Understanding the 'Clipboard' menu under Hyper-V

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With Hyper-V the Virtual Machine Connection window has a menu titled 'clipboard'.  This menu brings two of my favorite features from Virtual PC to the server world.  Unfortunately these features caused some confusion under Virtual PC - so we have tried to make this better for Hyper-V.  Under this menu there are two entries:

  • Type clipboard text.

    On Virtual PC this used to just be 'paste' but that is not the right description for what actually happens.  When you select this option the Virtual Machine Connection will take any text that is currently in the physical computers clipboard and pretend to type it on the keyboard of the virtual machine. 

    The downside to this approach is that we can only paste text (no graphics, etc...).  The upside to this approach is that it allows you to paste text at any time - no matter what the guest operating system is - or what it is doing.  One place where I often use this is to enter serial numbers for Windows when I am installing it. 

    One final word of warning - text is literally 'typed on the keyboard' - so if you try to copy and paste a large amount of text you might have to wait for a while for it to catch up.

  • Capture screen.

    On Virtual PC this used to be 'copy'.  Selecting this option will take a screen shot of the guest operating system and place it in the physical computer's clipboard.  This is very handy for catching screen shots of things like operating system installation - where a screen shot utility is usually not available.

As a side note - if you want to get a screen shot of a running virtual machine (including the Virtual Machine Connection window) just press your release key combination (CTRL + ALT + LEFT ARROW by default) and then press ALT + PRTSCN.  Click back in the Virtual Machine Connection window to keep on using the guest operating system afterwards.


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  • Please add 1 and 5 and type the answer here:
  • Post

    'Remote Desktop Connection' is the application for seamless work with Hyper-V virtual machines

    and with proper Hyper-V setup, even other people on the network can work this way with your VM, too...

    do not blame poor Hyper-V client,

    it serves well for local access when your Virtual Machine is unreachable on the network so you can fix the issues

    and for NOTHING ELSE

    think! :)

  • Still waiting on a good answer to this: So how can I copy text *from* a virtual machine *to* the host?

  • Hey guys,

     If you want to copy data from the client VM to the parent OS, I wrote about how to accomplish this on my blog:


     It isn't perfect, but it works, and you can even use this method on locked down domain clients that can't just copy and paste to a local share.

  • There is a very simple scenario where you CAN'T use RDP: Cisco VPN Client blocks network access, so if you sandbox your VPN-Dial-In system in a Hyper-V VM, you're stuck with the Hyper-C console. Without the clipboard, copying data betewen guest and host is a real pain.

  • I need to exchange files between the host and guest OS's. This post is misleading.

  • @Jordan Mills

    As the "developer" said, use the Microsoft RDP (MSTSC) instead, then you can cut n paste text and files.

    Works fine for me in Win8.1 Hyper-V

  • I don't understand something. Why is there a limit on the number of characters that can be pasted? I had to write something that reads a text file on the virtual machine to get around the silly text limits. So, i'm just wondering, what the heck is the big deal? It's a silly limitation if you think  about it.

  • On an Ubuntu 14.04 Desktop this isn't working. I am copying text on the Hyper-V host, then selecting the Type Clipboard Text option and the application (a form in Firefox) fails to "receive"

  • I was so excited about Hyper-V in Windows 10 only to find out it doesn't support copy and paste. VMware has done this for years. I hate it when I find out that core features are missing or very difficult to get working.

  • Apparently after 7? years MS *still* hasn't found a way to get copy/paste of text between Windows and an Ubuntu VM.  Clipboard/"Type clipboard text" doesn't even work.

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Understanding the 'Clipboard' menu under Hyper-V