Purge Your Clipboard of Large Files

Purge Your Clipboard of Large Files

When you use the “copy” or “cut” command, it copies information to your Windows clipboard . That information is kept in your RAM memory until it’s replaced by something else.

Unfortunately, if you’re copying large items, this can adversely affect your computer’s performance. How? Well, that large file, picture, object, or whatever it was that you copied is floating around in your RAM, regardless of whether it’s been pasted or not.

For example, let’s say I have 32 meg of free RAM. I copy a 10 meg file to my clipboard. Now, that file will continue to occupy 10 meg of RAM until something else is placed on the clipboard, the clipboard is purged, or I restart my computer.

So what can you do?

The simplest thing would be to just copy something small to your clipboard. Maybe copy a blank space in a word processor to your clipboard or possibly a short sentence. Anything small is fine. Since your clipboard can only hold one item at a time, the old 10 meg file is replaced with the new small file.

You could also open the Clipboard Viewer, hit the Edit menu, then Delete. This will quickly purge the clipboard contents.

You can get to the clipboard viewer by clicking Start, Programs, Accessories, System Tools . It should be under there if it’s installed (it’s not always installed).

XP users have a similar utility called the ClipBook Viewer (MS does like to change things). I shuffled through my Accessories menus but couldn’t find any hint of its existence. After a little research, I discovered how to make a desktop shortcut for it. Want one too? Here’s how:

Right-click a blank area on the desktop, then select New, Shortcut from the resulting menu. For the command line use:


Hit Next and name the shortcut:

ClipBook Viewer

Hit Finish .

Just double-click to see what’s on your clipboard. Oh, and when mine first ran, I had to “restore” the viewer window – for some reason that only makes sense to Microsoft, it was minimized in the lower left hand corner of the viewer program. A quick click on the double boxes and I was able to view my clipboard contents.

To delete the contents of the clipboard using this utility, click the black “X” on the toolbar.

An additional note for MS Office 2000 users: Office 2000 saves multiple items to the clipboard, so the clipboard has a button to ‘Clear All’, it also enables you to paste items other than the one last copied. There appears no way to clear specific items from the clipboard.

When you exit the program, you should get a prompt saying that there is a large amount of data on the clipboard and asking if you wanr to save it for other applications.

To view the clipboard in MS Office 2000, go to View then Toolbars and click on Clipboard . This will allow you to see the multiple clipboard entries.


There is a little icon that looks like a clipboard with an X on it. Just click there and bye-bye multiple clipboard items.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.