One of Chrome's signature features is the option to sync your complete browsing experience across all devices you own. There are just a couple of notable exceptions from this synchronization though, including the option to access the same clipboard across multiple devices, which would allow you to copy and paste information from one computer to another (or to a phone). While some extensions can provide this ability, sharing everything you type with a browser add-on comes with inherent security risks. As such, Google appears to be working on native clipboard sharing capability, although we don't have a lot of details yet.

Chrome Story spotted a code change request in the Chromium Gerrit, asking for "Feature flags for Shared Clipboard feature." Specifically, two new flags should find their way into Chrome:

Enable receiver device to handle shared clipboard feature – Enables receiver device to handle shared clipboard feature by showing a notification to receive the clipboard to share.

Enable shared clipboard feature signals to be handled – Enables shared clipboard feature signals to be handled by showing a list of user’s available devices to share the clipboard.

As you can judge from these, clipboard data shouldn't automatically be shared across all your devices at all times. Instead, you'll have to choose recipients manually. It remains to be seen whether the feature will see some automatization, but it's safe to assume that sharing is intentionally limited as to refute privacy concerns – after all, you don't want your password manager's clipped data flying around through the web.

This work could be built on the foundation of OneChrome, another Chromium Gerrit commit that appears to mimic Apple's Continuity feature. It should allow Chrome and Android devices to interact more seamlessly, so users can make calls right through Chrome or share WiFi credentials on the fly. While some of these OneChrome abilities appear to be specifically targeted towards ChromeOS and Android, the Shared Clipboard flag seems to be platform agnostic.

In any case, while these options have yet to find their way into Google's browser, they'll most likely surface in Chrome's developer preview first, Canary. It's available for all major desktop systems and Android devices. Keep in mind that this is the most unstable version of the application, so you might be better off using the regular version if you're not a developer yourself.

A recent update to Chrome Canary has indeed introduced the two flags mentioned above. The description confirms that clipboard sharing is intended to work across all major computing platforms but iOS: Mac, Windows, Linux, Chrome OS, and Android are on board. So far, nothing happens when you activate the flags, but this is further proof that Google is working on the feature.

Nevertheless, to enable these flags in your own Canary build, head to chrome://flags and search for clipboard.

The latest update to Chrome Canary introduces functional clipboard sharing across multiple computers and phones. It turns out you need to take quite a few manual steps whenever you want to share something to another device, though.

First off, the two clipboard flags described above have been joined by another called Sync Clipboard Service. You can find all three by searching for "clipboard" in chrome://flags. Once you've activated all of them on at least two devices, you can start sending text across them.

Enable all three clipboard-related flags in chrome://flags.

Unlike solutions such as Microsoft's cloud clipboard (heavily crippled starting with Android 10), text you copy and paste natively won't magically appear on your other devices. Instead, you have to right-click highlighted text on the desktop and choose "Send text to..." from the menu. A notification will appear on whichever target you choose to share to, alerting you that some text has been copied to your clipboard, which you can paste right away.

Right-click highlighted text and select "Send text to..." to share it to another device's clipboard.

On Android, the workflow is similar, but you'll have to use the tedious share menu. Highlight the desired text in any app, tap "Share," choose "Chrome Canary – Send text to Your Devices," and select which device to copy the selected text to. Easy – it only takes four steps. Hopefully, Google simplifies the feature before rolling it out to Chrome Stable.

Clipboard sharing requires at least four steps on Android.

So far, clipboard sharing is only available for plain text – you can't copy images or formatting. Links can be transferred both via clipboard or via the recently introduced Send to Your Devices feature.

You'll receive a notification informing you about the shared snippet, but you don't have to tap it – the text is pasted to your clipboard automatically.

Chrome Canary (Unstable)
Chrome Canary (Unstable)
Developer: Google LLC
Price: Free