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What does "Restore previous clipboard item" do?

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When I use Universal Actions or any other workflow that uses the selection the selection gets on top of the clipboard -- the previous clipboard contents doesn't seem to get restored.


Here's the option in the GUI:



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In Alfred 4's clipboard management features, "Leave selected item in clipboard" and "Restore previous clipboard item" are two related but functionally different options:

1. Leave selected item in clipboard :
- The purpose of this option is that when you select an item from Alfred's clipboard history, it remains on the clipboard even after you close the clipboard history interface.
- Use case: This option is particularly useful when you need to paste the same clipboard item multiple times between different applications. It allows you to select a clipboard content once and then paste it multiple times without having to reopen the clipboard history each time.

2. Restore previous clipboard item:
- This option allows you to quickly revert to your most recently used clipboard item, typically used when you accidentally overwrite clipboard content or need to go back to the previous clipboard item.
- Use case: When you copy new content but suddenly realize you need to reuse the previous clipboard content, this option lets you quickly revert to the last clipboard item.


Main Differences:
- "Leave selected item in clipboard" is focused more on the convenience of maintaining the same clipboard item across multiple operations.
- "Restore previous clipboard item" provides a quick way to revert to a previous clipboard item, especially useful for correcting mistakes or revisiting recent clipboard history.

In short, "Leave selected item in clipboard" is more about the ease of keeping the same clipboard item for multiple pasting operations, whereas "Restore previous clipboard item" is a quick backtracking feature for correcting errors or accessing recent clipboard history again.

Edited by binbjz
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@binbjz Was that answer perchance generated with an LLM or similar? Those frequently produce inaccurate text, as is the case in this situation. The option isn’t related to backtracking, its purpose is detailed in the short description text visible in the screenshot.


@erusev The option does what you seem to be expecting it to do. Are you syncing your Alfred Preferences? If so, which service are you using? Please ensure preferences are available offline.

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@vitor Thanks for the response!


I think I know what's going on -- it does restore the previous item in the clipboard, but this is not reflected in the clipboard history -- the (Alfred's) clipboard history shows the selected text at the top, which is why I thought the features doesn't work.


Btw, this expected? It feels like a mismatch b/w clipboard history and the actual clipboard.

Edited by erusev
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  • 2 weeks later...

That is expected, yes. The Clipboard History represents the order in which stuff was copied and the top item may not necessarily represent what’s in the clipboard right now. Two simple examples are images and concealed text such as passwords, both of which you can exclude from Clipboard History. Copying those still places them in the clipboard and you can ⌘V, but they won’t match the top of the Clipboard History. The feature to restore the previous item is for the convenience of allowing you to ⌘V after an action and get what you expected.

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