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Definition: Win Drag and drop

Files and folders can be copied or moved to another location by literally "dragging" them across the screen. "Drag" means placing the cursor over the icon of an item, pressing the left (or sometimes right) mouse button to highlight it, and while keeping the button depressed, moving the selected item across the screen. "Drop" means releasing the mouse button when the destination is reached. As the icons are dragged, all valid destinations are highlighted. To copy and move files using only the menus, see Win Copy/move files/folders.

Although many Windows applications implement their own drag and drop capabilities, users can copy and move files and folders any time via drag and drop in Explorer (see Win Explorer), as follows:

Drag and Drop - Right Button - Copy or Move
Dragging the icons with the right mouse button is the more cautious method because you are prompted to either Copy or Move when you drop the files/folders.

Drag and Drop - Left Button - Automatic
Dragging with the left mouse button is faster because you are not prompted when you drop. Depending on whether the source files are local (on this same machine) or coming from a remote machine determines whether they are copied or moved. Note the following actions:
                Action       File at
     Coming     Taken when   Original
     From       Dropped      Location

     Local      Move         Not there

     Remote     Copy         Still there

Drag and Drop - Left Button - Copy Only
Dragging with the left mouse button and holding the Ctrl key down while dragging copies the files and folders without a prompt.

The Destination Folder Responds
This shows three files dragged to the Work folder with the left mouse button. In Win7, 8.1 and 10 (top), the destination folder name is spelled out, whereas with XP (bottom), one has to be attentive to which folder "lights up. To highlight multiple files, see Win Highlighting items.