By default cygwin’s BASH shortcut will not allow you to copy/paste from the window. Below are simple instructions that explain how to copy/paste from the cygwin BASH prompt.

  1. Launch CYGWIN:Double click on the shortcut titled “Cygwin Bash Shell” which will look like the below.

    Cygwin Bash Shell 

  2. Open Window Properties: Right click on the top bar of the window and select Properties from the drop down menu.
  3. Select Quick Edit Mode: Place a check next to “Quick Edit Mode”  so it looks like the below.

    Cygwin Bash Shell Properties

    Now click OK which will pop open a new window that looks like the below.

    Cygwin Shortcut Properties

    Make sure to select the “Modify shortcut that started this window” radial button and click OK.

  4. Test and Verify: Now make sure you can copy and paste as you typically can in most DOS windows.

Thats all you have to do. You can obviously modify any of the other available settings and apply them to the shortcut as well.

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4 Responses to “How to Copy and Paste from the cygwin BASH Prompt”
  1. Phil Goetz says:

    In Windows 7, there is no “Properties” menu in a Cygwin terminal. There is an “options” menu, but it doesn’t have quick edit. It doesn’t matter, since there is no “Edit” menu option either! There is no possible way to paste into Cygwin in Windows 7 as far as I can tell.


    alex Reply:

    Hello Phil,

    The article was posted in 2009 when Cygwin installed a Cygwin Bash Terminal by default. These directions are no longer valid unfortunately. However in the latest versions of Cygwin you can launch the newly named Cygwin Terminal and simply right click for copy/paste. To copy just use your mouse cursor to highlight the area you would like to copy and to paste just copy outside of the terminal and right click to paste to the Cygwin Terminal prompt.

    Hope that helps.



  2. Dawn says:

    I recently changed to Windows 7, and installed Cygwin. I came to the same problems. I cannot copy and paste between Linux and Windows. Where is setup to correct it. Thanks.


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