168 replies on Fix problem: Drag and drop not working in Windows

  1. Larry says:

    After installing the Windows 10 Creators Update on this computer I had this unwelcome side effect. I tried this solution with the “Escape” key and it worked like a charm. Thanks for the tip.

  2. Tanmai says:

    These solutions didn’t work for me. Then i tried and cleared temporary files as well as Prefetch files and guess what! Drag and drop started working again.

  3. Pétain says:

    It worked with the “escape key” solution. Thank you.

    • Ciprian Adrian Rusen says:

      Excellent. Happy to help!

      • Kevin says:

        …but why is this necessary in the first place? It is now twice I have had to revert to hitting the “Esc” key to enable drag-and-drop feature in Windows 7. I imagine some process is inhibiting this in the background. I have never needed to hit “Esc” in order to drag-and-drop items before.

  4. Jan says:

    Brilliant! The right-click + escape key solution worked. Thank you so much!!!

  5. Raj says:

    Absolutely brilliant! the escape key solution was 100% perfect!
    Thanks a ton!!!

  6. Terry W Mullins says:

    Thank you! The right-click + escape key solution worked.

  7. BJ says:

    An easy fix. I wonder what the cause is, and how this fixes it…?

  8. Michelle says:

    Love a quick fix (can nice clear instructions). Thanks!

  9. PC says:

    Worked for me

  10. allwhobreakdonotbow says:

    Did not expect this work; assume surprise that it does.

  11. Mike says:

    This super-simple fix will prove to be a huge time and frustration saver! I’ve been annoyed whenever this problem appeared in either Outlook or Windows Explorer and normally suffer with it most of the day before biting the bullet to restart. Thanks for posting this easy/effective solution!

    • Ciprian Adrian Rusen says:

      You are welcome. Don’t hesitate to subscribe to our website and keep in touch with our newest guides and tutorials.

  12. Odd says:

    Huh. I never imagined such an easy solution. Thanks!

  13. TOM says:

    This took care of the problem the very first time. Thanks Tom

  14. L Werder says:

    My drag and drop was not working correctly in a few different programs. Best solution I have discovered: Open Task Manager, click on Processes, right click on explorer and end process tree (finish reading instructions before you do this because once do above step you won’t be able to read this). Now (in task manager) go to File, New Task and type in “Explorer” Worked for me.

  15. Laura says:

    Brilliant! Not sure why this worked, but it did. There were a few situations where drag-and-drop wasn’t working for me in Windows 10: files and dragging text and images within editing programs. I tried this fix in File Explorer and it fixed the other drag-and-drop issues as well. Thanks 🙂

  16. Jean-Paul says:

    Fantastic! Other ‘fixes’ didn’t help, including those suggested by Microsoft. Sadly this annoying problem is cropping up more and more frequently – I have now had it on all my 4 different computers in the last week alone. Fix works like a charm.

  17. John H says:

    Thank you. That worked for me without having to reboot. Most appreciated.

  18. Ann says:

    Fricking thank you!!! I’ve had this problem for waaay too long, and the solution was that simple. THANK YOU!

  19. Scott says:

    Thanks! This worked perfectly.

  20. Zt4rm4N says:

    Although rebooting is recomended, just logging off is enough…. go ahead n try.

  21. GW says:

    Yes! Thank you

  22. LAURA says:

    Worked just fine!!! Thanks!!!

  23. Gerard says:

    Fantastic, fixed, been driving me nuts!

  24. Nobody says:

    Thanks. The 1st one worked.

  25. raghuveer says:

    thank you

  26. Amy says:

    Worked for me, Thanks!

  27. samatha says:

    Thanks. It helped me.

  28. Mary Beth says:

    Very helpful! This worked for me!

  29. Jamie says:

    Fixed my problem instantly!!! thankyou

  30. lll7lll says:

    that worked!! thank you so much !

  31. Wayne says:

    This worked like a charm. Thanks!

  32. Bobby says:

    One of my users had this issue. Not even closing Outlook or even a restart of the laptop resolved the issue. The only thing that worked was this left-click and escape key procedure. Thanks a bunch for posting this fix!!!!

    Wonder how he disabled the drag & drop feature. I can see this being a good prank on someone. :p

    • Phil Reinie says:

      Restart didn’t work for me either in Windows 7 Pro, and neither did Ctrl+c and Ctrl+v work. The right-click drag drop (to the same folder to make a copy wouldn’t bring up the context menu.
      Left-click Esc did and if I recall, I had to do it to the folder.
      Once it was working I tried left-click + Esc to see if it would toggle back to not working but couldn’t get that to happen. (The thought was in case that’s what caused my problem in the first place.)

  33. Hector says:

    OMG this worked!!

  34. Chris says:

    This worked perfectly for me. I have this issue all the time when I’m trying to drag files into Moodle (I’m an educator). Such a pain but now my pain is relieved! Thank you…

  35. Levi Biddle says:

    Thanks m8, quick and easy fix x)

  36. Joe says:

    Wow, didn’t expect that to work but it did! Thanks

  37. JenN says:

    Thank you, this was exactly what I needed to know and has done more than you might imagine for my stress levels!

  38. Matt says:

    Wow, this worked! But why did it work?

  39. John says:

    Thanks so much! Very weird, but your solution worked perfectly.

    • Ciprian Adrian Rusen says:

      Happy to help. Do not hesitate to subscribe to our newsletter, for more useful tips and tricks.

  40. savvy says:

    thanks it works.. 🙂

  41. Saad says:

    Holy crap I think this actually worked! I’m both confused and amazing… I was almost ready to go out and buy a new mouse. Cheers for the help!

  42. SR says:

    Fix worked perfectly.


  43. Karol says:

    Problem solved! Thanks a lot!

  44. Konstantin says:

    The solution with the Esc key solved the issue for me. Thanks a lot.

  45. ben says:

    thanks! What a strange bug! Worked immediately!

  46. Ben Renegar says:

    Worked the first time I tried it. Thanks for the help.

  47. Bob McCoy Jr says:

    the escape key worked! 🙂 thanks mucho as this has been nagging me for a week or so and had affected chrome as well

  48. Tobi says:

    Worked perfectly with Win 10. Thank you so much 🙂

  49. Andy A says:

    Thank you very much! That fix worked immediately.

  50. Raunak says:

    Perfect, I don’t know how you figured this out or how it works, but it worked for me!
    Yes I was facing this issue while connected to a virtual machine

  51. Brent says:

    Very helpful thanks! That was an instant fix.

  52. Victoria Gallagher says:

    How awesome was that! Quickest fix. Worked! Thank you for saving me the frustration!

  53. shankar says:

    Wow its working.

  54. Ced says:

    Had this problem of not being able to drag objects in Serif Draw Plus X8. The solution you give of holding left mouse button and pressing Esc solves this too.

  55. David says:

    Don’t know how or why but hold left click and clicking escape worked for me on Windows 7, thanks 🙂

  56. Amelia Zurcher says:

    I cannot TELL you how grateful I am for this article. i’ve had this problem on both my pc’s with Windows 10 for years – drag and drop both in Windows Explorer and inside office works for about 15 minutes after a restart, and then stops again. Hitting escape after right clicking not only lets me move that file or text but restores functionality completely! What a wonderful citizen this site is.

    • Anonymous says:

      Happy to help Amelia. Do not hesitate to subscribe to our newsletter, so that you get access to our newest tutorials. For free. 😉

  57. Cy says:

    No joy, but thanks anyway.

  58. Dario Bentancur says:


  59. Junaidi says:

    very very helpfull i was very upset since three months, was decided to re-format the hard disc to recover it, but by this help full pages i discover the problem thank you.

  60. Bob A. says:

    Son of a gun this worked like magic for me. I drag alot of URL’s from the address bar to make them my favorites in an ever growing list but for some reason my ability to Left Click Drag just topped for some reason. After reading this article and doing what you suggested I was immediately ably to once again Left Click Drag the address bars URL’s. Thank you very much! I am not sure if this was the cause but earlier I had pressed the FN-esc to bring up the system information so pressing the FN key and esc might have been the cause. Thank you again!

    • Anonymous says:

      It is a weird bug, and we do not know the cause either. We found the solution by accident, tried it a few times, it worked, and we wrote about it.

  61. Paul Ben-Susan says:

    It works! Thank you! Don’t know why this all of a sudden wouldn’t work but your fix worked perfectly.

  62. Cynthia W says:

    Oh thank goodness for this fix! Don’t know how you ever found it but it worked great.

  63. Jay says:

    it Works. thanks

  64. Gianpaolo says:

    It worked at first attempt!! and took 2 seconds!!
    after losing so much time looking for solutions!!
    Just brilliant and genius
    Thank you so much!!

  65. "Fish" (David B. Trout) says:

    Simply pressing the Escape key worked for me! I didn’t have to do it while the left mouse button was pressed. Just pressing the Escape key all by itself seemed to work for me! THANK YOU SO MUCH! :))

  66. mayan says:

    Left click plus Esc key worked. Thank you!

  67. Brett says:

    Worked perfectly

  68. Melissa says:

    Thank you!!! Fixed!!!

  69. Bev DeVore-Wedding says:

    Worked like a charm! Thank you!

  70. Dk Dke says:

    Got to: Control PanelHardware and SoundPower OptionsEdit Plan Settings

    Be sure that Plugged in setting: ” Put the computer to sleep is set to “never”

  71. Joe says:

    Worked for me..thanks!

  72. John McVey says:

    I had the same problem and I eventually realized it was a mouse problem, not anything to do with the laptop. Its easy to check if its a mouse problem. Just go to hardware settings (mouse) and click on the option to make the right click your primary function rather than your left click. If you can now highlight and drag using right click you can continue using right click or get a new mouse!

  73. Debbie N-P says:

    You are AWESOME!!!! I had my profile rebuilt 2 days ago and everything went wonky. This fixed my mouse issue immediately. Thanks for restoring some of my sanity!

  74. Yannis Newell says:

    This is incredible XD it worked perfectly hahaha, tks a lot

  75. Wolvleo says:

    Perfect solution to an annoying problem. Thank you.

  76. abb says:

    That worked, thank you 🙂

  77. TW says:

    Worked!!! Thank You!!!

  78. Gordon Kyle says:

    Escape key solution worked instantly. Brilliant!

  79. Geoff Malthouse says:

    My problem with dragging panels using malti screens is, the panel will drag ok with the mouse, but as soon as I release the mouse the content of the panel goes blank just leaving the outline of the panel.

  80. KB says:

    Thank you!!! It worked!

  81. HolVet says:

    F***ing genius! It worked!

  82. andy graves says:

    I’ve used system restore to go back to before updates were installed. The updates seem to hinder and stop drag’n’drop. For some reason Windows Explorer stops and has to restart. I’m running Windows 7 home. My other PC with Windows 7 professional doesn’t have this problem

  83. Carol says:

    First solution worked like a charm! Thanks for the help!! Issue was VERY annoying.

  84. trlady says:

    Thank you so much! This happened to me after a Windows update, but the Escape button trick fixed it immediately.

  85. Grateful says:

    Thank you so much for posting this!!!

    This has been plaguing me regularly for several years. The only way I’ve found to reliably fix it is to reboot (sometimes lock > unlock works). Obviously, that’s a big interruption when you have a lot of apps open / work in progress. I just tried your LEFT CLICK + ESC trick, and it worked great (Windows 7, VMware Workstation 12.5).

    Thanks again!

  86. Sandi says:

    I searched all over in Windows and could not find the solution for my drag and drop not working, even after restarting the computer. You were able to help me in less than 2 minutes after finding your tip. Much thanks.

  87. Per Westermark says:

    Thank you very much. Worked like a charm. If just M$ developers could give value for their salaries and remove this black-magic bug/feature.

  88. Happy Happy Happy says:

    3 hours trying to fix this drag and drop and your few seconds fix is a done deal. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!

  89. S C Mishra says:

    I was baffled with the mouse not dragging problem since long. Tried all possible cures, cleaned mouse wheel, reinstalled drivers etc etc. The problem never went. It crippled the pleasure of working in Excel that I uses a lot.
    At last, I am successful with your trick. The headache gone Thanks a lot

  90. someone says:

    worked thanks

  91. Awnerl says:

    Thank you very much! it worked! I’m so glad

  92. kaldan says:

    Perfect! Thank you! (How did you discover this fix..?)

    • Anonymous says:

      By accident. Really! :)))
      I was so frustrated and I started pushing random keys out of despair with the problem. Luckily, I hit Escape and the problem went away. The next time it happened, I pressed Escape again and confirmed that it works. :)) Then I wrote this tutorial.

  93. sam says:

    omg this actually worked


  94. DS says:

    Nice the escape solution works.

  95. Satya says:

    This worked for me. Thanks!

  96. Naibedya says:

    Yes, it worked for me. Thanks a ton!!

  97. Bellamy J Heap says:

    The [Esc] key trick worked like a charm. Thank you!

  98. Stan Duncan says:

    Thanks so much. I first looked at a bunch of other “solutions” that were complicated and occasionally dangerous. But just as I was throwing up my hands altogether, I saw your fix. It worked. Like the others here, I have no idea why it worked, but I’m very grateful that it did.

    How did you happen to stumble upon it, since no one seems to know why it works?

  99. LoveinYa says:

    The first step solved it – massive thanks (2019)

  100. Worked for me says:

    Perfect solution!

  101. Marc says:


  102. dina says:

    thank you very much! it worked!

  103. Jana says:

    This worked! Thanks so much.

  104. Hailey says:

    This worked for me! Thank you!

  105. Rob H says:

    This problem was really frustrating me, but this fixed it perfectly first try. Thanks!

  106. Irene says:

    Thank you. Have been having trouble dragging and dropping text in
    Word. Used the method suggested here and it worked! Magic.

  107. benjamin says:

    thanks!!! That was amazing. I was going crazy. mouse will now drive and I am not driven loco. much appreciated!!

  108. Ziyaad Ally says:

    This worked like a charm. First result on Google too. Just to add, the drag-drop not working bug carries over to the ENTIRE environment when it’s in force (not just windows explorer).

    I couldn’t drag-drop emails into folders in Outlook. I then tested drag-drop moving text in Word – still nada. Finally checked in Windows Explorer and found it buggy too. That’s when I Googled it and found your fix.

  109. TripeHound says:

    Thanks for this… pressing ESC worked perfectly for me.

  110. harsh says:

    I worked

  111. Susan says:

    Thanks – right click plus Esc worked like a charm. Drag and drop failure emerged immediately after this week’s Win7 update. Glad your solution is #1 on Google search for this problem.

  112. Alexis says:

    I wonder how you came up with this solution!
    It worked fine for me. Thanks a lot!

  113. Pat says:


  114. Daniel Polo says:

    worked like a charm

  115. Waseem Dabbas says:

    Very useful, it solves my frequently happening problem.
    Thank you very much

  116. Nadun Dulara says:

    First one worked. First I hold click and pressed ESC. then Nothing happened. I did it again and It is working now. Thank you very much.

  117. Lynsey says:

    OMG! I think I love you! Thank you!

  118. Coleen Holding says:

    How did anyone ever figure this out? It worked like magic!!

  119. Cat says:

    Thank god for this website, this has been driving me mad and I consider myself pretty techy! Thank you!!

  120. Anonymous says:

    Worked like a charm!

  121. Happy tester says:

    Holy cow! It’s the first thing that worked. I’ve had big issues with drag and drop automated tests on UI of application. These problems happened only on virtual machine, where the tests were done by Jenkins. Anyone searching for this annoying issue and solution to it – try this!

  122. caity says:

    this is extremely bizarre that this works! thank you – I’ve had the issue for a while now and thought my laptop was going bad. so glad to be able to drag and drop again!!!

  123. Stefan says:

    Thanks, the problem was fixed.

  124. Garrett Michael Hayes says:

    Thanks for the tip. I noticed that you said you ran into this while working on a virtual machine. I ran into it while I had a Remote Desktop session open from a Windows 7 machine to a Windows 10 machine, and several RDP and Remote Console sessions open from there.
    Drag and Drop worked everywhere EXCEPT the Windows 7 machine at the top of the chain.
    I suspect it’s got something to do with a screwed up pointer in the shared clip board somewhere along the line. The system thinks it already has a hook into some other content, so it declines to grab the new content. By pressing ESC you are effectively clearing the screwed up pointer or buffer.

  125. Someone says:

    this actually did the trick, thank you! 🙂

  126. KLam says:

    Thanks! Fixed drag n drop issue immediately!

  127. John says:

    Thanks very much.

  128. Abhishek Suna says:

    How can’t do the same with an Android phone??

    Is it possible to drag and drop files in Android browser.. Plzz response

  129. James says:

    This is the strangest thing! Your solution worked for me but It’s so weird why did that happen in the first place, and how did this fix it? Thanks for the fix.

  130. Sam says:

    I have no idea why this worked but THANK YOU. I was going nuts.

  131. Ataur Rahman says:

    Thank you, after searching everywhere for a solution this worked perfect

  132. Nico says:

    None of this worked… 🙁

  133. MacUser says:

    Worked like magic. thank you so much

  134. samdx says:

    Thanks. This works perfectly.
    I’m having the same issue while running VM on VMware Workstation.

  135. Ed says:

    This was spot on advice, thank you!

  136. Preston says:

    Drag & Drop stop functioning properly without any error messages (even in event viewer). This issue happened after the automatic upgrade to W10 b2004 last week. THANK YOU! The simple Escape key solution seems to have done the trick. I wish I found your article first. I literally spent days on MSFT Forum getting lame advice.

  137. Stefanya Poesy says:

    The hold Left Click on a file + ESC solution worked like a charm! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

  138. Brad says:

    Worked for me! I ended up throwing away my other mouse due to this, what a niglet I am!

  139. Adhitya says:

    This is worked on windows 7
    thank you sir !

  140. Estelle says:

    Thank you ! The solution worked for me_Saved my working day ☺

  141. DR MICHELE YASSON says:

    Magic! It worked! Thank you!

    Dell XPS laptop, Windows 10,Home

  142. Dr Surge says:

    hOOLEY cOW!!!

    Now this put a smile on my face – for the first time ever while looking at a computer screen! (Hello? It’s a dead thing in front of you, all day long – you knew thAt!)
    And it is also the first time the word “magic” could justifiably be used on the whole www !
    (And, a quick fix, along with a clear and complete explanation, without any derailments found everywhere else out there… just, thank you.)

    – Where I encountered it: clipboard manager Ditto stopped dragging / pasting clips into a text editor window. No Windows updates involved, out of nowhere – Win7.

  143. khalid b says:

    thanks for sharing this tip. it was of great help
    appreciate it

    • Ciprian Adrian Rusen says:

      Glad to help. Do not hesitate to subscribe to our newsletter, for more useful guides like this one.

  144. Larry Stevenson says:

    A simple, neat, effective solution to a problem which had been driving me crazy. Thanks.

  145. Stan Strong says:

    This also worked in Solitaire, the card would drop as it passed over another card – as if it forgot that the left key was still down. I did your “hold down left while pressing escape” on the card I wanted to move – no more trouble for a bit – repeat – OK little bit more – since about the 8th time it not happened again.

  146. Heidi says:

    TOTALLY WORKED!! Thank GOD for this fix! All of a sudden, drag & drop stopped working — no idea why— but thankfully you guys are amazing with this fix!

  147. Rob Collins says:

    Thank you so much!!! This was so frustrating (with such a simple solution, lol). Thank you!!

  148. Hasim Otto says:

    Thank you.
    Your solution with right-click & esc-key solved my problem.

  149. GrandAdmiralThrawn says:

    Just had this issue on my old WinXP x64 SP2 (WinNT 5.2) workstation for the first time in over 20 years of IT life (yes the OS in question is almost as old), and what can I say? It worked. I was sure this solution was bogus, but no. It isn’t. It really works.

    Can anybody shed some light on what’s going on here internally? Especially since this problem exists starting with at least WinXP x64 all the way up to Win10. Did all of us just somehow accidentally trigger this issue (is it a feature?) by ourselves somehow? And why/how does this trick solve it?

  150. David says:


  151. david says:

    works great windows 10 Adobe creative cloud June 2021. thanks

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