Why can’t I drag and drop on my Mac? How to fix

Drag and drop is one of the frequently used features on Mac. The feature allows for interactions in the Mac OS Finder as well as other applications. This feature is designed such that it’s not easy to fail. But, if it does, everything seems out of the blue.

To troubleshoot when drag and drop is not working Mac can be quite challenging.  This is irrespective of whether you are using a mouse with Mac or trackpad. In this guide, we have made the process easier for you by compiling different steps that you need to follow to solve the problem.

How to fix drag and drop not working on Mac

When you are unable to click and drag on Mac, try out the following fixes:

Delete related plist files and reboot

If you have rebooted your Mac and relaunched Finder but if you can’t drag and drop, the issue is likely the preference file. So, delete the preferences and start a new one. This is an effective alternative for troubleshooting unique behavior for a Mac mouse and trackpad.

Now, reboot the Mac again. At this point, you will be trashing some user-level preference files. It’s recommended you do a complete backup of your Mac in case something breaks.

To complete the trash plist files and reboot:

  • Click Command+Shift+G from the Mac OS Finder to bring up ‘Go to Folder’ screen.
  • Identify plist files from the user Library Preference folder.
  • Trash those preference files and reboot your Mac.

Note that you will lose any customized settings if you delete preferences.

Read: Fix Spotlight not working error on Mac

Reboot Your Computer

Rebooting the computer resolves drag and drop issues when restarting Finder has stopped.

  • Navigate to Apple Menu and press ‘Restart’
  • Once Mac boots up, try click and drag.

Drag and drop still not working on mac? Worry not, try the next option.

Restart your Mac

Restarting Finder is often the easiest solution if you can’t click and drop on Mac.

  • Press Command + Option + Escape. ‘Force quit’ menu will pop up.
  • Select Finder from the list and press ‘Relaunch’ to quit and restart the Finder app.
  • Now, close the ‘Force Quit’ menu.

Confirm if drag and drop files feature is working.

Check the hardware for sticky substances and dirt

Check your hardware for any dirt buildup on the surface of the trackpad, gunk, or in the buttons. Also, check the tracking surface of the mouse.

Clean any presence of dirt and sticky material if there is as it is a physical obstruction. They cause abnormal behavior with input interfaces. If you clean and still the feature can’t work, try other discussed options.

Trackpad or mouse Bluetooth issues

If the Mouse or Trackpad is connected through Bluetooth, turn it off and then turn it on again. The easiest way to turn off Bluetooth is through the Bluetooth menu bar. Turning off and on Bluetooth in most cases solves simple problems like drag and drop.

Also, ensure the batteries of the Trackpad and Bluetooth mouse is fully charged. If not, you will experience some weird characteristics like mouse and cursor activity not working.

I hope you can now fix the issue to do with drag and drop not working Mac. A point to note! The drag and drop feature work fine on the new MacBook Pro Touch trackpads. However, the first time you encounter it does take a little getting used. It’s worth not to activate the secondary force clicks while dragging.