I want to REALLY disable drag and drop

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  1. Posts : 44
    Win10 Pro 2004
       #1

    I want to REALLY disable drag and drop


    I sometimes inadvertently move folders around in Windows 10 without being aware of it. When I do, it often takes a long time to fix. Some of the suggestions on how to fix this are along the lines of "Just don't do it", not very helpful. Much more useful is to change the drag and drop sensitivity, here for example. But I'd much rather turn the drag and drop feature off completely. It has caused me a lot of problems.

    For example, I inadvertently moved a folder used for backup of my Thunderbird email client inside another Thunderbird folder without being aware of it. How did I do this? Simple. I have three monitors. The right hand one was displaying Thunderbird with its folder pane on the left of the monitor. On the middle monitor I was using the scroll bar on the right to move down a web page. I must have moved the mouse a millimeter to the right of the browser monitor and picked up the Thunderbird folder in the adjacent monitor. I was looking at the browser, not the monitor to the right, and didn't notice I'd moved a folder until a few days later when I noticed Thunderbird backups weren't working.

    I have increased the drag and drop sensitivity a lot, but I'd much rather stop folders being moved at all. Does anyone know if it's possible to disable it in Windows 10?
    Last edited by arnoldh; 23 Mar 2020 at 15:30.
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  2. dalchina's Avatar
    Posts : 30,047
    Win 10 Pro (1903)
       #2

    Hi, this might help:
    Set the default drag and drop action in Windows 10, Windows 8 and Windows 7

    - via this free tool
    I want to REALLY disable drag and drop-1.png

    It also includes the setting you mention:
    I want to REALLY disable drag and drop-2.png
    - makes it easy and easily reversible, with full explanation.
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  3. Posts : 44
    Win10 Pro 2004
    Thread Starter
       #3

    Thanks for this. I made the registry changes suggested and it seems to have disabled drag and drop as I want. I'll leave it in place for a few days to check there are no unacceptable side effects, and report back.
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  4. dalchina's Avatar
    Posts : 30,047
    Win 10 Pro (1903)
       #4

    Sounds good..
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  5. Brink's Avatar
    Posts : 56,353
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro for Workstations build 21359
       #5
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  6. Posts : 44
    Win10 Pro 2004
    Thread Starter
       #6

    Unfortunately none of the suggestions completely disable drag and drop.

    I can change the default behaviour to copy instead of move a folder. This would at least leave a folder in place when it's picked up by mistake.

    Or I can change the drag sensitivity to an enormous number of pixels, but this has unwanted side effects. The sensitivity would have to be set really high to prevent a scroll bar, which is being moved all the way down one monitor, inadvertently moving a folder in an adjacent monitor (in the situation I described in my post).

    I will experiment with a combination of both of these methods.

    I've found many requests over the years to add an option to completely disable drag and drop. I guess it's something Microsoft cannot/will not ever do.
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  7. dalchina's Avatar
    Posts : 30,047
    Win 10 Pro (1903)
       #7

    Suggest you get into the habit of rt click and drag. That way when you release the mouse you are presented with options.

    If an operation is conceived of by the designer as something everyone wants and wouldn't not want to have, then it's not surprising there's no way - or no easy way if there is one- to disable it.

    E.g. every car has a screen washer, I suppose- but no car has a means of disabling it. I can't recall seeing this request before personally.
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  8. Posts : 44
    Win10 Pro 2004
    Thread Starter
       #8

    dalchina said:
    If an operation is conceived of by the designer as something everyone wants and wouldn't not want to have, then it's not surprising there's no way - or no easy way if there is one- to disable it.

    E.g. every car has a screen washer, I suppose- but no car has a means of disabling it. I can't recall seeing this request before personally.
    If you google disable drag and drop you will find a large number of requests to have the option of disabling it, going back many years. The most frequent request is from system administrators. They are often supporting complicated file structures and their users keep inadvertently moving folders, then at a later date complaining a folder has disappeared. Often the response in a forum to the administrator is to tell the users not to do it, but the users don't intend to do it, and worse, they don't know they've done it. One of the suggestions to prevent it is to alter file permissions, but administrators dealing with thousands of folders in a poorly structured file sysytem are reluctant to do this. Changing the drag and drop sensitivity is often the best compromise.

    Using rt click and drag wouldn't have helped me in the situation I described above, where all I was doing was moving a scroll bar in a browser window, but unfortunately the cursor touched a folder on an adjacent monitor. I've never moved a folder by mistake when that's what I meant to do, but it has happened more than once as a result of using three monitors with the desktop extended over all three.

    Anyway, thanks for all the suggestions
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  9. Lance1's Avatar
    Posts : 657
    Windows 10 Professional x64 20H2
       #9

    Open regedit and go to "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop" Highlight DragHeight and DragWidth one at a time. Change the Value to something like 100. This defines the distance in pixel you need to drag and drop. You need to log out or restart to take affect. But there is a downside. If you change both values to a very large number. You will find it’s very hard and difficult to move any windows around on your desktop. Selecting a right number is very important. For a test I set mine to 300 and completely disable any move options including moving a window around. So if you set it to high you can always change the value till you find one that works for you. I set mine back to the default (4)


    I want to REALLY disable drag and drop-reg-drag-drop.png
    Last edited by Lance1; 22 Mar 2020 at 11:16.
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  10. Posts : 44
    Win10 Pro 2004
    Thread Starter
       #10

    Lance1 said:
    Open regedit and go to "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop" Highlight DragHeight and DragWidth one at a time. Change the Value to something like 100
    I'm using 1100 pixels at the moment. That's enough so that scrolling all the way down one of my three monitors can't affect an adjacent one. There are annoying side effects. For example if I try to move a window across a monitor, it doesn't move initially. It actually starts moving once it's well across the adjacent monitor. Once it's started moving it can be repositioned in the orginal monitor. Now I've got used to it, it's not a problem.


    Maybe I'll find some other side effects I can't live with, but at the moment it's OK.

    All this may seem a bit draconian, but I spent several hours fixing up my backups after a backup folder got buried inside another folder.
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