The Ultimate Guide to Fixing Drag and Drop Issues in Windows 11

Troubleshooting Drag and Drop Malfunction in Windows 11

The drag and drop feature in Windows 11 is undoubtedly a convenient way to seamlessly move files between folders and apps using your trusty trackpad or mouse. However, it’s not uncommon for users to face the vexing issue where drag and drop suddenly ceases to function on their Windows 11 system. This problem can put a significant damper on your workflow, making it impossible to drag files on the desktop, in File Explorer, or between various applications. The good news is that there are several troubleshooting methods at your disposal to resolve this irksome issue. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore eight effective techniques to fixing Drag and Drop Issues in Windows 11.

1. Close and Restart the Problematic App

When the drag and drop function refuses to cooperate in a specific application, one straightforward remedy is to close and relaunch the application. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  • Step 1: Begin by summoning the Task Manager using the keyboard shortcut Control + Shift + Escape.
  • Step 2: Peruse the list of active processes and locate the troublesome app. Right-click on it and select “End task.”
  • Step 3: Close the Task Manager.
  • Step 4: Return to the taskbar by pressing the Windows key, type the name of the problematic app in the search box, and choose “Run as administrator.”

Now, test whether the drag and drop function is back to its smooth operation.

2. Restart Windows Explorer

Windows Explorer plays a pivotal role in facilitating the graphical user interface (GUI) on your system. If you’ve enabled drag and drop but find it mysteriously malfunctioning, restarting Windows Explorer might just be the magical solution. Follow these instructions:

  • Step 1: Kick off the process by launching the Task Manager with the shortcut Control + Shift + Escape.
  • Step 2: Scroll down to pinpoint the Windows Explorer process in the list. Right-click on it and select “Restart.”
  • Step 3: Your screen will momentarily flicker and then return to normal. At this point, you can safely close the Task Manager.

3. Cancel the Drag and Drop Interface

If the drag and drop interface becomes glitchy within File Explorer, preventing you from moving selected files or folders, you can cancel the current operation and try again. Here’s the hack:

  • Click and hold the left mouse button, then press the Esc key. Once you’ve executed this combination, release the left mouse button. This nifty trick effectively cancels the drag and drop interface.

After canceling, proceed to close and relaunch File Explorer or the app window and attempt another drag and drop action.

4. Harness the Hardware Troubleshooter

In Windows 11, there’s a handy hardware troubleshooter primed to identify issues with your mouse or trackpad. This troubleshooter often unveils the root cause behind your drag and drop dilemma. Dive into the following steps:

  • Step 1: First, initiate the process by pressing the Windows key to open the Start menu. Then type “PowerShell” in the search bar and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to elevate PowerShell to administrator status.
  • Step 2: In the User Account Control window, give the green light by clicking “Yes.”
  • Step 3: Inside the PowerShell window, input the following command and hit Enter: msdt.exe -id DeviceDiagnostic
  • Step 4: The Hardware Troubleshooter will spring to life. Click “Next” and patiently wait for it to pinpoint and rectify any issues with your hardware devices.

Once the troubleshooter has worked its magic, go ahead and close the Troubleshooter window and reboot your PC.

Also read: Resolving Microsoft Account Sign-In Issues on Windows 11

5. Reinstall Mouse Drivers

There’s also the possibility that corrupted mouse drivers are casting a shadow over your drag and drop feature in Windows 11. Resuscitating your mouse drivers through the Device Manager might just be the remedy. Take heed of the following steps:

  • Step 1: Launch your escapade by pressing the Windows key to unveil the Start menu. Next, type “Device Manager” in the search bar and press Enter.
  • Step 2: Within the labyrinth of Device Manager, expand the “Mice and other pointing devices” section. Locate your mouse, right-click on it, and opt for the “Uninstall device” choice.
  • Step 3: Click “Uninstall” to seal the deal, confirming the removal of the mouse driver.
  • Step 4: Bid farewell to the Device Manager and restart your PC. Upon reboot, Windows will dutifully reinstall the mouse drivers.

6. Tweak the Windows Registry

Misconfigured or corrupted mouse settings lurking in the depths of the Windows registry could very well be the sinister puppeteer behind your drag and drop issues. This is how you can address the problem:

  • Step 1: Initiate the process by pressing the Windows key to reveal the Start menu. Type “regedit” in the search bar and press Enter.
  • Step 2: In the User Account Control window, grant permission by clicking “Yes,” which will open the Registry Editor with all its administrative powers.
  • Step 3: Navigate to the address bar at the top and paste the following path: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop. Press Enter to reach your destination.
  • Step 4: Locate and double-click on the “DragHeight” value to make the necessary adjustments. Set the Value Data to 4, and then click “OK.”
  • Step 5: Give the same treatment to the “DragWidth” value. Adjust the Value Data to 4 and confirm with an “OK.”
  • Step 6: Conclude your journey by closing the Registry Editor and restarting your PC to solidify the changes.

7. Run SFC and DISM Scans

System file corruption or damage within the Windows component store could very well be the culprits behind your drag and drop woes in Windows 11. Deploying the System File Checker (SFC) and the Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) scans can work wonders in addressing these issues. Here’s the play-by-play:

  • Step 1: Your odyssey commences with the Windows key. Use it to open the Start menu and type “cmd” in the search bar. Then, press Control + Shift + Enter to unfurl Command Prompt with the full regalia of administrator privileges.
  • Step 2: Within the User Account Control window, signify your consent by clicking “Yes.”
  • Step 3: Start by typing the command SFC /scannow and hit Enter to set the scan in motion.
  • Step 4: After the scan wraps up, clear the Command Prompt screen by typing “cls” and hitting Enter.
  • Step 5: Proceed with the following commands one by one:
  • DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /CheckHealth
  • DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth
  • DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth
  • Step 6: Exercise your patience and await the completion of these scans. Once the scans have run their course, gracefully bid adieu to the Command Prompt window and initiate a reboot to ensure that the changes take effect.

8. Embrace the Power of System Restore

In the event that all else fails, don’t despair. You can always fall back on the trusty System Restore feature to rewind your PC to a time when the drag and drop feature was in perfect harmony. Here’s the plan:

  • Step 1: Initiate the process by pressing the Windows key to unveil the Start menu. Next, type “rstrui” in the search bar and press Enter to invoke the wonders of System Restore.
  • Step 2: Click “Next” to continue.
  • Step 3: Peruse the list of available restore points and select one that predates the onset of your drag and drop conundrum. Then, follow the on-screen instructions to initiate the restoration process.

By following these meticulous methods, you should find yourself rejoicing in the full restoration of the drag and drop functionality on your Windows 11 PC.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why is the drag and drop feature not working in Windows 11?
The drag and drop feature might misbehave for various reasons, including app glitches, corrupted mouse drivers, incorrect mouse drag settings, or damaged system files.

2. How can I fix the drag and drop issue on Windows 11?
You have a toolkit of solutions at your disposal, ranging from restarting apps and Windows Explorer to employing the hardware troubleshooter, tweaking the registry, running scans, and utilizing System Restore.

3. What if none of the methods work?
If all else fails and the drag and drop issue remains unresolved, it’s advisable to seek professional assistance or reach out to Microsoft Support for expert guidance.

4. Can a damaged mouse cause drag and drop problems?
Absolutely, malfunctioning or corrupted mouse drivers can spell doom for the drag and drop feature. The good news is that reinstalling the mouse drivers or running hardware diagnostics can often rectify this issue.

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