Microsoft wants to revolutionize copy and paste in Edge and Chrome for Windows 11

Happy man with laptop on his lap
(Image credit: Prostock-studio / Shutterstock)

It looks like Microsoft is planning a radical overhaul of how you copy and paste in its Edge web browser in Windows 11 – and those changes could also come to Google’s rival Chrome browser.

As Windows Latest reports, Microsoft is working with Google on a feature called 'Pickling Clipboard' which could drastically improve the clipboard abilities of Edge and Chrome, allowing you to copy and paste a wider variety of file formats. This could prove to be incredibly useful for people who use web apps – which are interactive websites that work a lot like apps you install on your PC – to upload and share files.

By either using your mouse or keyboard shortcuts, you will be able to copy a wide array of files to websites and web apps from within the browser, making the way we interact with websites a lot easier.

According to an update on the Chrome Platform Status website, the new feature could come to Chrome 98 and Edge 98.

Microsoft is also promising that the data you copy and paste will be compatible with security standards, and the company has worked to ensure that no corruption or data loss occurs.

Analysis: Microsoft’s embrace of Chromium continues to pay off

You may not realize it, but copying and pasting is one of the most common things you can do when working on your PC, enabling you to quickly and easily add text, photos, files and more from one source to another.

So the fact that Microsoft is looking to improve this functionality when you're using a browser is very welcome. It’ll be particularly handy for using web apps such as online photo editors and word processors, as it’ll be easier for users to quickly add items from their PCs to the internet. Of course, it’s no coincidence that Microsoft has a suite of web apps that would benefit greatly from these improvements.

What’s particularly pleasing about this, however, is that Microsoft’s work on improving copying and pasting isn’t just going to come to its Edge web browser. It looks set to appear in Google’s rival Chrome browser as well.

This is thanks to the fact that both Edge and Chrome now run on the same web engine – Chromium – which is the core part of a web browser that displays websites. Since Microsoft moved Edge to Chromium, we’ve seen an increasing number of features designed by Microsoft come to both browsers, along with increased cooperation between Microsoft and Google.

This is great for consumers as it gives them more choice over what browser to use, because they won’t miss out on features and improvements if they’d rather stick with Chrome. Google’s offering remains by far the most popular web browser in the world, so it doesn’t hurt Microsoft to come up with features like improved copy and paste to improve the performance of its web apps for Chrome users as well.

Matt Hanson
Managing Editor, Core Tech

Matt is TechRadar's Managing Editor for Core Tech, looking after computing and mobile technology. Having written for a number of publications such as PC Plus, PC Format, T3 and Linux Format, there's no aspect of technology that Matt isn't passionate about, especially computing and PC gaming. He’s personally reviewed and used most of the laptops in our best laptops guide - and since joining TechRadar in 2014, he's reviewed over 250 laptops and computing accessories personally.