?

Yes, by clicking on the dropdown arrow next to each item and selecting “Delete.”

Will clearing the Excel clipboard affect my system clipboard?

No, the Excel clipboard is separate from the system clipboard.

Can I undo the clearing of the Excel clipboard?

No, once the clipboard is cleared, the action cannot be undone.

Is there a keyboard shortcut to clear the Excel clipboard?

No, currently there is no keyboard shortcut for this action.


Clearing the Excel clipboard is like giving your workspace a fresh start. It’s an essential skill for anyone who wants to maintain efficiency and protect their data in Excel. While it might seem like a small thing, it’s the little habits like this that can make a big difference in your overall productivity and data management practices.

So, next time you’re finished copying and pasting, take a moment to clear your clipboard. Your future self will thank you for it! Remember, a clear clipboard is a clear mind – happy Excel-ing!