How to prevent ClipIt clipboard manager from copying sensitive information from apps

If you use a clipboard manager, you need to make sure to exclude certain applications. Find out how this is done with ClipIt.

How to prevent ClipIt clipboard manager from copying sensitive information from apps

Do you use a clipboard manager? I do. The one I use is called ClipIt, which is an open source tool for the Linux operating system. It's a solid solution that does exactly what I need it to do: Save my clipboard history, so I can paste from a selection of items instead of only having that last copied entry available.

Thing is, out of the box, ClipIt saves everything. So if I open my password manager and copy a password (to then be pasted), ClipIt saves that to my history. 

Yeah, you can see the all-too-obvious problem with that. 

What happens when you copy from a password manager? That's the problem to which I refer.

SEE: Windows 10 security: A guide for business leaders (TechRepublic Premium)

And it's pretty common with many clipboard managers (so it's not just ClipIt). Fortunately, ClipIt (and most other clipboard managers worth their weight in code) enables the user to blacklist apps so sensitive data isn't saved to the clipboard history.

I'm going to show you how this is configured in ClipIt, with the idea that you should be able to easily translate this action to your clipboard manager of choice.

What you'll need

In order to make this work, you'll need the ClipIt app installed. If you don't use Linux (or ClipIt, for that matter), you'll need to have a clipboard manager installed and be ready to recreate this configuration on your clipboard manager of choice.

With that at the ready, let's exclude an app.

How to blacklist a password manager in ClipIt

I'm going to show you how to exclude a password manager in ClipIt. To do this, click on the ClipIt panel icon and click Preferences from the drop-down (Figure A).

Figure A


The ClipIt panel drop-down.

In the Preferences window (Figure B), click the Exclude tab.  

Figure B


The ClipIt preferences window.

This is where it gets tricky. In the Exclude tab, you have to manually add entries. You might think you could just add the entry by way of the app's executable file. That is not the case, as ClipIt must know the window name and the app name. So, to exclude a single app from the history, an entry will look like this:

^(windowname)(App Name)

In the case of the Enpass password manager, the entry would look like:


From within the Exclude tab (Figure C), click Add and then type the entry as it is shown above. For a different password manager (or another app that includes sensitive data), replace the window and app name as needed.

Figure C


Excluding Enpass from the ClipIt history.

Once you've added the entry, hit Enter on your keyboard and click OK to dismiss the Preferences window.

At this point, ClipIt should no longer save the history from the app you've excluded. You should do this for any/all apps that house sensitive data. If you don't, anyone that has access to your desktop could view passwords or other information saved to the clipboard history.

Make it so

No matter what clipboard manager you use, it is in your best interest to configure it such that it won't retain your information from certain applications. To that end, open your clipboard manager of choice, find any sort of Exclude or Blacklist feature, and add your password manager and any other application that retains data you don't want in the wrong hands. Better safe than hacked.

Also see


Image: Jack Wallen

By Jack Wallen

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic, The New Stack, and Linux New Media. He's covered a variety of topics for over twenty years and is an avid promoter of open source. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen....