How to Copy and Paste on a Chromebook

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Matthew M. White
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Chromebooks are very versatile laptops. They use Chrome OS, a lightweight operating system and although it has limited functions compared to macOS, Windows or Linux, the Chromebook has become more and more popular over the years. Chromebooks don't use a lot of storage space as they use cloud storage for most file keeping.

Chromebooks are an affordable alternative to Windows or Mac. Keyboard shortcuts and commands are different from what most people use on Windows and macOS. One of the crucial functions of any operating system is the ability to quickly copy and paste information from one location to another. In this article, we are going to show you how to copy and paste on a Chromebook in this article.

Let's dig.

How to Copy and Paste on Chromebook

There are three widely accepted methods for copying and pasting data on a Chromebook. Each has the same functionality, so it's just a matter of which one you're more comfortable with.

Keyboard shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts are what we call any combination of keys that performs an action on your computer. The key combination you would use to copy and paste on a Chromebook is:

Ctrl + C When you use this keyboard shortcut combination, it copies the highlighted text you select with your trackpad.

To paste the text you copied, you will use the keyboard shortcuts Ctrl + V On your keyboard.

Use Chrome Browser

If you want to copy text, highlight it with your trackpad.

Then go to the top right of your Chrome browser to the three dots and click on it with your trackpad. Then move your cursor down to copy and click on it. This copies the text you highlighted.

When you're ready to paste the text, navigate to the three dots again at the top right of your Chrome browser. Click on the three dots with your trackpad, then navigate to Paste and click on it.

This will insert the text you copied into the desired destination. If you accidentally paste the content in the wrong place, just use Ctrl+X to delete it and re-paste it where it should be.

Use the touchpad

Using your Chromebook trackpad to copy and paste is also easy. First, highlight the text you need to be copied.

Next, use the Chromebook's right-click function to access the drop-down menu. If you don't know how to "right-click" on a Chromebook, you have two options. First, you can hold down the Alt key on your keyboard and click on your trackpad at the same time. Second, you can use two fingers to tap the trackpad.

Then a menu of commands appears on the screen in the pop-up box. Click on your Chromebook's trackpad on the copy command. This, in turn, copies your highlighted text selection.

Click where you want to insert your text and use your preferred right-click method to access the menu. Then just select paste to transfer the text to your page.

These options allow you to copy and paste text to your Chromebook. You have three choices. You can use keyboard shortcuts on your Chromebook keyboard. Use your Chrome browser's menu or use your Chromebook's trackpad in conjunction with the Alt key.

Copy and paste an image

Maybe you need to copy and paste an image, not just text. This can also be done on a Chromebook. To copy and paste an image, hold your pointer over the image then press the ALT key on your keyboard. Next, click your trackpad on your Chromebook while holding down the ALT key.

A box with various options appears on your Chromebook screen. Move your pointer to where it says Copy Image and click on it with your trackpad.

To paste the image, navigate to your page or document where you want to insert it. Hold down the ALT key and press your Chromebook trackpad which brings up the box where you will scroll to a click on 'dough' to place your image.

That's it. You have now also copied and pasted an image.

Copy-paste functions stopped working

Some users have reported that their copy and paste functions stop working. There could be several reasons for this, from an update to a setting.

The first thing to try would be another copy-paste method. If your keyboard shortcuts don't work, try the trackpad method, and so on.

Then you can reset your system settings to their default values. It's not completely unheard of for something to go haywire in the settings, so this will return all your settings to their defaults.

Open Chrome browser, tap the three vertical dots menu, select Parameters, and choose Advanced. From there, select the option to Restore or reset settings.

Choose the option to reset your settings to their original defaults.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I right click on a Chromebook?

It can be quite difficult to get used to the features of a Chromebook if you've used a Mac or PC before. Since the trackpad doesn't have a "right-click" button, it can be tricky to figure out how to right-click. Fortunately, there are two ways to right-click on a Chromebook.

You can use the Alt+Trackpad option. Just hold down the Alt key, then click on the trackpad.

Or, you can use two fingers to click on the trackpad. This is similar to how you scroll on your Chromebook, but now you press down on the trackpad.

Does the Chromebook have a snipping tool?

Yes. If you want to cut out an image and paste it somewhere else, the Chromebook makes it easy too. Using the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Shift+Window Shift Key. Your cursor will turn into a small cross and allow you to cut out an image of the content that you want to paste elsewhere or save as an image in the cloud.

How do I access the clipboard on a Chromebook?

Other operating systems have what is called a clipboard. Each time you copy something, it is stored in the system clipboard for a period of time so that you can retrieve it.

Unfortunately, a Chromebook doesn't have a clipboard. You can only copy and paste one thing at a time. Chrome OS is an incredibly lightweight and basic operating system and it really shows when such features are absent.


Now you know how to copy and paste text in three different ways when using your Chromebook. You can use keyboard shortcuts, the Chrome browser, and your Chromebook's trackpad to do this.

The other thing you learned is that you can also copy and paste images with your Chromebook just as easily. So you have all the information you need to be a copy-paste master on your Chromebook.

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