Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in September 2018, we’ve updated this guide with new picks for managing your clipboard with multiple advance copy and paste.
It’s pretty hard to think about using computers without the copy-and-paste functions. And, Clipboard stores everything you copy from the Internet, documents or elsewhere.
As it happens, however,
Did you ever copy one thing, then you got distracted and copied another one, so you lost the first?
Do you ever want to copy multiple items before pasting them somewhere?
If you’re like most Mac users then the answer to these questions is a loud “YES!”
Then, what you need is a supercharged clipboard that keeps track of everything you copy.
How about Universal Clipboard?
Apple already has a powerful feature up its sleeve, called Universal Clipboard. This, however, only allows you to share clipboard information between iOS and macOS devices.
For most of us, that’s not enough since there is no extended history. I mean, it’s nice to access the clipboard of a device from another, but it doesn’t help us manage what we copy.
This is where the third-party clipboard managers come in.
The standard Mac clipboard lets you copy and paste only one element at a time. The third-party dedicated Clipboard Manager, on the other hand, automatically stores a history of all the things you’ve copied.
You can copy, copy, copy and then paste, paste, paste at your convenience.
There is a fantastic bunch of clipboard managers you can check out. In this post, we have made a list of the best clipboard manager for Mac so that you can start saving time and boost your productivity.
How we chose?
While choosing the best clipboard manager for Mac, we had a few factors in mind. They are:
- Simple to use: We wanted a tool that you can easily use and manage. Of course, we were looking for innovative designs as well as the traditional menu-bar-based designs. We have also added clipboard apps that work flexibly.
- Performance: The performance of the clipboard manager should be top-notch. It should be able to do copying and pasting in a second or less. If it takes more time, the whole purpose of having such a tool will go in vain.
- Customization: As always, we love customizability within our coverage. So, we have chosen clipboard managers that offer a standard form of customization. For instance, you should be able to select the number of clipboard entries you want to display.
- Integration with macOS and iCloud was also a consideration. The clipboard manager should have an easy way of multi-device syncing as well. Finally, using the tool should feel like using a built-in macOS feature — or at least near to that.
Best clipboard managers for Mac
With the factors above in mind, we have tested and here are the clipboard managers that topped our list:
A classic option: Paste 3
Paste 3 should be your first option if you are looking for a more advanced clipboard manager for Mac. Though you may have to pay a little extra, this tool brings terrific features like support for text and non-text data, multi-device synchronization, and intelligent search.
More importantly, you can access all these features from your Mac, iPhone, and iPad. Altogether, Paste 3 is going to help you skyrocket your productivity.
- Intelligent Clipboard Management. Unlike CopyClip 2, Paste 3 uses smart and powerful algorithms to store everything you copy. Text content, links, images, and documents become a part of Paste 3’s extended clipboard, and you can customize how these boards look and work.
- Workflow Management at its Best. Depending on your profession and the tools you use, you get to customize almost everything. For instance, if you are a developer, you can store code snippets on the Paste 3 interface for easy access. Also, everything stays in sync with your iCloud devices.
- Advanced Customization. Depending on your workflow, you can change the settings and features in the Paste 3 package. For instance, there are options for pasting multiple items, pasting something as plain text, and tailor-made shortcuts.
Who Is It For?
We recommend Paste 3 to professionals who need to manage a diverse collection of clipboard entries. Paste 3 is a package that caters to people with different levels of proficiency as well. We should also commend the perks of having multi-device apps and sync.
- Extensive compatibility and app
- Works with all kinds of clipboard data
- Advanced pasting options
- Core data management features
- Could be expensive
- A larger system footprint
What’s the Price?
Paste 3 is available on a subscription model, which costs you $0.99 per month or $9.99 per year. You should note that a single subscription gives you access to the iOS and iPadOS apps as well. Alternatively, you could get Paste 3 via Setapp, a subscription service that gives you access to hundreds of macOS and iOS apps.
3-in-1 clipboard manager: Unclutter
Unclutter is not a dedicated clipboard manager for macOS. However, the app creates a nice, accessible space where you can store notes, essential files, and everything you copy to the clipboard. As you can guess, such a digital storage space comes with its benefits.
Unclutter helps you in a few ways, though. Instead of keeping track of clipboard entries, you can make your desktop space cleaner. There are also advanced features like multi-device sync.
- Three Uses, One Tool. It’s so convenient to have three different tools at the convenience of a single space. Unclutter does a decent job of keeping all this content neat and accessible. Once you have given Unclutter the necessary permissions, it is ready to run.
- Multi-Device Sync. Unclutter allows you to access everything you store on one device from another — using Dropbox Sync. This applies to both the notes and files you keep on the Unclutter tab, which is excellent if you use multiple Macs.
- Full Control. Despite the simple design, Unclutter offers customization features in all its panes. You can, for instance, arrange your files and notes based on their name, date, or kind. There are also fully-fledged search functions within the sections.
- Three powerful utilities in one space
- Intuitive User Interface and gesture support
- Sorting and organizing options
- Low system footprint
- No advanced features
- Clipboard management is limited
What’s the Price?
Unclutter for Mac is available for a price of $23.59. You can purchase the app from the App Store as well. It’s also offering a free trial of the tool for a few days. You may want to check that out before committing to the full version.
Modern design: Maccy
If you are looking for a clipboard manager with a modern design and UI, you should check out Maccy. Though very simple and has a minimal system footprint, Maccy gets the job done. More importantly, Maccy is free, lightweight, and open-source.
At the same time, Maccy offers several features that we only see in premium clipboard managers for Mac. Some of them are:
- Keyboard-First UI. Maccy solves one of the biggest problems I have faced with other clipboard apps: too much dependency on the mouse/trackpad. This is because Maccy uses a keyboard-friendly User Interface. By pressing hotkeys, you can launch Maccy and control the clipboard entries.
- Native Performance. Thanks to the no-fluff design and lower consumption of system resources, we think Maccy is super-fast. You wouldn’t know the difference if the program is running in the back or not.
- Enough Customization. While not advanced as the other clipboard managers, Maccy also lets you customize it. For instance, you can enable a fuzzy search and paste without formatting. You can also control the history size and sorting options.
- Completely free and open-source
- Amazing set of keyboard shortcuts
- Lightweight and native performance
- Keyboard-first design
- No integration/sync options
- A slight learning curve
What’s the Price?
Maccy is completely free to use, as it comes with an open-source license. You can get the app from its official website and start using it for clipboard data management. We also noticed that Maccy receives regular bug fixes and updates, including the support for macOS Monterey.
A lightweight option: CopyClip 2
CopyClip 2 is perhaps the most-used clipboard manager for macOS. As you can guess from the name, it’s the second iteration of CopyClip. If you prefer using a simple User Interface, you can still get the first-generation version. On the other hand, if you want to stay up-to-date, you should stick to CopyClip 2 itself.
Even if we keep the easy-to-use interface aside, CopyClip 2 offers a fantastic set of features. You can count on them when it comes to seamless clipboard data management.
- Customizable Design. You get to control many aspects of CopyClip 2, including the number of entries that appear on the menu-bar widget. You can also enable multiple pages if you want to access more entries. The powerful clipping engine can capture text and rich media-based entries with ease.
- Easy Control. As we said in the introduction, CopyClip 2 focuses on usability other than anything else. Even when you have many clipboard entries, you can use the Search function or numbered hotkeys to find the desired entry quickly.
- Additional Features. CopyClip 2 also brings an impressive set of features like an Enhanced Touch Bar menu, hotkey support for clipboard access, advanced productivity features, and powerful exceptions. Besides, CopyClip 2 offers regular updates.
Who Is It For?
We recommend CopyClip 2 to people who want to manage their clipboard entries with maximum comfort. Although the app comes with a customizable design and additional features, all of these are powered by an impressive User Interface. So, beginners and Pros alike would love CopyClip 2.
- Focus on a simplistic User Interface
- Easy-to-access clipboard entries
- Additional features for productivity
- Ample support for hotkeys
- Too simple for some people
- Subpar support for non-text entries
What’s the Price?
CopyClip 2 for Mac is available for a one-time purchase fee of just $7.99. However, you can find a 7-day free trial from the official website of the app. Considering that you get regular updates after spending this $7.99, we think the price tag is affordable.
Here goes a list of applications in our primary list but did not make it to the top. However, we do believe that they come with standard features and that you should check them out.
Copied is another clipboard manager that is available for macOS, iOS, and iPadOS. You can think of Copied as a toned-down version of Paste 3. Instead of focusing on a vivid User Interface, the Copied app has chosen a simple design. The design of Copied is similar to the other clipboard manager apps that we have seen. But it comes in handy that you can manage text, links, and images with this tool. Copied for Mac is available for a one-time purchase of $5.99, while the iOS app is free to use.
You should check out CopyLess 2 if you need a more colorful and easy-to-manage clipboard manager for the Mac. Unlike the other clipboard managers that we have listed, CopyLess 2 offers a full-sized window UI. You can use the window to copy, direct-paste, and quick-look at the clipboard entries. There are also features to help writers, developers, and coders to handle code snippets quickly. The best part? The significant features in the app are entirely free to use, but iCloud sync and limitless favoriting need in-app purchases.
If you’re looking for a FREE and open-source clipboard manager, Flycut is a decent option. Every time you copy a code piece, Flycut stores it in history. Later, you can paste it using Shift-Command-V even if you have something different in your current clipboard. You can change the hotkey and other settings in preferences. The app solves the problem that your clipboard only has the most recent item you copied saved and available to paste, and you can access a history of up to 40 past items you’ve copied.
We hope you loved our improved coverage of the best clipboard managers for macOS. As you can see, most of these apps have some kind of counterparts for iOS devices. Because of this, you can get a complete clipboard management experience throughout your workflow. You may want to choose one of these apps if you use an iPhone or iPad alongside your Mac.
Now, when it comes to our personal recommendations, Paste 3 and Maccy would be on the list. It is because we value modern design and productive features a lot. It’s also super-nice that Paste 3 comes with the Setapp subscription, which we love at TSB.
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