Turning Off Display of the Office Clipboard

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated November 8, 2022)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365


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After Emma has been editing a document for a while, if she copies something (by pressing Ctrl+C), Word displays the Office Clipboard at the left side of the screen. Emma finds this distracting and would prefer that it not be displayed. She wonders if there is a way to turn off display of the Office Clipboard so that it no longer automatically intrudes on her editing.

Word has been relying on something called the Office Clipboard for some time; it is different from the regular Windows Clipboard. (If you want to understand the difference, take a look at this tip.) The Office Clipboard is often displayed in a task pane at the left side of your screen. If it pops up and you don't want it displayed, then follow these steps to turn it off:

  1. Display the Home tab of the ribbon.
  2. Click the small icon at the bottom-right corner of the Clipboard group, at the left side of the ribbon. Word displays the Clipboard task pane.
  3. Click the Options button at the bottom of the task pane. Word displays some options you can choose. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The options available for the Clipboard task pane

  5. Make sure the first two options (Show Office Clipboard Automatically and Show Office Clipboard When Ctrl+C Pressed Twice) are not selected. (If they are selected, click them to turn them off.)
  6. Click the Collect Without Showing Office Clipboard option; it should be selected.
  7. Click the X at the upper-right corner of the Clipboard task pane in order to dismiss it.

Depending on your version of Word, each time you click on an option (steps 4 and 5), the options may disappear, and you may need to display them again by clicking the Options button (step 3).

Step 5 is actually optional—you may want to keep that option turned off, as well. If you do turn it off, then nothing is collected into the Office Clipboard; you've effectively turned it off. If you have no intention of using the Office Clipboard (or the Clipboard task pane), there is no need to have this option turned on. If, however, you might want to use the Clipboard task pane at some point, you should consider turning the option on, as noted in step 5.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (288) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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What is 7 + 1?

2022-11-08 18:31:58

Margaret Tassin

I was hoping this would help me with a problem that started when I got a new computer. I installed the same Office files on it that I was using until the old computer went bad with a fan problem. Now on the new computer, I can put something on my clipboard to paste but what I get is something older and not what I just copied. The only way I have found to get rid of this is to open Word - even if I am working on a different program such as Outlook - and clear out the clipboard in Word. It is almost as if the Word clipboard is acting as the Office or system clipboard. I keep thinking there is some setting somewhere that is causing this. What you are recommending in the article above is how my settings in Word's clipboard are already set.

Any thoughts? Thank you!


2018-08-18 12:12:10

Bob Abbott

Thanks for the helpful tip on clipboard usage!

Bob Abbott


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