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
    Feb 8, 2018 at 7:21
  • @n8te I don't think so. Can you guide me to it? Feb 8, 2018 at 7:24
  • 1
    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
    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
    Mar 15, 2020 at 15:08

3 Answers 3


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


  • 7
    It didn't work for me ! Aug 22, 2019 at 13:49
  • 11
    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) Feb 22, 2020 at 5:52
  • 1
    did not work for me either Windows 10 host, Debian 10 amd 64 client 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. 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. 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. 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. 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
    Sep 23, 2020 at 12:09
  • great, thanks. 6.14 guestExt wasn`t working for me, but 6.17 testbuild did
    – torno
    Oct 26, 2020 at 11:36
  • @torno i had the same 6.14. it says i need to reinstall everything. really?
    – greendino
    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


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