“Drag and drop” is a common feature in graphical user interfaces and a simple technique to move items from one virtual location to another. And in this article, we have discussed how to drag and drop on Mac.
You’d think that as a new pioneer of the graphical user interface, Apple’s Mac OS would have perfected this feature. The steps in this guide are applicable to Mac OS Mojave (10.14) and later.
Table of Contents
How to Click And Drag On a Mac
There are two alternatives for clicking and dragging on a Mac—using the trackpad or wired/wireless mouse. Their procedures are similar and below are the steps you should follow.
- Tap to click or click and highlight the object you want to move.
- Press and hold the mouse or trackpad while dragging the item.
- When you’re set to move the highlighted object, release the mouse or trackpad to drop it in the new location.
- To save images or create text chippings, choose images or texts and drag them to your desktop.
- Click and drag the apps to your desired arrangement, to move objects in the Dock.
Tip: To move an app you previously used, click and drag the app to the position.
- Select and drag the object to add a folder to “Favorites” in the “Finder” app. Press Command to add an app.
- Remove objects from the “Dock” or “Favorites” in “Finder” by selecting and dragging them out of the region.
You may also want to learn how to crop a screenshot on Mac
How to Drag and Drop On Mac With Touchpad
Here, we explain how to drag and drop on your Mac with the touchpad.
Take Note: To activate three-finger dragging:
Open Settings → Accessibility → Pointer Control → Mouse & Trackpad → Trackpad Options → Enable dragging → choose three-finger drag → OK
- To highlight text or many files, choose one item or click, hold, then drag your finger across the touchpad.
Tip: While using the trackpad to highlight everything you want to move, hold “Command” for non-subsequential files or “Shift” for side-by-side files.
- Long-press the touchpad then start moving the highlighted items.
Tip: To copy files to a separate folder instead of moving them, press “Option” alongside highlighting, dragging, and dropping them.
- Now, release the trackpad to drop the objects in a new position.
Also read: how to connect iPhone to Mac in 2023
How to Drag and Drop on Mac Without Trackpad
Talking about how to drag and drop on a Mac without a trackpad, is achievable with the instructions below. You can highlight and move files on your Mac using the primary click or left click.
- If you aren’t connected, connect a wired mouse or Bluetooth to your Mac device.
- To move a block of text or an image, just click to select it. Or click, then move your mouse to highlight the item.
- Tap on the Shift button and click nearby files to move many files. Or rather click and drag the mouse over the objects you want to move to highlight them.
Tip: Press and hold Command while clicking items singly to choose files that are not near to each other.
- Hold and drag the mouse to the new location. Release it to move the highlighted items to the new location/folder.
Tip: If you’re having a challenge dragging a highlighted item, make sure you press the mouse throughout without taking off your finger.
Drag And Drop Not Working On Your Mac?
Your Mac’s drag-and-drop feature may not work due to outdated operating systems, firmware, software, or wrong settings.
Trackpad and mouse selections can also clutter. This is because there are many preferences you can choose to customize how an item is selected and moved through Mac’s mouse cursor.
How to Fix Drag And Drop On Mac Issues
You can fix drag-and-drop issues on your MacBook in various ways. Just go through this list to see the many ways in which you can fix this issue.
- Try using another trackpad finger combination. For some users, it’s easier to use their thumb to select an object and their index finger to drag and drop it. Whereas others find it easier to use their left and right index fingers.
- Reboot your Mac. Rebooting your Mac computer can fix various issues.
- Update Mac OS software. A simple firmware or software update could help fix some bugs connected to your trackpad or mouse.
- Clean up your Mac’s mouse and trackpad. Some oils or specks of dirt could be hindering your mouse’s ability to function.
- Use another surface. A strong and non-reflective surface often works better for mouse gestures.
- Charge or change your mouse’s battery. A flat battery can influence how your mouse will work with your Mac.
- Swap USB ports. Connect your mouse to another USB port to check if the problem will be solved.
- Review your multi-button mouse’s settings. You possibly need to adjust your multi-button mouse’s settings (if you’re using one). This could fix the drag-and-drop issue of your Mac.
- Change the cursor and click speed. Are you finding it difficult to move the mouse cursor and click on icons and files? Then try adjusting the speed settings to match your style
- Adjust your Mac’s left-click settings. Try changing the left-click settings for your mouse and trackpad. This would make it easier for you to drag and drop items.
At the end of this insightful read, I hope you can now drag and drop on your Mac device. And if you’ve encountered any drag-and-drop issues on your Mac computer, the aforementioned remedies should be of great help!
FAQs On How To Drag And Drop On Mac
Open System Preferences → Accessibility → Pointer Control → Mouse & Trackpad. Now tap on Trackpad Options → select the box next to Enable Dragging → then from the dropdown menu, select with drag lock.
Go to the photo folder, then press Command alongside clicking on the photos you wish to add. And if you want to upload all the photos in a single folder, press Command + A. Then drag and drop your items into the Google Photos app.
After you create the Mac desktop shortcuts, simply click and choose the objects and drag them to the Dock or a separate position. If you want to remove an alias from the Dock, just drag the alias until you see a Remove message.
To know the position for the actual item from the Dock, control-click the alias and select Options → Show in Finder.
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