How do I effectively copy and paste input and output in the Windows PowerShell?

11 Answers 11

  • To select text in PowerShell with the mouse, just select it as usual.
  • To copy the selected text to the clipboard you have to either hit Enter, or right-click.
  • To paste into the PowerShell window, right click.


  • Paste: alt+[space], e, p

Note: In current versions of Windows 10, Ctrl+C, and Ctrl+V work as expected.

  • 2
    This is what I was missing, thanks! To actually copy it is necessary to press Enter.
    – orschiro
    Mar 28, 2012 at 17:13
  • 1
    It is not necessary for me, but I have quickedit turned on in properties.
    – EBGreen
    Mar 28, 2012 at 17:20
  • 1
    ok, it works, but it won't paste multiline strings, that's BS Dec 2, 2014 at 5:30
  • 3
    you can also use the menu shortcut, alt + [space] + e + p menu->edit->paste
    – Val
    Mar 5, 2015 at 10:49
  • 1
    Nb! The menu shortcut will vary depending on the language version of Windows you have. On my Norwegian Windows install I must use alt + [space], d, l
    – Martin
    Jan 15, 2020 at 21:39

(Elaborating on the answer of Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 and Val)


Select/Mark: Press left mouse button, drag, release.

Copy: Right-click.

Paste: With content in the clipboard, right-click.


Activate Mark: Alt + Space > e > k.

Select a Block: Navigate (arrow keys, Page-down, Page-up, End, Pos1) to the upper left corner of the block, press and hold Shift, navigate to the lower right corner, release Shift.

Copy: With a block selected, either hit Enter or Alt + Space > e > y.

Paste: With content in the clipboard, Alt + Space > e > p.

  • 2
    +1 for the hint to "Activate Mark". I was searching combinations of Cursor and Caret but it always returned results for mouse cursor... Nov 10, 2017 at 10:35
  • The Active Mark operation result in interesting behavior in pwsh 6.1 + PSReadLine 2.1.0. where the Paste operation, just insert the content at the current cursor position and not at the end of the last prompt.
    – not2qubit
    Oct 15, 2020 at 10:39

Depends on which PowerShell you are using. With the newer PowerGUI Script Editor or with the PowerShell ISE (integrated scripting environment) cut/paste seems to work better:

  • To cut drag the mouse across text to select, then ^C or right click to copy.
  • To paste use ^V

With the older PowerShell:

  • To cut drag the mouse across text to select, then enter to copy.
  • You can sometimes hit ^C to copy but it does not seem to ALWAYS work.
  • You can also drag to select then right click in the top window pane bar and select Edit | copy.
  • To paste right click.

Good links for people learning PowerShell::

  • The best PowerShell tutorial I've found so far is here. It goes into quite a bit of description of the command line. Sadly some of the cool stuff in the original PowerShell appears to be broken in ISE, like ctrl-home for example, to delete to start of line.

  • Some differences between these two PowerShells is here.

  • 2
    Ctrl-V also works in PowerShell on Windows 10 here (PS version 5.1.15063.296).
    – ComFreek
    Jun 2, 2017 at 9:44

As of Windows 10, Ctrl + C works for copying the text & Ctrl + V works for paste. You can also select the data using Shift + Arrow(Left/Right).

The standard console can be used in Windows 10 — the PowerShell ISE is still available but not required for copy/paste support.


As of PowerShell Core 6, shortcut to copy and paste is Ctrl+Shift+C and Ctrl+Shift+V and is toggleable in the settings:

PowerShell 6 settings


Powershell functions like most terminal emulators (like PuTTY) - selecting text automatically copies it to your clipboard, and right-clicking pastes the content of your keyboard at your cursor.

  • Hello Rilgon, That was my first intuition but it does not work. Nothing gets copied to the clipboard.
    – orschiro
    Mar 28, 2012 at 16:55
  • 1
    That's strange, because I definitely just tried it myself just to make sure it was right, and it worked just fine. Mar 28, 2012 at 16:55
  • Don't you need to hit enter to copy the contents to the clipboard in Powershell? Oct 10, 2014 at 16:57
  • You just select, then right-click on the selection and it's in the clipboard. To paste, just right-click again.
    – not2qubit
    Oct 15, 2020 at 10:41

If you want to put the output of your command into the Clipboard, just use Set-Clipboard cmdlet as the final item in your pipeline, or its standard alias scb.

One caveat is that some commands return text (eg. Get-Content) and others produce collection of objects (eg. Get-ChildItem). If you get weird things in clipboard, insert Out-String before Set-Clipboard to convert everything to text:

gc .\myFile.txt | scb

ls c:\Windows | Out-String | scb


This is just to add a partial solution for those times you don't want to use the mouse. It only helps with pasting but you can press Alt+Space then e then p. The Alt+Space opens the PowerShell window's menu, the e opens the Edit sub-menu and the p does the actual pasting. Hardly convenient but it does save you from going to the mouse.


To paste, you may use AutoHotkey script (this also affects all console windows):

#IfWinActive ahk_class ConsoleWindowClass
SendInput {Raw}%clipboard%

Found on http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/25590/how-to-enable-ctrlv-for-pasting-in-the-windows-command-prompt/.


Another way: highlight something, and control-mousedrag to copy it, in the Powershell ISE. Alt-hightlight also highlights rectangles.

  • 4
    That doesn't work here.
    – DavidPostill
    May 15, 2017 at 15:26

Select text with the mouse or Shift+Arrows Ctrl+Shift+C to copy.

  • While we always appreciate new contributions, how is your answer really different from this one?
    – Run5k
    Sep 10, 2019 at 18:59
  • It doesn't mention Ctrl+Shift+C Sep 11, 2019 at 19:05

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