Copy from Mac OS X does not copy to iPhone Simulator

I was getting frustrated with copy and paste in the simulator and couldn't figure out what was going on.

Results were similar to what you describe: copy and paste would sometimes paste the same value as I had copied before, but not what I just copied to the clipboard.

I finally realized that the simulator has it's own clipboard, separate from the main OS X clipboard.

You use the touch-based copy and paste commands to paste into your application from the simulator clipboard.

You can use the standard OS X copy paste shortcuts (Command-X,C,V) to paste from the system clipboard into the simulator clipboard.

So to copy and paste from Chrome (for example), you select the text in Chrome, Command-C to copy. Then switch to the simulator, Command-V to paste into the simulator clipboard. Then in your application, you simulate a touch in the textfield to bring up the paste option, then simulate a touch to the paste button to paste the simulator clipboard contents into the app.

The menu options do the same thing as the keyboard shortcuts--copy/paste between the system clipboard and the simulator keyboard.

Now that I figured it out, I actually like it much better than if the simulator clipboard was automatically tied to the OS X clipboard.


From Xcode 9.0 or above:

  • Open simulator

  • Click on "Edit" from top menus

  • Enable -> "Automatically Sync Pasteboard"

  • If already enable then disable it and enable again.

  • Long press to paste your text i.e copied

Below Xcode 9.0

  1. Copy text from anywhere
  2. Paste on the simulator by command (command + v), it will show nothing
  3. Then press (command + shift + v)

it works for me


  • + C - Copies the contents of the iOS clipboard to OS X. This works for both text and images.
  • + + C - Copies the selected text (or whatever else responds to the copy: selector in your app) to the iOS clipboard. This one does not appear in the menu.
  • + + C - Copies a screenshot of the iOS app (without the simulator's chrome) to the OS X clipboard (Use + S to save it to a file on the Desktop instead).
  • + V - Copies the contents of the OS X clipboard over to iOS, but doesn't paste it. Again, this works for both text and images.
  • + + V - Pastes the OS X clipboard in the iOS app, but leaves the clipboard unchanged. This does not work with images.

Source: http://olemoritz.net/copypaste-in-the-ios-simulator.html