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All About Microsoft Clippy (Office Assistant)

If you started using the computer in the late 20th century, you must have encountered Clippy. It was an office assistant on Microsoft , but was shut down. However, there is the anticipation of its return.

Many inventions came into being in the past when the computer was introduced.  There was Microsoft Bob that helped people to navigate through the computer. It would help make it easier for users to know what they are doing or are supposed to do.

Moreover, it is also used to help people navigate the operating system by providing insights even when performing searches, browsing files, and much more. It worked similarly to Clippy.

However, Clippy was more specialized in Microsoft Word. More inventions were brought into being.  Unfortunately, some were shut down because of inefficiency.

In as much as Clippy was criticized, that led to its shutdown; it had a great impact on the initial computer users. This article is based on the rise and fall of Clippy.

What Is Clippy?


If you used Microsoft Office versions from 97 to 2003, you must have encountered Clippy. Clippy is an Office assistant that helped users when they were using any of the Microsoft Office applications. Clippy’s role was to communicate with users and give corresponding actions. The original name was Clippit, but it was later nicknamed “Clippy”.

The name came as a result of its resemblance to a paperclip. It was one of the notable assistants that helped users when using any MS applications. Unfortunately, Clippy got some negative feedback from certain users that led to its removal in later Microsoft Office applications versions.

Origin of Clippy

Origin of Clippy

Clippy is a paperclip that was created by Kevan J. Atterberry. It was made to create a social interface to make it easier for people to understand the computer.

Generally, the idea behind Clippy was to assist users in understanding how to use the operating system. Thereby, users could access certain features on Microsoft programs and applications quickly.

The Clippy used a series of Bayesian algorithms to determine the users' needs. In a big way, it also helped in typing cues, autoformat, and other features. However, people later complained that it was intrusive ad annoying, which led to its removal.

Spread of Clippy

Spread of Clippy

This office assistant was Microsoft's second attempt that would allow users to get any help that they wanted. Clippy was meant to bring a social interface to the computer. Surprisingly, there were 15 different characters that users could use as office assistants. However, the default character was Clippit. Thereby, people interacted mostly with Clippy.

Even though it was intended to be helpful, it was regarded as intrusive and distracting. Thereby, due to bad feedback, it was removed in 2000.

After the launch of Microsoft XP, it was announced that Clippy wouldn't be needed again. This is because the new operating system was easy to navigate through.

The Return of Clippy

In 2011, Microsoft tried to reintroduce Clippy but eventually killed it. This was in the game called Ribbon Hero; an education game featured on Microsoft Office as an add-on that taught users to use standard commands.

The Return of Clippy

However, in 2021, Microsoft used Twitter to interact with users by showing them a redesign of Clippit. It got more than 20K likes, meaning users agreed that it could replace the paperclip emoji on Microsoft 365. Due to the likes, they decided to update the paperclip emoji on Windows 11 to Clippy.

Microsoft also announced that Clippy would come back as a Retro sticker pack in Microsoft Teams, and users can use the animated version on the video conferencing platform. However, back in 2019, Clippit got back to the scene, then was shut down abruptly.

Is Clippy Worth Using?


There is a tool similar to Clippy-Cortana on Windows 10, but it is not used frequently. Microsoft designed an application in Windows 11 that doesn’t respond to what you search for on Windows. This is because the operating system is already very familiar, and the help of these office assistants is no longer needed.

The main aim of Microsoft is to ensure that they provide users with a seamless experience through its services and apps. People use emojis to communicate nowadays because of the different emotions they bring. Clippy will be added to that list.


Clippy was an amazing social interface assistant aimed at helping people understand what they were doing on the computer.

However, due to the bad remarks, it got removed. However, there are efforts to bring it back as an emoji in Microsoft applications and Microsoft Teams video conferencing tools.

This handy tool can help people quickly solve issues without searching for further assistance. Let's wait for the next version of Clippy. Clippit must be energized after the long break!