What is the difference between cut and paste?

Understanding the Clipboard

When you copy or cut something (such as a block of text, an image, or a link), Windows temporarily stores the data in a special memory location called the Clipboard. Think of it as a temporary holding pen. When you Paste the information you copied, Windows retrieves the contents of the Clipboard and puts it where you want it to go.

Typically, the contents of the Clipboard reset when you restart your PC, although it is possible to pin items to the clipboard in Windows 10 and 11 using an opt-in feature called Clipboard History. Then you can recall them as many times as you want quickly by pressing the Windows+V keyboard shortcut.

In Windows, you can even synchronize your Clipboard between devices using the cloud. But that is an optional setting you have to turn on in System Settings.

RELATED: How to Enable and Use Clipboard History on Windows 10

How to Copy, Cut, and Paste Using Right-Click

In many programs, you can copy, cut, and paste using the right button on your mouse. First, select an element of a document (such as a web page), then right-click, and you’ll likely see a context menu that includes Copy or Cut commands.

You can then right-click in a destination document

You can then right-click in a destination document and select Paste to put the contents of the Clipboard in that location.


The same principle works in File Explorer and on your Desktop. Select a file, folder, or group of files you’d like to Copy or Cut. Right-click on the files, and you’ll see a context menu pop-up. Select “Copy” if you’d like to duplicate the file somewhere else. Select “Cut” if you’d like to move the file to another location.

Then navigate to the new location and right-click

Then navigate to the new location and right-click where you’d like to put the files. The destination right-click can be inside a folder window, on the desktop, a drive on your computer, or even directly on a folder icon itself.

Select “Paste” in the right-click menu that pops up.

The files you just Cut or Copied will appear in th

The files you just Cut or Copied will appear in the new location. Very handy!



  • Do not cut more than once without pasting. Unlike the copy function that duplicates the selected text or image, the cut function removes it from the document. Although there may be exceptions within a Windows clipboard, in general, cutting more text or another image will erase the previous selection.

    Thanks! Helpful 7 Not Helpful 3


Increasing the buffer size [ ]

By default, only the first 50 lines in a register are saved, and a register is not saved if it contains more than 10 kilobytes. :help ’viminfo’

In the example below, the first line displays the current settings, while the second line sets:

  • '100 Marks will be remembered for the last 100 edited files.
  • <100 Limits the number of lines saved for each register to 100 lines; if a register contains more than 100 lines, only the first 100 lines are saved.
  • s20 Limits the maximum size of each item to 20 kilobytes; if a register contains more than 20 kilobytes, the register is not saved.
  • h Disables search highlighting when Vim starts.

Copy, cut, and paste from the system clipboard [ ]

Main article: Accessing the system clipboard

Unlike most text editors, Vim distinguishes between its own registers and the system clipboard. By default, Vim copies to, cuts to, and pastes from its own default register, called the unnamed register ("", also called quotequote) instead of the system clipboard.

Assuming Vim was compiled with clipboard access, it is possible to access the "+ or "* registers, which can modify the system clipboard. In this case, one can copy with e.g. "+y in visual mode, or "+y{motion} in normal mode, and paste with e.g. "+p.

If your installation of Vim was not compiled with clipboard support, you must either install a package that has clipboard support, or use an external command such as xclip as an intermediary. See Accessing the system clipboard for detailed information.

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