How to See When Apps Access Your Clipboard on Android

Here’s something slightly worrisome you may not know: all Android (and iPhone) apps can read your clipboard. That’s bad enough, but how can you know when it’s happening? Thankfully, we can keep an eye on any shady apps.

That’s the worst thing about apps having access to your clipboard—it’s pretty much impossible to know if it’s being abused in the background. That’s why Android 12 introduced a feature called “Show Clipboard Access.” When enabled, you’ll see a little message every time an app accesses your clipboard.

Clipboard access message.

RELATED: PSA: All Apps Can Read Your iPhone and Android Clipboard

Let’s enable this simple but important feature. First, swipe down once or twice from the top of the screen—depending on your phone—to open the notification shade and tap the gear icon.

Next, scroll down to the “Privacy” section.

Go to "Privacy."

Here’s where you’ll see things like the “Privacy Dashboard” and “Permissions Manager.” Keep scrolling until you see “Show Clipboard Access.” Toggle it on.

Toggle on "Show Clipboard Access."

That’s it! Now you’ll see a little message pop up that says “App Name pasted from your clipboard” when an app is accessing your clipboard. You’ll know if an app is doing something in the background that shouldn’t be happening. Since the message names the app, you can go and uninstall it.

RELATED: What Is the Privacy Dashboard on Android?