ControlC: Free software to view Clipboard History

Until Windows XP, Microsoft provided the users with a free clipboard viewer. The program, clipbrd.exe, was still searchable in Windows XP and people could use it from the command prompt. For some reasons, Microsoft removed clipbrd.exe file – clipboard viewer from the list of default programs in Windows Vista and Windows 7. It was a handy program that allowed you to view what is on the clipboard and in some versions, you were able to view clipboard history up to certain levels.

With Clipboard Viewer gone from Windows 7, people now need something that tells them about the clipboard history – that is, what all did they copy to clipboard during the current or previous computing sessions. When the clipboard is cleared, they cannot use the items which were earlier on the clipboard. I had similar needs and to find a solution, I downloaded some free clipboard software. Out of these, I found ControlC to be helpful in tracking the clipboard history and in reusing items that were earlier on the clipboard but were later wiped out.

At a time, you can put only one item on the clipboard. When you copy something else to the clipboard, the previous item is removed. Thus, when you press CTRL+V, you get what is currently residing in the clipboard. In fact, the clipboard is a certain area in the random access memory of the computer that acts as temporary storage for things that you copy with a right click or by using the Copy command in the context menus or by pressing CTRL+C in different applications. Until you again press CTRL+C or copy something to the clipboard, the item you copied earlier stays in the memory designated as a clipboard.

Free software to view Clipboard History

ControlC helps you note down the clipboard history. It shows the history with the latest items on the top.

You can categorize the items Control C displays in its report by starring items you want and by the categorizing of items as text, links, and images.

You can also delete items that you think are sensitive enough to create problems if accessed by others using any type of clipboard monitoring program.

In short, ControlC is a free clipboard software that not only shows you your clipboard history; it also allows you to categorize the items you used via the clipboard while allowing you to copy any item back to the clipboard at any given time. This means you can reuse the items that were removed from the clipboard simply by clicking on the copy icon on the ControlC report window (See image below).

To open the ControlC window, click on its icon in the Windows taskbar. The Control C report window will appear in your default browser. You can further customize the report window by clicking on the Advanced option. You can set up the number of days or weeks to keep the items in Control C reports using the Advanced option.

ControlC free download

You can download it at or from CNet. It is recommended that you create password protection when you first log in to the report window so that your clipboard history is not accessed by others.

Let us know your views on this free clipboard software.

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Arun Kumar is a Microsoft MVP alumnus, obsessed with technology, especially the Internet. He deals with the multimedia content needs of training and corporate houses. Follow him on Twitter @PowercutIN