How to enable clipboard syncing in Windows 11

Clipboard syncing in Windows lets you easily move images and text across your Windows and Android devices. Here’s how to enable it.

Windows 11 desktop with Clipboard history settings windows

If you’ve ever felt the need to move text and images between your Windows 11 devices, Microsoft has a handy trick for you. With clipboard syncing, you can instantly move your most used images, links, and text between your Windows PC, laptop, and even Android phone. All you need is the same Microsoft account across each device and some changes to your device settings. Let’s unpack the various ways you can enable clipboard syncing in Windows 11 and have your favorite items available whenever you need them.

How to enable clipboard syncing using Windows 11 Settings

The easiest method to turn on clipboard syncing in Windows 11 is to use the Settings menu. You need to turn on Clipboard history to save multiple items and pin the ones that you want to retain. Here’s how to do so:

  1. Press Win + I or go to the Start Menu and type in Settings. Click the top result.
  2. Scroll down and click on Clipboard.
  3. Turn on the toggle next to Clipboard history.
    Windows 11 clipboard settings with a red outline around the Clipboard history section
  4. The first time you turn Clipboard history on, you’ll see a setting called Share across devices. Under that, click Get started.
  5. On the window that pops up, verify the email address you want to use on each of your devices.
  6. Finally, turn on Sync across your devices and select Automatically sync text that I copy or Manually sync text that I copy, based on your preference.
    Windows 11 clipboard settings with red outlines around the sync across your devices section

Now, perform the same process on each Windows device you want to sync with your clipboard history. You can

save multiple items (up to a maximum of 25) to your clipboard. Note that all the clipboard items get cleared on a system restart unless you pin them.

How to enable clipboard syncing using Registry Editor

Using the Settings menu to enable clipboard syncing is the easiest option, but you can also use the Registry Editor to achieve the same result. Alternatively, if you don’t want to enable clipboard syncing and don’t want anyone else to change those settings, the Registry Editor can help you disable the setting altogether. This can prevent misuse of clipboard syncing and sharing of sensitive information across devices.

  1. Type regedit in the Windows search bar and click on the top result. Alternatively, press Win + R to open a Run window, type regedit, and press Enter.
  2. In the Registry Editor window, Navigate to the following path (you can also paste the path in the address bar):
    Registry editor screen with a red outline around the address bar
  3. Right-click anywhere on the right pane and select New> DWORD (32-bit) Value.
  4. Rename the entry AllowCrossDeviceClipboard.
  5. Double-click to open it and enter 1 in the Value data box.
    Registry editor screen with a new entry dialog box for clipboard syncing
  6. If you want to gray out the clipboard syncing option from Settings completely, change the Value data entry to 0.

How to enable clipboard syncing using Group Policy Editor

Another way to enable clipboard syncing on Windows is via the Group Policy Editor. This method allows you to turn the setting on without creating any new entries. Plus, similar to the Registry Editor method, you can gray out the clipboard syncing option completely to prevent misuse. This method is applicable for Windows 11 Professional, Enterprise, and Education editions. If you’re running Windows 11 Home, you can try one of the other methods shown.

  1. Type gpedit in the Windows search bar and click Edit group policy.
  2. Navigate to Computer Configuration> Administrative Templates> System> OS Policies.
    Group policy editor window showing various options under OS policies section
  3. On the right-hand pane, under Setting, double-click Allow Clipboard History to open it.
  4. Set it to Enabled and click OK to save your changes.
    Group policy editor windows with red outlines around Allow Clipboard History settings
  5. Perform the same action for Allow Clipboard synchronization across devices to turn clipboard syncing on.

How to enable clipboard syncing between Windows and Android phone

Once you’ve enabled clipboard syncing on your Windows desktop or laptop, you can sync your favorite items with your Android phone. All you need to do is use the Microsoft SwiftKey keyboard and use the same Microsoft account to sign in. Let’s break down the process below:

  1. Download and install SwiftKey AI Keyboard from the Play Store.
  2. Launch the app and finish setting it up.
  3. Log in using the same Microsoft account you use on your other Windows devices.
  4. Navigate to Rich input> Clipboard and turn Sync clipboard history on.
  5. Your clipboard history will now be synced between your Android phone and other Windows devices.

Always on clipboard on Windows

With clipboard syncing turned on, you can benefit from always having your most-used items at the ready. And using the Microsoft SwiftKey keyboard, you can extend the same convenience to your Android mobile. SwiftKey is no longer available for iOS, but you can use Phone Link with an iPhone to sync messages, make calls, view your contacts, and more on your Windows PC.

You can also transfer files between Android and Windows PC to further boost productivity. If you’ve just got yourself a new system, there are 10 things you should do with your new Windows PC that might come in handy.