How to copy and paste on Mac

A MacBook user is using a keyboard shortcut to copy and paste text on a Mac.
Daddy Gregorio / Shutterstock.com

If you’ve just started using Mac for the first time, or if you’re switching from Windows 10 or 11, you’re wondering how to copy and paste text, media and files to your new computer. Don’t worry, it’s easy!

How to copy and paste on Mac using keyboard shortcuts

Although it may look different, many macOS functions are similar to Windows 10 and 11. Like Microsoft’s operating system, your Mac has keyboard shortcuts for copying and pasting text, media and files.

First, select the content, such as text or files, and then press the Command + c keyboard shortcut to copy the content.

How to copy to Mac using keyboard shortcuts

Now, go to the destination where you want to post this content and use the Command + V shortcut to paste them.

How to paste on Mac using keyboard shortcut.

If you are using text and you want to match the destination style, use the Command + Shift + V shortcut to paste the content in the same way as the rest of the document.

How to copy and paste on Mac using Menus and Mouse

If you do not want to use the keyboard shortcut, or if you do not have access to the keyboard, you can also copy and paste it on your Mac using the context menu.

First, use your mouse to select or highlight content. These can be text paragraphs or files and folders in the Finder app. Next, right-click your mouse or trackpad to open the context menu. Here, click on the “Copy” option to copy the content.

To copy a file, select the Copy option from the right-click menu.

You can also go to the toolbar at the top of your Mac screen and select the “Copy” option from the “Edit” menu (if available).

Select the Copy option from the Edit menu.

Now, go to where you want to paste the content and right click on your mouse or trackpad. Here, select the “Paste” option.

To paste a file on Mac, select the Paste Item option in Finder.

You can also go to the “Edit” menu from the toolbar and select the “Paste” option to paste the content.

You will see that the content will immediately appear on the floor.

How to copy and paste between iPhone, iPad and Mac

This is an advanced tip for Apple users who use the iPhone, iPad and Mac simultaneously. If you’re using Mac OS Sierra and above on your Mac (and you’ve updated your iPhone or iPad to the latest version), then you can use the Universal Clipboard feature Easily copy and paste text and data between devices.

Now, you don’t really have to do anything to set up the feature. If all your devices support continuity and have a hand-off feature enabled (and they are enabled by default), then the Universal Clipboard will work automatically. Just make sure the two devices are close to each other and that they are on the same Wi-Fi network (with Bluetooth enabled).

For example, suppose you’re copying an image from your iPhone to your Mac. Hold down the image on your iPhone to see the context menu. Here, select the “Copy” option.

Tap the Copy button on the iPhone.

Now, go to your Mac and go to the app or the section where you want to paste this image. Just press Command + V keyboard shortcut. You will see a small window telling you that the image transfer is in progress.

Showing progress bar for pasting image from Mac iPhone.

In a few seconds, the image will become available in the document.

An image from the iPhone was pasted on the Apple Note on Mac.

It also works for text, media and files.


What’s the switch from Windows to Mac right now? We have excellent tips to make your transition easier.

Related: How to switch from Windows PC to Mac.

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