Fix problem with drag and drop not working in Windows

Have you encountered the problem in which you can no longer drag and drop files and folders in Windows Explorer (if you are using Windows 7) or File Explorer (if you are using Windows 10 or Windows 8.1)? You can click and right click on files and folders, you can select files and folders, but you can’t drag and drop them anymore. We’ve encountered this issue ourselves and after searching for many possible solutions, we’ve found one which should work in most cases. Here’s how to restore the drag and drop feature in a couple of seconds:

Problem description: Drag and drop no longer works, without any error messages being displayed

In this guide we are covering a very specific scenario: everything about using the mouse in Windows works, except the drag and drop feature, which allows you to copy files to another place, using the left click mouse button. If you can no longer drag and drop files and folders like you used to and Windows isn’t acting strangely or returning any error messages, then our solution is very likely to help you.

We stumbled upon this issue only when running a virtual machine in Windows, using VMWare Workstation Player. You may encounter it in other situations.

The solution: Left click a file, keep the left click pressed and then hit the Escape key

When drag and drop doesn’t work, left click a file in Windows Explorer or File Explorer, and keep the left click mouse button pressed. While the left click button is held down, press the Escape key on your keyboard, once. Release the left click mouse button.

Try to drag and drop again. This feature should work now.

What if this solution did not help me? What next?

Another quick fix that worked for us was to restart Windows. This issue happened once on one of our computers because a Windows update could not be fully installed without a reboot being performed. Until we restarted our Windows computer, drag and drop just wouldn’t work.

If this second solution doesn’t work either, then you are out of luck with this guide. You may face mouse driver issues, corrupt system files and so on. In this case, keep searching the web for a solution and be more specific in your search. You may find a solution that helps you solve your problem.