Currently my work around is to paste the text in the notes and copy from there the plain text to paste it to for example the mail app.

How can I copy formatted text and paste it as plain text for example in the Mail app?


4 Answers 4


At least in iOS 13:

  1. Select the text
  2. Don't tap "copy" but instead "share..."
  3. Tap "copy" from the share sheet

This copies without formatting. Works at least in Safari and Mail and probably many other apps.

  • 2
    Can confirm this works for apps like Numbers in iOS 15. Jul 28, 2021 at 13:15
  • Does iOS 15 add a “Share” item in Numbers? I don’t see it in iOS 14.
    – Calion
    Oct 24, 2021 at 22:16
  • The second icon from the right at the top of the screen in a document represents three dots in a circle. Clicking on that brings up a sheet with "Share" at the top. Oct 26, 2021 at 6:59
  • 1
    Can confirm it works in iOS 16, including Notes app.
    – urosevic
    Sep 24, 2022 at 6:36

In Mail on iOS 12, I use the "Share > Copy" trick:

  1. Paste formatted
  2. Select the just pasted text and in the context menu swipe right and tap on "Share..."
  3. In the Share sheet, tap on "Copy". This copies as plain text!
  4. Tap still selected text to get the context menu again
  5. In the context menu tap on "Paste" to replace the selected, formatted text with its plain text representation

Still (too) many hoops to jump through but at least you don't need to switch between apps. The "Share > Copy" trick might not be available in other apps, though.

  • 1
    Great trick! I can confirm this still works in iOS 15! Not at all intuitive, but very effective.
    – user24601
    Aug 27, 2022 at 17:03

I just tested Shift+Option+Command+V and it will paste without formatting on iPadOS 13.4.1

  • That does it, looks like the same shortcut as in Mac OS Mail.app Jun 19, 2020 at 3:43
  • The question is in regards to iOS not OSX Mar 4, 2021 at 5:48
  • And answer is about iOS/iPadOS …presuming you are using a keyboard.
    – Calion
    Oct 24, 2021 at 22:15

Here's a workaround that worked for me (on iOS 12):

  1. Go to Safari
  2. Paste the formatted text in the address field
  3. Select the text and copy again

Now the formatting should be stripped away.

  • Yes, figured this too. So stupid.
    – mcp
    Jul 12 at 0:39

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