Drag-and-drop

Updated: 04/26/2017 by Computer Hope

The phrase drag-and-drop is used to describe the action of selecting an object or section of text, moving it (dragging), and then placing it (dropping) into an alternate area. For example, to drag-and-drop an object such as an icon, you would first move your mouse cursor over it. Then, you would press and hold down the left mouse button, move it to the object to the location you desire, and release the button to set it down.

Note: Dragging and dropping an object or file actually moves it to the new location; it does not make a copy.

How to drag and drop on a desktop or laptop

In the image below, you can see the three-step process used to highlight, drag, and then drop files into another location.

Drag and drop move

Tip: Holding down the Ctrl key while dragging and dropping text or another object copies the object or text.

Bonus tip: In Microsoft Windows, if you drag-and-drop with the right mouse button rather than the left mouse button, you'll be prompted with a menu. This menu will you give you options to either "copy here," "move here," or "create a shortcut here."

How to drag and drop on a tablet or smartphone

Locate the app, file, or folder you'd like to move. Long press the object with your finger. Then, slide your finger across the screen until you have the item where you want it and lift your finger.

Click, Mouse pointer, Mouse terms