Full Fix: Left Mouse Button Drag Doesn’t Work in Windows 10

By: Ivan Jenic
7 minute read

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The majority of us are using mouse drag and drop for copying files in Windows, rather than copy/paste. But some users have reported that their drag and drop option doesn’t work when they try to move a certain file or folder. So, you’re encountering this problem as well, we’ll try to help you.

What to Do if Left Mouse Drag Doesn’t work

There are many problems with your mouse that can occur, and speaking of mouse issues, these are some of the most common problems that users reported:

  • Mouse won’t drag and drop Windows 10 – This is a relatively common problem that can occur with your mouse. If you’re having this issue, feel free to try any of our solutions.
  • Mouse click and drag not working properly – This is just a variation of this problem, and if you have this issue, be sure to check if your mouse is working properly.
  • Mouse dragging problems Windows 10 – Mouse dragging problems are relatively common, and in order to fix this problem, you might want to enable Mouse ClickLock feature.
  • Mouse not dragging properly – Sometimes the dragging function might not work properly on your mouse. This can be a big problem, but you might be able to fix it by cleaning your mouse.
  • Left mouse button won’t drag – Several users reported that left mouse button won’t drag at all. This is an annoying problem, and it’s most likely caused by a faulty mouse.

Solution 1 – Update Drivers

Windows 10 still has a problem with drivers in general, as some hardware manufacturers didn’t provide needed software. So, that could be the case with your mouse, as well, especially if you use a ‘high-end’ device. So, it won’t hurt if you first check if your mouse drivers are up to date. If you’re not sure how to do that, do follow these steps:

  1. Go to Search, type device manager, and open Device Manager.
    Mouse click and drag not working properly
  2. Expand Mice and other pointing devices section, and right click on your mouse.
  3. Choose Update driver.
    Mouse won't drag and drop Windows 10
  4. If there are any available updates, wait for the process to finish.
  5. Restart your computer.

Always keep ahead with updating your outdated drivers for your computer to work properly because they are crucial for some of your system functionalities. Download TweakBit’s Driver Updater Tool (approved by Microsoft and Norton) to do it automatically and prevent the risk of downloading and installing the wrong driver versions.

Disclaimer: some functions of this tool are not free.

If the driver was the problem, your mouse should work properly now, but if not, driver’s probably not a problem, so try some of the following solutions.


Solution 2 – Enable Mouse ClickLock

There’s a temporary solution you can use until you find the real cause of the left drag problem. And that is ClickLock, a feature which allows you to drag your files just by longer-clicking on them, without holding the left mouse button constantly. To enable ClickLock, do the following:

  1. Go to Search, type mouse, and open Change your mouse settings.
    Mouse won't drag and drop Windows 10
  2. Go to Additional mouse options.
    Mouse click and drag not working properly
  3. Under Buttons tab, check Turn on ClickLock.
    Mouse dragging problems Windows 10
  4. You can also adjust the how long to hold down a mouse before your click is ‘locked.’ You can access that options by clicking on Settings, under ClickLock section.
  5. When you set everything right, click OK.

Now, you don’t need to hold your mouse button to drag your files, but this would probably be just a temporary solution since you get used to holding down a mouse button. It’s up to you.


Solution 3 – Clean your Mouse

Maybe the problem isn’t in Windows 10, at all. Maybe your mouse is full of dust, and it needs a good cleaning. Several users reported that they fixed the problem simply by using compressed air to clean the inside of their mouse. In some cases, you might even have to adjust the little spring in the microswitch.

In addition, you might want to check if your left mouse button is working properly. Simply set the right mouse button as the main button in Mouse options. After doing that, check if the problem appears while using the right mouse button. If the issue doesn’t occur with the right mouse button, the problem is your mouse, so you might have to replace it.

If you’re not sure how to clean your mouse properly, search online for the instructions.


Solution 4 – Run the Hardware Devices Troubleshooter

If you’re having problems with left mouse button drag on your PC, the issue might be your configuration. According to users, they managed to solve the problem simply by running the Hardware Devices Troubleshooter. To do that, just follow these steps:

  1. Press Windows Key + S and enter troubleshoot. Select Troubleshoot from the menu.
    Mouse not dragging properly
  2. Select Hardware and Devices and click Run the troubleshooter button.
    Left mouse button won't drag
  3. Now follow the instructions on the screen to complete the troubleshooter.

After the troubleshooter is finished, check if the problem still persists. This isn’t a universal solution, but if your mouse isn’t configured properly, the troubleshooter should be able to find and fix the problem automatically.


Solution 5 – Perform a Clean boot

Sometimes left mouse button drag won’t work because of the third-party applications. To fix that, it’s recommended to perform a Clean boot and check if that solves the problem. You can do that simply by following these steps:

  1. Press Windows Key + R and enter msconfig. Now press Enter or click OK.
    Mouse not dragging properly
  2. When System Configuration window opens, go to Services tab and check Hide all Microsoft services. Now click the Disable all button.
    Left mouse button won't drag
  3. Navigate to Startup tab and click Open Task Manager.
    Mouse won't drag and drop Windows 10
  4. List of all startup applications will now appear. Right click the first item on the list and choose Disable from the menu. Repeat this step for all startup applications on the list.
    Mouse click and drag not working properly
  5. After disabling all startup applications, close Task Manager and go back to System Configuration window. Click on Apply and OK and restart your PC.
    Mouse dragging problems Windows 10

Once your PC restarts, check if the problem still appears. If not, it means that one of your startup applications or services was causing the issue. If you want to find out which application is the cause, you need to enable applications and services one by one or in groups. Keep in mind that you need to restart your PC after enabling a group of applications or services.

Once you find the problematic application, you can disable it or uninstall it to permanently fix the problem.


Solution 6 – Connect your mouse to a different USB port

If you’re using a USB mouse, the problem might be your USB port. Several users reported that they fixed the problem simply by connecting their mouse to a different USB port on their PC. If you have a USB mouse, we advise you to connect it to USB 2.0 port instead of a USB 3.0.

USB 3.0 offers great speed, but your mouse won’t ever need that kind of bandwidth, so we advise you to connect it to USB 2.0 and check if that solves the problem. It’s worth mentioning that this problem can also occur while using a USB hub.

USB hubs are great since they give you extra USB ports for your devices, but sometimes issues can occur with a USB hub and your mouse. To fix the problem, it’s recommended to disconnect your USB mouse from the hub and connect it directly to your PC.


Solution 7 – Press the Esc key

Many users reported that they managed to solve left mouse button drag problems simply by pressing the Esc key. This is an unusual solution, but it works according to users. If your mouse won’t drag, simply press the Esc key and the problem should be resolved.

Several users reported that this solution solved the problem for them, so be sure to try it out.


Solution 8 – Change Internet options

According to users, if you’re unable to highlight text properly because left mouse button drag isn’t working, you might be able to fix the problem by changing your Internet options. This is an unusual solution, but it works according to users. To change your Internet options, do the following:

  1. Press Windows Key + S and enter internet options. Select Internet Options from the menu.
    Mouse not dragging properly
  2. Go to Programs tab and click the Manage add-ons button.
    Left mouse button won't drag
  3. A new window will now appear. Locate XML 3.0 and disable it. You can also disable XML 4.0, but it’s not mandatory.

After making these changes, check if the problem with your mouse is resolved. Several users reported that this solution worked for them, so you might want to try it out.


Solution 9 – Remove any recently installed applications

Sometimes third-party applications can cause this problem to appear. If this problem started appearing recently, be sure to remove any applications that you’ve installed in the last few days. According to users, this issue was caused by the Rocketdock application, but after removing it, the problem was resolved.

Other applications can cause this problem as well, so if you have installed any mouse-related application recently, be sure to remove it and check if that solves the problem. Keep in mind that you need to remove the application completely in order to permanently solve this issue.

There are several ways to completely remove an application, but the best way is to use an uninstaller software. These tools are designed to completely remove applications from your PC, so they won’t leave any traces in form of registry entries or files.

There are several great uninstaller applications, but the best are IOBit Uninstaller or Revo Uninstaller, so feel free to try any of them.

I hope this article helped you with the left mouse button drag problem. If you have any comments or questions, just write them down below.


Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in January 2016 and has been since completely revamped and updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.


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