I'm using VirtualBox Version 5.2.6 r120293 (Qt5.6.1).

Guest OS: Windows 7 Ultimate (32-bit)
Host OS: CentOS 7

I tried enabling bidirectional clipboard by going to Settings -> General -> Advanced and selecting Bidirectional form the dropdown menu for shared clipboard.

enter image description here

Then I restarted the machine. But it wasn't working.

I have already tried removing and adding the VM to the machine list. But the problem persists.

Any help would be appreciated.

  • 3
    Have you installed the Guest Additions on the Windows 7 guest?
    – n8te
    Commented Feb 8, 2018 at 7:21
  • @n8te I don't think so. Can you guide me to it? Commented Feb 8, 2018 at 7:24
  • 2
    The guest additions are required to be able to use the bidirectional clipboard so that should be the cause of your issue if you don't remember installing it. See here.
    – n8te
    Commented Feb 8, 2018 at 7:27
  • 4
    Unfortunately, I can't write an answer. But I've had the same issue with Guest Additions 6.1.4. The extension is buggy, so there is no (easy) solution, but as a workaround, just downgrade to the last version. In my case, it just worked after I've downloaded GA 6.1.2. Now I can work as I'm used to and wait for the bug to be fixed.
    – dajood
    Commented Mar 15, 2020 at 15:08
  • 1
    Does this answer your question? Why doesn't clipboard sharing work with Ubuntu 18.04 LTS inside VirtualBox 5.1.26?
    – Slate
    Commented Aug 9, 2021 at 13:48

4 Answers 4


You need to add extension pack for you virtualbox

  1. Open https://download.virtualbox.org/virtualbox and open your Virtualbox version
  2. Download Oracle_VM_VirtualBox_Extension_Pack.vbox-extpack.
  3. Open Virtualbox VM Manager
  4. In File->Preferences, Select Extension
  5. Now add extension by browsing to download location


  • 10
    It didn't work for me ! Commented Aug 22, 2019 at 13:49
  • 14
    none of the "solutions" provided here work for me . I have the Share clopboard bidireccional active, + guest additions CD installed + the Extension pack installed, still no clipboard exchange between a linux box (guest) an the Windows 10 (host) Commented Feb 22, 2020 at 5:52
  • 2
    did not work for me either Windows 10 host, Debian 10 amd 64 client Commented Mar 4, 2020 at 17:12
  • 4
    Seems broken in 6.1.4... can't get it to work with Kali Linux rolling. Additions installed version 6.1.4 from APT repo. Something broke in the last few months. Commented Mar 13, 2020 at 5:09
  • 1
    @devman I have virtual box version 6.1.4 but installed this version of iso file, install it in your vm maybe this works for you either. After installation restart virtual box and also keep in mind that it will not share files in clip board! it only shares text as much as i saw. Commented Mar 31, 2020 at 10:09

This answer assumes:

  1. VBox extension pack is installed and current.
  2. VBox guest additions are installed and current.

There is a suggestion in the comments to downgrade the guest additions in order to get the shared clipboard working. Although that may work, I solved this by taking the opposite approach. Unfortunately, if you're dealing with a new version of Virtualbox, full guest support may not quite be available. You can actually download and install guest additions that are newer than the bundled or released version.

Head to VirtualBox test builds, and in the top table, you will find the latest version of the guest additions. Compare your revision with the version listed, if it's newer simply download and install it.

If all else fails, uninstall the guest additions and reinstall them.

Windows Guest: Control Panel
Linux Guest: sh ./VBoxLinuxAdditions.run uninstall

The guest additions are specifically what provide shared clipboard support. Take a look at the virtualbox documentation to learn what other functionality they provide.

  • 3
    I had the extension pack, but was missing the guest additions. Adding that resolved this issue for me. Commented Jun 4, 2020 at 16:12
  • I too started having the issue with Lubuntu 18.04 guest on a Ubuntu 20.04 host (both are 64-bit) with bundled Virtual Box 6.1.10. Just installed 6.1.14 along with Extension Pack and Guest Additions (the same versions 6.1.14), then the issue gone. Thanks a lot for the tips. Commented Sep 15, 2020 at 5:48
  • Had the same issue with OpenSUSE Leap 15.2 after upgrading the virtualbox package. Had to re-install guest additions.
    – badbishop
    Commented Sep 23, 2020 at 12:09
  • great, thanks. 6.14 guestExt wasn`t working for me, but 6.17 testbuild did
    – torno
    Commented Oct 26, 2020 at 11:36
  • @torno i had the same 6.14. it says i need to reinstall everything. really?
    – greendino
    Commented Mar 7, 2021 at 19:20

I realized that VM doesn't recognize the clipboard data from some specific applications (like in my case Foxit PDF reader).

To workaround,

  1. I copy the data from the application to a default location like notepad or even in the start menu search bar.
  2. Then again I copy the text from that notepad/start-menu where I pasted it.
  3. Then when I go into my VM and pasting it works.

Image showing the second copy of data at start-menu that works for me

  • 1
    lifesaver! thanks Commented Nov 18, 2021 at 23:09

Impressive that there is yet not better answer.

For me the solution was to create new again and this time, tick the option "Guest Addition" (see image).

I know this is not a good solution and for most people will be unfeasible to do this, but hopefully, this will inspire a good soul to post a solution that works based on this.

enter image description here

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .