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Tips & Tricks


iPhone / iPad



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How to Copy & Paste on iPhone

How to Copy, Cut, and Paste on iPhone

Need to copy and paste some text on iPhone? Or perhaps you need to copy a photo from the web and paste it into an email, notes, or Pages document? You can easily perform copy and paste actions on iPhone with some simple actions.

To copy and paste on iPhone, first you must copy the data to iPhone clipboard, then second you must paste the copied into the destination. It’s quite simple once you learn how to perform the copy and paste functions in iOS.

How to Copy and Paste with iPhone

The following steps will copy whatever data is selected (text, image, photo, video, etc) from one source on iPhone, to the iPhone clipboard, and then you will paste the copied data into the new location where you’d like it to appear. Here’s how it works:

  1. Open an app where you wish to select whatever you want to copy, for example you can copy text or an image from Safari
  2. Find the data you want to copy, then tap and hold on what you want to copy and use the selection tools as needed to modify the highlighted and selected text or data
  3. Choose the “Copy” option from the contextual menu that appears on screen, this will copy the selected data, text, or image to iPhone clipboard
  4. How to Copy on iPhone for copy and paste

  5. Now open the app where you wish to paste the copied data into, for example the Notes app, Mail, Pages, Messages, etc
  6. Next, tap and hold at the point on the iPhone screen where you want to paste the data stored in the iPhone clipboard, and select “Paste” from the contextual menu options
  7. Pasting on iPhone as part of copy and paste actions

  8. The previously copied data, text, photo, video, or whatever was in iPhone clipboard will now appear exactly where you pasted it

And that’s how you copy and paste on iPhone.

Technically the above method works for other iOS and iPadOS devices too, and represents the classic approach to using copy and paste on iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad, though obviously here we are focusing on using copy and paste specifically on iPhone. It works quite well for most users.

Basically all versions of iOS support this copy and paste ability using contextual menus and tap-and-hold actions, unless you happen to have some super ancient iPhone running a very ancient iOS release which is quite unlikely.

These steps will describe copying and pasting data on iPhone with iOS, but it works the same on iPad and iPod touch as well, though the iPad has some additional tricks that are not available to iPhone in this regard.

If you use other devices in the Apple ecosystem and you’d like to learn more about using copy and paste on those devices too, you can read about using copy and paste on iPad, including with keyboard shortcuts and virtual keyboard contextual menus, and if you’re a computer user then learning how to copy and paste on Mac is an invaluable lesson as well.

Speaking of other Apple devices, if you are using the same Apple ID and iCloud with your other Apple hardware you can use the universal clipboard feature which is exceptionally cool, allowing you to copy data from iPhone and then paste it over to your Mac seamlessly, for example, or vice versa.

This tap-and-hold contextual menu approach to copy and paste on iPhone is the classic method, but the very latest releases of iOS system software offer new gesture-based copy and paste methods too. Some users may ultimately prefer one or the other, but they both exist to suit your needs for copying and pasting data on iPhone, and iPod touch and iPad too.