/ uworld

Copyright (c) UWorld, Please do not save, print, cut, copy or paste anything while a test is active.

If you're a medical student using UWorld to study for USMLE Step 1, you've likely been admonished with this message (many times) more than once while a test is running. Well, this is the 21st century, and we have better things to do on our computer besides sitting through an entire 40-question block, like checking Facebook and tagging ourselves on Twitter, amirite? #medstudentlife #studyhard #futuremd /s

In any case, it's not like disabling the clipboard and copy/paste does anything to deter people from capturing UWorld content through alternative means such as taking a picture with their smartphone camera. In any case, there are perfectly legitimate educational reasons for wanting to save content from UWorld for later reference. Here's a few workarounds to make that happen.

Method 1: Run UWorld in a virtual machine

if you value multitasking, image quality that's not potato-tier, and the ability to use the clipboard and copy/paste unmolested while UWorld is running, the solution is to run UWorld in a virtual machine. There are several free virtual machine solutions across all major platforms - VMware Player, VirtualBox, etc. On Windows, my vote goes to VMware. Just make sure to disable clipboard sharing. In VMware, for example, make sure "Enable copy and paste" is unchecked in the VM Options / Guest Isolation section:

VMware Disable copy and paste

In VirtualBox, the same option is aptly named "Clipboard Sharing" and you can set it to either Host-to-Guest mode or disable it entirely.

With the guest OS's clipboard isolated, you won't have to worry about UWorld hijacking your clipboard ever again. In addition, since UWorld is blissfully ignorant to the world outside the guest OS, you'll be able to take screenshots to your heart's content.

Method 2: Use OneNote's Screen Clipping feature

If you're a heavy OneNote user like I am, you'll be pleased to find that OneNote has built in screenshotting functionality. On OneNote 2013 and 2016, go to the Insert tab and click the "Screen Clipping" button.


OneNote will then drop into the background and allow you to clip any part of the last window you had open, including UWorld. Of course, this approach doesn't do anything to mitigate UWorld's clipboard and copy-paste hijacking.

Method 3: Use a third-party screenshotting tool

You may also have luck trying other screenshotting tools such as Greenshot or Lightshot. Since UWorld monitors the names of other programs running on your computer when a test is active, you may find that you need to rename the executable of your chosen screenshot program.

Happy studying, and good luck on Step 1!