How to Copy and Paste on a Chromebook

If you have just bought a new Chromebook in 2023 and want to learn the basics, starting from how to copy and paste on your Chromebook, you are at the right place. We take a look at the best ways to copy and paste text, images, links, files, and folders on ChromeOS laptops. We have also added a way to copy and paste on Chromebook Terminal if you use Linux on Chrome OS. And lastly, we have included the native Clipboard History feature and third-party clipboard managers for maximum productivity. On that note, it’s time to learn how to copy and paste on a Chromebook in 2023.

Copy Text, Images, Links, Files, and Folders on a Chromebook

Copying is similar to how we do it on Windows systems. You just have to press Ctrl and C keys together on the keyboard and the item will be copied. You can also right-click on any item and select “Copy”. If you want to learn how to copy and paste on a Chromebook without a mouse, the below shortcuts will let you do it.

  • Copy Shortcut: Ctrl + C
copy text in chromeos

Paste Text, Images, Links, Files, and Folders on a Chromebook

Pasting items on a Chromebook is again identical to the Windows system. You just have to press Ctrl and V keys at once. Alternatively, you can also right-click and select “Paste” from the context menu. This is how you can copy and paste on a Chromebook.

  • Paste Shortcut: Ctrl + V
paste text in chromeos

Paste Text on Chromebook without Formatting

Sometimes while researching and writing from various sources, we don’t want to carry the text with their inherent formatting. In that case, you can use this nifty shortcut to paste texts without formatting on a Chromebook. It’s a very useful shortcut and I am sure you are going to love it.

  • Paste as Plain Text Shortcut: Ctrl + Shift + V
paste as plain text in chromeos

Cut Text, Images, Links, Files, and Folders on Chromebook

You can also cut or move texts and files from one place to another by pressing Ctrl and X keys simultaneously. Besides that, you can also right-click on any item and select “Cut”.

  • Cut Shortcut: Ctrl + X
cut files in chromeos file manager

Copy and Paste Images on Your Chromebook

If you want to learn how to copy and paste images on a Chromebook, you need to follow the same keyboard shortcut that we use for texts and files. Press “Ctrl +C” to copy an image and press “Ctrl +V” to paste the image into any folder.

Alternatively, you can right-click on the image and click on “Copy”. And to paste it, right-click on an empty space in any folder and click on “Paste”.

paste images in chromeos

Paste Images & Screenshots Directly on a Chromebook

This is one of my favorite copy-paste shortcuts on Chromebook. For instance, if you want to take a screenshot, you can directly paste the snapshot into an image editor on Chromebook, Gmail Compose Box, or any other media field. It’s a hassle-free solution that saves a lot of clicks and time. Basically, when you take a screenshot on your Chromebook, the system automatically copies the image in its clipboard. And that allows you to paste the screenshot anywhere.

  • Paste Screenshot Shortcut: Ctrl + V
paste image in media field like gmail compose box on chromeos

Copy and Paste Commands on Chromebook’s Linux Terminal

If you use the Linux Terminal regularly on your Chromebook, you must know these handy shortcuts to copy and paste commands. The best way to copy a line of command in Chrome OS is to just select it using the touchpad or mouse. Just select the command, and it will be copied automatically. No need to perform any shortcuts.

paste command in chromeos terminal

Similarly, to paste the copied command, simply right-click on the Terminal, and it will be added to the Terminal instantly. That’s how easy the process is. Of course, you can use keyboard shortcuts as well. Just press the traditional copy or paste shortcut on your Chromebook Terminal.

  • Copy Linux Command on Chromebook: Ctrl + C
  • Paste Linux Command on Chromebook: Ctrl + V

You can customize the copy and paste behavior on Linux Terminal by right-clicking on the Terminal and opening “Settings”. Move to “Keyboard and mouse” and scroll to the bottom.

copy and paste customization for chromeos terminal

Clipboard History: A New Way to Copy-Paste on Chromebook

Having talked about the traditional ways to copy and paste items on your Chromebook, let me introduce you to a powerful new tool called “Clipboard History” on Chrome OS. With this tool, you can easily copy multiple texts, images, links, or screenshots, and Clipboard History will keep a record of the last five copied items. Whenever you want to paste something, you can select the appropriate item from the list and paste it directly in the input field. Here is how it works.

1. Native Clipboard History Tool

As mentioned above, Chrome OS has received its own Clipboard History tool. If you are on Chrome OS 86 or above (most likely you are), you can just press the “Search + V” keyboard shortcut to open the tool. For detailed instructions, you can head over to our article on how to enable Clipboard History on a Chromebook.

clipboard history dialog in chromeos

The Clipboard History tool keeps a record of the last five copied items which includes both texts and images which is awesome. Now on any text or media field, press the keyboard shortcut, select the right item, and hit enter to paste it instantly. This way, you will save a lot of time as you will not have to go through a score of pages to find the last copied time. This is ingenious, right? By the way, you can also right-click and click on “Clipboard” to open the Clipboard History tool on your Chromebook.

open Clipboard History on a Chromebook

2. Third-Party Clipboard App

Clipboard History Pro is one of the best copying and pasting tools available on Chromebooks. You can copy multiple texts and paste a particular item from the right-click context menu. It integrates pretty well with Chrome OS and works in most environments in the OS. However, this Chrome extension is not entirely free, and you will have to pay for page widgets and floating mode features. Also, unlike the native Clipboard History too, this one does not support images, which is a bummer.

Clipboard history pro context menu

Install (Free, in-app purchases start at $1)

So that was our deep dive into copy-pasting content using all the possible ways on ChromeOS. We have included both keyboard shortcuts and manual steps. Furthermore, we have included copy-paste shortcuts for those who use the Linux terminal on Chromebooks. And if you want to copy and paste on Chromebook like a pro, go through our explanation about the native Clipboard History tool and the third-party Chrome extension.

comment Comments 1
  • Brian says:

    All I’ve been trying to find is when you put in CTRL + ALT + T == terminal + SHELL

    all you have to type is cp , as in COPY. Why doesn’t anyone publish this information?

    Also, my real issue is my USB stick was in fat32 — which only goes to 4Gb files. I needed NTFS. Dar dar dar.

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