How to copy text from dialog boxes in Windows 8.1

Sometimes, while using Windows, you need to copy the text from the some message box which appears on your screen. For example, some application may show you an error message or crash details. In such a scenario, you would want to copy its text to the clipboard so you can paste it in Google's search box or into your Instant Messaging software to discuss it with your friend or support engineer. Well, here's a trick that you may not be aware of.

Simply press the Ctrl+C hotkey to copy the message box text!
For example, suppose you got the following message box:
some error
Do not click the OK button, press the CTR+C hotkey instead. Then you can press OK to close the message. You will get the following copied to your clipboard:

[Window Title]

Windows cannot find ''. Make sure you typed the name correctly, and then try again.


This is one of my favorite Windows features.

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Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

10 thoughts on “How to copy text from dialog boxes in Windows 8.1”

  1. I run Windows 8.1 as a virtual machine (VMware Fusion). Shouldn’t the trick above work in this environment?

          1. Okay, it seems to work on Windows’ internal dialog boxes. I have an error message from Windows Server Essentials’ Connector setup which does not follow this behaviour.

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