How to Copy and Paste on a Chromebook

In the modern era of ever-evolving technology, simple tasks can sometimes be taken for granted.

Yet, as Chromebooks become more popular due to their affordability and convenience, many new users find themselves navigating a learning curve, even for seemingly basic functions.

One such feature is the universally accepted command to “copy and paste”. How does one do this on a Chromebook, given that its operating system differs from the Windows or MacOS we might be accustomed to?

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve deep into the process of copying and pasting on a Chromebook, ensuring that you’ll be a master of this task in no time.

What is a Chromebook and How Does it Differ?

Before we dive into the specifics of copying and pasting, let’s take a moment to understand the Chromebook. Built on Google’s Chrome OS, Chromebooks are not your traditional laptops.

They’re designed for speed, simplicity, and security. However, these unique features sometimes translate into different key functions and layouts.

  • Speed: Chromebooks are designed to start quickly and remain fast over time. This is achieved by a lightweight operating system and reliance on cloud storage.
  • Simplicity: With a focus on the Chrome browser and apps from the Chrome Web Store, Chromebooks keep things straightforward for users.
  • Security: Automatic updates and built-in virus protection make Chromebooks a secure choice for users who want to avoid malware and other security threats.

The Basics: How to Copy and Paste on a ChromebookKeyboard Shortcuts

Most tasks on a computer have keyboard shortcuts, and copying and pasting on a Chromebook are no exceptions. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Copy: Place your cursor at the beginning of the text or item you want to copy. Drag to highlight, and then press Ctrl + C.
  2. Paste: Navigate to where you want to place the copied item. Press Ctrl + V.

Right-Click Options

If you’re more comfortable using a mouse or trackpad:

  1. Copy: Highlight the desired text or item. Right-click using the trackpad (tap with two fingers) and select ‘Copy’ from the dropdown menu.
  2. Paste: Right-click where you want to place the item and select ‘Paste’ from the menu.

Why is Copying and Pasting Important on a Chromebook?

One might wonder, in a world driven by innovative tech solutions, why we’re focusing on such a fundamental function.

The truth is, copying and pasting are foundational to most computing tasks, even on a Chromebook.

  • Efficiency: Transferring information without retyping saves time and reduces errors.
  • Multitasking: Juggling multiple tasks, especially in a professional setting, often requires duplicating information from one source to another.
  • Curation: Many Chromebook users are students or professionals curating information from various sources. Copying and pasting facilitate this process.

Advanced Tips: Clipboard Manager

Chrome OS introduced a clipboard manager feature that allows users to access the last five items they’ve copied. This is incredibly useful for multitasking. To access this:

  1. Copy items as you normally would.
  2. When you want to paste, press Search + V. A small window will appear showing your recently copied items. Click on the one you want to paste.


The ability to efficiently and effectively copy and paste on a Chromebook is more than just a basic skill; it’s a necessity in today’s digital age.

With this guide, whether you’re a seasoned tech expert or a novice, you’re now well-equipped to handle this task on your Chromebook.

Remember, like any skill, practice makes perfect. So, the next time you’re browsing or working on your Chromebook, practice these techniques to solidify your mastery.

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Our resident iPhone expert, Lee has been an iOS user since the iPhone 3GS was launched back in 2009. When he's not troubleshooting Apple devices, you can find Lee cooking up a storm in the kitchen (with the help of his favourite recipes apps, of course).

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