The drag and drop feature allows you to easily move files or folders to a new location. You can always move files around by pressing Ctrl + X and Ctrl + V or browsing through folders when you want to attach files to an email, but the simple drag and drop feature is still more convenient.
That’s why it’s so frustrating when this handy feature stops working on computers. If this happens to you, don’t worry. Here are 8 solutions to help you fix drag and drop not working in Windows 10.
1. Restart the program in use
If you notice that you can’t drag and drop into a particular program, it’s likely that the software is frozen. For a quick fix, save your work and restart the program. Then try dragging and dropping again.
2. Make Windows forget the last drag and drop
Sometimes, your computer is still processing the last drag and drop, preventing you from starting a new drag and drop event. Fortunately, you don’t need to restart your computer or change your system settings to solve it.
In File Explorer, click on any file or folder and hold down the left mouse button. Then press the Esc key. Now try dragging and dropping again.
3. Restart File Explorer
Sometimes File Explorer crashes when you drag and drop. Fortunately, you can fix this problem by restarting the service. However, doing so is not as easy as closing all open File Explorer windows, as the service is always running in the background.
4. Check Windows version
You may not be able to drag and drop on your computer if you are running an old version of Windows 10. Therefore, follow these steps to check if your Windows is up to date.
5. Check the mouse driver
If you cannot use the mouse to drag and drop, the mouse driver may need to be updated. This is very likely to be the cause of the error if you are using a laptop and can still drag and drop with the touchpad.
Step 1: Right-click the Start button and select Device Manager.
Step 2: Extend the Mice and other pointing devices menu.
Step 3: Right-click the mouse driver and select Update driver.
Step 4: Select Search automatically for drivers, and then Windows will find and install any available driver updates.
Also, if you’re using a third-party app to customize mouse control settings, that may affect how the mouse works. Go into the app settings and see if something might be stopping your mouse from working properly.
If it’s an app you use for gaming, stop it from running on startup. Open Task Manager, go to Startup, select the application, and click Disable.
6. Run SFC and DISM scans
SFC will check all system files for corrupted files. When such files are detected, SFC will automatically replace them. Additionally, System File Checker will give you comprehensive scan-related information that you may view in its log file.
Do not close the Command Prompt window until the scan has not completed. The length of the scan will depend on your total system resources.
If System File Checker detects any corrupt or problematic system files, it displays the message Windows Resource Protection found corrupt files and successfully repaired them. If no corrupt files are found, you will see that Windows Resource Protection did not find any integrity violations.
If the SFC scan does not fix the problem, you should try running a DISM scan. After the system completes the scan, check if you can drag and drop.
7. Run Hardware & Devices troubleshooter
Another tool that you can use to fix your problem is the Hardware & Devices troubleshooter. In older versions of Windows 10, this tool was located in the Control Panel. Now, you need to use Command Prompt to launch it. Here’s how you can do it:
Step 1: Open Command Prompt with admin rights.
Step 2: Type:
msdt.exe -id DeviceDiagnostic
Step 3: Press Enter.
Step 4: Click Advanced > Apply repairs automatically.
Step 5: Click Next.
8. Edit the Windows Registry
The Windows Registry is one of the main components of the system, as it contains Windows settings, software, driver information, and user passwords. So, when you have problems on your computer, you should take a look at the Windows Registry.
Before making any changes in the Windows Registry, you should make a backup copy of the registry database. If the editing error affects the system negatively, you will be able to get a factory reset from the backup.
Here’s how you can safely edit the Windows Registry to get drag and drop functionality working again:
Step 1: Type registry editor into the Start menu search bar and select Run as administrator.
Step 2: Go to:
Computer > HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > SOFTWARE > Microsoft > Windows > CurrentVersion > Policies > System
Step 3: On the right side of the window, open EnableLUA.
Step 4: Set Base to Hexadecimal.
Step 5: Set Value data to 0 and click OK.
Step 6: Restart the computer and check if you can drag and drop.
Edit the height and width parameters of the drag operation
Registry Editor also contains settings for the drag height and width. If the previous solution didn’t fix your problem, try this one.
Step 1: Open the Registry Editor with admin rights.
Step 2: Go to:
Computer > HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Control Panel > Desktop
Step 3: From the right pane, open DragHeight.
Step 4: Enter a new value in the Value data field, and click OK.
Step 5: Open DragWidth.
Step 6: Enter a new value in the Value field, and click OK.
Note: The default value for DragWidth and DragHeight is 4. When changing, do not set the value too high, such as at 2000, as this can lead to new problems.
Hopefully one of the solutions listed has fixed the drag and drop function not working on your computer. If none of the solutions work, your mouse is likely damaged. In this case, you need to buy a new mouse.