Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Where is the configuration option for sharing clipboards (copy & paste) between the host OS and the guest OS?

share|improve this question
up vote 122 down vote accepted

With Guest Additions installed, the clipboard of your guest OS can be shared with your host OS.

alt text

Highlight the Guest VBox in the VirtualBox console, open General > Advanced. here you can choose between various Shared Clipboard settings: Disabled, Guest to Host, Host to Guest or Bidirectional

share|improve this answer
For anyone else who runs into this problem - I had option to enable Bidirectional clipboard with Windows8, before installing Guest Additions... but of course it wasn't working even though I selected the option. It started working normally after I went through process of installing Guest Additions. – kape123 Oct 4 '12 at 21:59
A restart of the Guest OS was required for me after installing the Guest Additions and setting the Shared Clipboard to Bidirectional to work. – legends2k Oct 5 '12 at 2:02
I did Bidirectional, restarted the VM, but couldn't get it to work – amphibient Aug 19 '13 at 20:31
this fixed all kinds of issues (resolution. clipboard, etc) – chovy Oct 25 '13 at 4:51
Anyone know why it forces you to install Guest Additions on the guest even if all you want to do is copy ASCII from the host to the guest? Seems weird there wouldn't be a workaround for that case, since the VM is already forwarded keypress events. You'd just need to transparently inject host-to-guest keypress events. – Parthian Shot Aug 15 '14 at 15:31

Windows 7 64-bit host, Ubuntu 12.10 64-bit guest.

I enabled clipboard and drag and drop before installing Guest Additions. After installing Guest additions clipboard and drag n drop did not work. I disabled clipboard and drag n drop, uninstalled guest additions, rebooted, reinstalled guest additions - still failed.

To fix I did this:

Uninstalled guest additions and disabled clipboard and drag and drop. Then from the terminal I used

$ apt-get install make gcc linux-headers-$(uname -r)

Reinstall (should be error free), reboot, enable clipboard and drag and drop. Voilà!

share|improve this answer
This should be the answer! it worked for me. – Ketan May 12 '14 at 16:03
Only solution which did the trick for me on Lubuntu. Many thanks! – Zar Sep 19 '14 at 17:44
Worked for me for Host Mac OSX -> Guest Ubuntu. – Vinay 2 days ago

Install Guest Additions for Windows XP. That will allow you to integrate the guest operating system with the host.

Some features:

  • Shared Folders - Meaning you can create folders that are accessible by both the guest and host systems.
  • Accelerated Video
  • Mouse Integration - You no longer need to capture the mouse. Focus follow your mouse.
  • Shared Clipboard

To install the Guest Additions, refer to the User Manual, Chapter 4.

share|improve this answer

In order to share your Host clipboard you will need the Guest Additions installed first.

As for the options for the clipboard, Right click the Guest VM within Virtual Box, Select Settings, In the General section select the Advanced tab.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.