Drag and drop not working on Mac OS X

Don’t you just hate it when you open up your Mac, just to find that when you try to move the picture your aunt sent you of her new, cute dog to the folder labeled ”Dogs I want to own” you can’t? Frustrated you go onto the internet and try to find a solution to your problem only to get a frustrating, hard to read mess? At the end of this how-to you won’t have such traumatic experience again.

Time required for fix: < 7 minutes

Before moving on, please check your computer for dirt and grime, it might just be the solution to your problem.

Restart Finder

If the problem you’re having is in Finder while dragging and dropping a file, you can try to forcibly restart Finder. On your Mac, hit Command+Option+Escape to bring up the Force Quit menu

  1. To open the Force Quit application, hit Command + Control + Escape
    2. Choose “Finder” from the list and click on ‘Relaunch’ to quit and re-open the Finder app

Now try to use the drag and drop feature again. Does it work? Then excellent! It didn’t work? Well then we have a few more things that you can try.

Reboot your Mac

  1. Go to the Apple logo in the top left corner of your screen and choose Restart.
  2. Wait for your Mac to restart, then when the Mac is turned on again, try to dragging and dropping your files again.

Is drag and drop working on your Mac? If it is, then good! Our job with you is done. If not, we have more tricks that might salvage your situation.

Trash Plist Files and Reboot

If none of the solutions listed above worked for you and you still have a detrimental problem that keeps you up at night, then we’ve got one last fix for you!

Disclaimer, this trick involves deleting files that you might not want to tamper with in the first place. Consider making a backup of your computer before proceeding.

  1. Open Finder and hit Command + Shift + G, which will bring up the most useful tool on a Mac device, named Go To Folder.
  2. Here you can just copy-paste this:
  3. Locate the following plist file(s) from the user Library Preferences folder:


    4. Now select those 5 files and delete them, then reboot your Mac OS X device as listed in step 2.

Now, once the computer has booted, try to drag and drop that picture of your aunts dog again, this time around it should work. Do you have anything you would like to be included the next time around you see a guide for your problem from us or do you simply want to thank us for the great article we made? Write them in the comments. A picture of your aunts dog would help greatly too!

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