In this guide, we will be discussing the 9 best methods to fix the issue of drag and drop not working in Windows 11. If you’ve encountered the frustrating error of being unable to drag and drop a file from your desktop to a software or web app on your PC, don’t worry! We’ve got you covered with these simple solutions.
The drag and drop feature is widely used by computer and web browser users and has become an essential tool in software and graphics designing applications. However, Microsoft has restricted the drag and drop feature to open apps and web browsers on the Taskbar in Windows 11. Additionally, earlier versions of Windows 11 had a problematic drag and drop feature that made multitasking difficult.
If you’re experiencing issues with drag and drop not working in Windows 11 or Windows 10, it’s a common and temporary error that can be resolved easily. By following the methods outlined in this guide, you’ll be able to fix the issue in just a few minutes.
Why Is Drag and Drop Not Working on Windows 11?
The drag and drop file on open apps on the Taskbar feature has been intentionally disabled by Microsoft since the release of Windows 11 on October 21 with its 21H2 or Sun Valley edition. Although Microsoft has stated that it is collecting feedback from Windows 11 users, the company has not provided any explanation for the suspension of the feature. The absence of this feature has also made it difficult to create Taskbar shortcuts by dragging the file or app icon. However, other drag and drop actions should work fine on Windows 11 PCs, and if they are not working, you can follow the troubleshooting methods provided below.
How to Fix Windows 11 Drag and Drop Not Working: Use Multitasking Moves
You can use any of the following Windows 11 multitasking features to move content from one folder to another or move files from one folder to another app using the Windows drag and drop feature:
1. Update to Windows 11 22H2
When you’re experiencing the Windows 11 drag and drop not working issue, the best option is to update your existing Windows 11 installation to the 22H2 version. Find below the simple steps to update your Windows 11 PC:
- Press Windows + I and click the Windows Update option.
- There, you must see any pending updates to the latest Windows 11 features like the 22H2.
Windows 11 22H2 update for How to fix windows 11 drag and drop not working
- Click Download & Install the update.
- Wait for the update to download, and once it’s complete, Windows 11 will restart and install the features upgrade.
Once you upgrade to the Windows 11 22H2 edition, you’ll experience better drag and drop features on your PC. However, the drag and drop to Taskbar will still be unavailable for now.
2. Use Alt + Tab for Drag and Drop
When using Windows 11 or 10, you can use the Alt + Tab hotkey to switch to the windowed views overlay of apps to drop items.
Here are the steps you must try to experience this content-moving feature on Windows 11:
- Click and hold the file you want to move to another app or web page.
- Now, hit the Alt + Tab keys without releasing the content you must move.
- Now, simply use the drag and drop feature to drop the file on the app you want.
- If the file is droppable, Windows 11 won’t show the Prohibition (a black circle with a line through it) icon.
- When Windows 11 shows this icon, it means the app isn’t compatible with the drag and drop of the selected file.
For example, you can drag and drop an image file on the Paint app using the steps described above.
3. Utilize Windows 11 Snap Layout
Snap layout is the latest addition to Windows 11 operating system. You can activate this layout to move content between folders or apps. Here’s how it’s done:
- Suppose, you must import a file to an app from the Desktop or the Downloads folder.
- You’ve opened all the necessary apps and folders in the background so far.
- Now, when on any folder or app window, hit Windows + Z hotkey to activate the Snap Layout on the top right corner of the current window.
- You can choose between two-window, three-window, and four-window modes.
- Let’s open the four-window mode for now.
- Then, you can select and drag the target file from the Desktop or Downloads folder and drop it on the app where you want the content.
4. Use Windows 11 Split Screen
If you’re moving content from one app to another while visually inspecting for duplicate files, use the Split Screen feature. Here’s how the Split Screen feature works:
- Click the source app on Taskbar to maximize it.
- Now press the Windows + Left Arrow keys together to fit the source app window to the left half of the screen.
- Then, maximize the target app and hit Windows + Right Arrow keys together to fit the window to the right half of the screen.
- Now, you can easily move files between these two app by inspecting the content visually as you move those.
5. Try Continuous Drag and Drop
It’s the most trouble-free way to drag and drop content from one folder or Desktop to another folder or app.
- Click and hold the file you need to move.
- Now drag it and hover over the Taskbar icon for the app or folder where you must move the file.
- Don’t release the file yet.
- The app or folder will open in full-screen.
- Now, you can drop it on the folder or the app without any issues.
How to Fix Windows 11 Drag and Drop Not Working on Taskbar: Using Third-Party Apps
When you don’t want to install the stable Windows 11 version 22H2 or didn’t get the update yet, you can try this workaround:
6. Install Windows11DragAndDropToTaskbarFix App
- Go to the Git Hub portal of the above app and download the .exe file.
- Now, double-click on it to add the program to the System Tray.
- Click the System Tray arrow to see if the “Mona Lisa Megan Fox” tray icon showing up.
- If it’s there, then you’re all set.
- Now you can drag and drop content on an app on the Taskbar by following Method 5 mentioned earlier.
How to Fix Windows 11 Drag and Drop Not Working: Windows OS Troubleshooting
So far, you learned the ways to use various drag and drop methods on Windows 11 when you can drag and drop on the Taskbar apps. Now, find below the ways to fix any intermittent Windows 11 or 10 drag and drop not working errors:
7. Restart the Windows Explorer Program
When you’re trying to drag and drop content but don’t see the silhouette of the app icon, it means the feature stopped due to an error. The fastest fix is restarting the Windows Explorer app by following the steps outlined below:
- Hit the Ctrl + Shift + Esc keys to open the Task Manager app.
- Now, locate the process in Windows Explorer at the bottom of the Processes list.
- Right-click the process and select Restart on the context menu to reboot the Windows Explorer.
- You’ll see a blank Desktop screen for a few milliseconds, and then all icons, the Taskbar, open apps, etc., will show up.
- Now, try the drag and drop movement, and you shouldn’t face any issues.
8. Perform Windows 11 or 10 Clean Boot
Sometimes, malware or virus can also interfere with the drag and drop movement. To find out if that’s the case, restart Windows 11 in a Clean Boot environment by following these steps:
- Hit Windows + R to get the Run command interface.
- Now type the following code and hit Enter:
- The System Configuration window will pop up.
- Go to the Services tab and checkmark the Hide all Microsoft Services checkbox.
- Now, click the Disable All button.
- Then, select the Startup tab and click on Open Task Manager.
- You’re now seeing the apps set to run at the Startup.
- Disable all third-party apps showing up on the Startup list.
- Now, simply restart the Windows PC.
- Upon resuming on to the Desktop after the reboot, test if you can perform the drag and drop action or not.
- If it works, it means a third-party app is interfering with the drag and drop action.
- You need to uninstall recently installed apps after which the Windows 11 drag and drop not working error started.
9. Edit the Registry Entry
You can force the Taskbar to accept the drag and drop on Taskabr action by performing the following Registry editing. However, the Cortana feature won’t available if you perform this hack:
- Press the Windows and R keys together, and that would open the Run command.
- Now, hit Enter after typing the following command:
- In the Registry Editor address bar, enter the following path or registry address:
- You must see the Default file on the right. There, right-click, select New, and then pick DWORD (32-bit) Value.
- Once the file is added, rename it to UndockingDisabled.
- Double-click the file and enter number 1 under the Value data field.
- Finally, restart the PC to experience functional drag and drop moves on your Windows 11 or 10 PC.
So, now you know how to fix Windows 11 drag and drop not working error on a Windows 11 PC. Also, if you face the same issue on an earlier Windows PC running on Windows 10, Windows 8, etc., you can try the above fixes.
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