Although this article is written with the Galaxy Note 10.1 in mind, most of these instructions should work for Android clipboards on other devices.
The average user doesn’t really pay attention to the contents of the clipboard. Whenever we copy something on our device it gets stored in the clipboard. We later paste it elsewhere which retrieves a copy of the item from the clipboard. Although we pasted the item elsewhere, the original item is not deleted from the clipboard. Once we copy something to the Android clipboard it forever remains in the clipboard unless we manually delete it.
Unlike Windows PCs, turning off your Android device does not automatically clear the clipboard. With this being the case, it’s possible to unknowingly have a very crowded clipboard.
Under normal circumstances, items in a clipboard shouldn’t affect the operation of your Android device, but coming from a Windows environment, I’ve made it a habit to clean out unnecessary files to avoid potential problems.
How to Access the Android Clipboard
Bring up either the on-screen keyboard or the S Pen keyboard. The clipboard button is to the extreme right of the spacebar.
Tap on the clipboard to open it and view all items stored there. There are occasions when tapping the clipboard won’t open it. For example, tapping it when entering usernames or passwords on web pages, or sometimes when entering text on search functions (sometimes, not all times). The more you play around with your Galaxy or device the better you’ll be able to determine when the clipboard will respond.
Once you open the clipboard, you’ll not only see the items in your clipboard, but you’ll have the option to edit the items. Upon clicking “Edit,” two icons appear on each clipboard item. They give you the option to either delete the item or lock it in place.
When you’re finished cleaning out the unwanted items, click “Save” to save those items you want, and then click “Done.” When you’re all finished click on the down arrow and you’re good to go.
Saving web addresses to the clipboard makes it easier to quickly visit your favorite websites. Rather than tapping or writing them out, open the clipboard, select the web address, close the clipboard and tap “Go” on the keyboard. Four taps and you’re there (5 if you include the tap necessary to invoke the keyboard).
Samsung Galaxy Clipboard Crash Problem
In doing a little research for this article, I came across a rather distressing situation. Apparently, Samsung Galaxy devices on rare occasions (rare according to Samsung) can run into an overcrowded clipboard issue that will cause the device to reboot or even worse, crash.
The combination of Touch Wiz software, Android 3.0 or higher and keyboards other than the default Samsung keyboard can give rise to this situation. The operating system sets up a different folder for each keyboard. The folder for the non-Samsung keyboard is inaccessible to the common user (unless you root your device aka have administrative access). Those non-Samsung folders become overcrowded with clips and cause the system to crash (a simplistic explanation of the problem).
Fortunately, Samsung has resolved the issued with an OTA (Over the Air) software update. For you newbies like me, that means you don’t have to do anything. Samsung sends out the update to its devices. All you have to do is allow the update to install (depending on your device settings).
If you do run into the clipboard crash problem, double check to make sure you have the latest software.
UPDATE: It has been brought to my attention that not all devices have such a clipboard. The Nexus 7, for example, only allows one item at a time on the clipboard, so emptying it is not a problem.