Many users will often drag and drop files within Windows 11’s File Explorer app by simply holding the left mouse button. When you drag a file to a different hard drive location, the default action is to move the file. However, dragging a file to a folder on a different drive will copy it.
Would you like to change that default drag-and-drop file action in Windows 11? If so, the good news is that there are not one, but three different ways to configure drag and drop behavior to suit your liking. This is how you can replace drag and drop in Windows 11/10.
How to Change Drag-and-Drop File Actions by Pressing Keyboard Shortcuts
Windows 11 has three keyboard shortcuts for a trio of drag-and-drop actions that you can press to activate them. Pressing the required key while holding down the left mouse button will activate a specific file action.
So, try dragging and dropping some files with those keys. To drag a file, just before left-clicking, press and hold one of them. The file will then drop based on the action key you pressed.
How to Change Drag-and-Drop File Actions by Editing the Registry
If you want to permanently reconfigure the drag-and-drop action, you will need to modify the registry by adding two DefaultDropEffect DWORDS to some keys. You can then adjust the values for those DWORDs to change the default drag-and-drop file behavior. You can apply that registry tweak manually like this.
Repeat steps eight through 10 for the DefaultDropEffect DWORD of the AllFilesystemObjects registry key. Make sure that you input the same value in the Value data box that you entered for step nine.
When you’re done, both the AllFilesystemObjects and * keys should have the same DefaultDropEffect DWORDs with matching values. Close Registry Editor, and open File Explorer’s window. Then try to drag a file to another folder. The file will drop as soon as you configure it with DWORD values.
You can revamp the drag-and-drop action by modifying the values of both DefaultDropEffect DWORDs. To restore the original default behavior, right-click on DefaultDropEffect DWORDs in Registry Editor to select Delete.
How to Change Drag-and-Drop File Actions with Winaero Tweaker
If you don’t want to change the registry manually, you can change the default drag-and-drop file behavior with Winaero Tweaker instead.
Winero Tweaker is a freeware program that is a block-a-block with Windows 11’s Context Menu, File Explorer, Boot and Login, Desktop and Taskbar, and more with customization options. That’s how you can modify drag and drop with that customization software.
Winaero Tweaker will now have applied the above registry tweak to the drag-and-drop option you selected. So, go ahead and try some drag and drop in File Explorer. Now drag-and-dropping files will always copy, move, or create shortcuts to them, depending on how you’ve configured it in Winaero.
You can easily go back to the original default drag-and-drop action. Simply select the system default radio button for Winaero Tweaker’s drag-n-drop action option. Or you can click Reset this page to default for that option.
Incidentally, you can also see the corresponding drag-n-drop sensitivity option in the File Explorer category of Winaero Tweaker. That option enables you to modify drag-and-drop mouse sensitivity, with a default value of four pixels.
To change that setting, select drag-n-drop sensitivity in the sidebar on the left. Then click the button above or below the value box for that option to increase or decrease the sensitivity. You need to click Sign out now in Winaero for that setting to apply.
Drag and drop files to your heart’s content
So, this is how you can change how the drag-and-drop file action in Windows 11/10 works for you. It’s relatively quick and straightforward to configure dragging and dropping to always move, copy, or create shortcuts for items with the second and third methods above. Choose any action you like to drag and drop.