12 quick fixes if you can’t drag and drop in Windows 10

By: Elsie Otachi
6 minute read
can’t drag and drop in Windows 10

aMoving files or folders, or even paragraphs and sentences around while working on your computer is impossible when you can’t drag and drop in Windows 10.

If you’re experiencing issues with the drag and drop function on your computer, here are 12 quick fixes you can use to resolve it.

How to fix drag and drop issues on Windows 10

Solution 1: Run DISM tool

If you can’t drag and drop in Windows 10, run the DISM tool, or Deployment Image Servicing and Management tool.

The DISM tool helps fix Windows corruption errors when Windows Updates and service packs fail to install due to corruption errors, like if you have a damaged system file.

Here’s how to run the DISM command on your PC to check if it helps you when you can’t drag and drop in Windows 10:

  • Click Start
  • In the search field box, type CMD
  • Click Command Prompt in the search results list

can’t drag and drop in Windows 10

  • Type Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth
  • Type Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth

Once the repair is complete, reboot your computer and check if the problem persists, after which you can run an SFC scan as described in the next solution.


Solution 2: Run a System File Checker scan

A System File Checker scan checks or scans all protected system files, and then replaces the incorrect versions, with the genuine, correct Microsoft versions.

Here’s how to do this:

  • Click Start
  • Go to the search field box and type CMD
  • Right click Command Prompt from search results and select Run as Administrator

can’t drag and drop in Windows 10

  • Type sfc/scannow

can’t drag and drop in Windows 10

  • Press Enter
  • Restart your computer

If you still can’t drag and drop in Windows 10, try the next solution.

ALSO READ: 10 Best Registry Cleaners for Windows 10


Solution 3: Perform a Clean Boot

Performing a clean boot for your computer reduces conflicts related to software that can bring up the root causes when you can’t drag and drop in Windows 10. These conflicts can be caused by applications and services that start up and run in the background whenever you start Windows normally.

How to perform a clean boot

In order to successfully perform a clean boot on Windows 10, you have to be logged on as the administrator, then follow these steps:

  • Go to the search box
  • Type msconfig

can’t drag and drop in Windows 10

  • Select System Configuration

can’t drag and drop in Windows 10

  • Find Services tab

can’t drag and drop in Windows 10

  • Select Hide all Microsoft services box

can’t drag and drop in Windows 10

  • Click Disable all
  • Go to Startup tab

can’t drag and drop in Windows 10

  • Click Open Task Manager
  • Close Task manager then click Ok
  • Reboot your computer

You will have a clean boot environment after all these steps are carefully followed, after which you can try and check if you still can’t drag and drop in Windows 10, or if the problem is gone.


Solution 4: Install Windows Updates

If you check Windows Updates and find updates are available, install them and check if it helps fix the problem.

Follow these steps to do this:

  • Click Start
  • Go to the search field box
  • Type Updates
  • Click Check for Updates, and install all updates listed

can’t drag and drop in Windows 10Windows will immediately detect your system’s configuration and download appropriate ones.


Solution 5: Reset your PC

Performing a reset allows you to choose which files you want to keep, or remove, and then reinstalls Windows.

Here’s how to do this:

  • Click Start
  • Click Settings

can’t drag and drop in Windows 10

  • Click Update & Security

can’t drag and drop in Windows 10

  • Click Recovery on the left pane

can’t drag and drop in Windows 10

  • Under Reset this PC, click Get started
  • In the blue Choose an option screen, select Keep my files option

can’t drag and drop in Windows 10

Note: all your personal files will be deleted and settings reset. Any apps you installed will be removed, and only pre-installed apps that came with your PC will be reinstalled.

If you still can’t drag and drop in Windows 10, try the next solution.


Solution 6: Edit the registry

Here’s how to do this, but be careful to follow the instructions as they are:

  • Right click Start
  • Select Run

can’t drag and drop in Windows 10

 

  • Type regedit
  • Press Enter
  • Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE>SOFTWARE>Microsoft>Windows>CurrentVersion>Policies>System
  • Trace the EnableLUA key

can’t drag and drop in Windows 10

  • Right click EnableLUA and select Modify

can’t drag and drop in Windows 10

  • Change the value from 1 to 0

can’t drag and drop in Windows 10

  • Press OK
  • Restart your computer

Check if after the restart, whether the problem is gone. If you still can’t drag and drop in Windows 10, try the next solution.


Solution 7: Run a complete scan using Microsoft Security Essentials

Install and run MSE and Windows Defender

MSE, or Microsoft Security Essentials, is a free malware removal program offered by Microsoft that protects your computer from infections.

Follow these steps to use MSE and run a full scan:

  • If you don’t have MSE installed, go to the website and install it, then proceed with the next steps
  • Click Start
  • Click All Apps

can’t drag and drop in Windows 10

  • Click Microsoft Security Essentials
  • Go to the Home tab
  • Select Full scan
  • Click Scan Now

If after following these steps you still can’t drag and drop in Windows 10, try the next solution.


Solution 8: Uninstall and reinstall Fences

If you have Fences on your computer, try to uninstall and reinstall using the steps below:

  • Uninstall Fences
  • Remove all Stardocks files in the Program and Program Data folders using an uninstaller or delete them
  • Reinstall Fences
  • Go to View
  • Uncheck Auto Arrange Icons and Align icons to grid

Check if drag and drop is restored. If you still can’t drag and drop in Windows 10, try the next solution.


Solution 9: Run Hardware and Devices troubleshooter

If you can’t drag and drop in Windows 10, then run the Hardware and Devices troubleshooter to resolve the issue.

This checks for commonly occurring issues and ensures any new device or hardware is correctly installed on your computer.

Here’s how to go about it:

  • Right click Start
  • Select Control Panel
  • Go to View by option on the top right corner
  • Click the drop down arrow and select Large icons
  • Click Troubleshooting

can’t drag and drop in Windows 10

  • Click Hardware and Sound

can’t drag and drop in Windows 10

  • Click Configure a Device

can’t drag and drop in Windows 10

  • Click Next to run the troubleshooter

Follow the instructions to run the Hardware and Devices troubleshooter.  The troubleshooter will begin detecting any issues that may be causing the drag and drop problem.

If you still can’t drag and drop in Windows 10, try the next solution.


Solution 10: Uninstall and reinstall mouse drivers

Here’s how to do this:

  • Right click Start
  • Select Device Manager

can’t drag and drop in Windows 10

  • Expand Mice and other pointing devices to open the list

can’t drag and drop in Windows 10

  • Right click the mouse device you want to remove
  • Click Uninstall

can’t drag and drop in Windows 10

  • Click Yes when you get a confirmation message
  • Restart your computer. Windows automatically detects the change in your hardware.
  • Install the mouse driver
  • Check for its functionality

Note: contact your device’s manufacturer for the latest mouse drivers.

If you still can’t drag and drop in Windows 10, try the next solution.


Solution 11: Perform a Startup Repair

Here are the steps to do this:

  • Insert the Windows Installation disk or USB drive then restart your computer. You will see a message requesting you to Press any key to boot from DVD.
  • Press any key to boot from DVD
  • Once you see the Install Windows page displayed, click Repair your computer to start Windows Recovery Environment (WinRE)
  • In WinRE, go to Choose an option screen
  • Select your preferred language, currency, time, keyboard or other input method
  • Click Next
  • Click Repair your computer
  • Choose the operating system you want to repair (in this case Windows 10)
  • Click Next
  • On Choose an option screen, select Troubleshoot
  • Select Advanced Options
  • In the Systems Recovery Options box, select Startup Repair

Once the repair is complete, check whether the drag and drop issue goes away, then run Windows Update again to get the most recent updates.

If you’re getting any Startup Repair errors, check out this guide to fix them.


Solution 12: Enable drag and drop using ESC key

Here’s how to use Escape key to enable drag and drop:

  • Open File Explorer or Windows Explorer
  • Click any file and long press the left-click mouse button
  • Press Escape key

Check if this fixes the problem.

Did any of these 12 fixes help fix the drag and drop problem? Let us know in the comments section below.

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