How can I change default file drag-and-drop action to copy instead of move? In Windows 11 / 10, when you drag a file and drop it to a folder on a different drive, File Explorer will perform the copy action. If you drag a file and drop it to a folder on the same drive, the default action is move.

Actually, you can let Windows perform the same action for every drag-and-drop operation, regardless of whether you’re dragging files to the same or different drive. In this tutorial we’ll show you a simple method to change the default drag and drop action in Windows 11 / 10.

How to Change Default Drag and Drop Action in Windows 11 / 10

  1. Open Registry Editor. In the left pane, expand the HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT key and right-click the * sub-key and select New -> DWORD (32-bit) Value.
  2. Name the value DefaultDropEffect. Next, double-click it to modify its value data.
  3. Change the value data to one of the following values, depending on which type of drag and drop behavior you would like to apply.
    • Default action (0): Let Windows decide to copy or move files/folders when you drag and drop it into place.
    • Always copy (1): A copy of the file/folder will always be placed at the destination.
    • Always move (2): The file/folder will move to the destination.
    • Always create a shortcut (4): A link to the original file/folder will always be placed at the destination.
  4. Next, navigate to another sub-key AllFilesystemObjects and use the same method to create a new 32-bit DWORD value DefaultDropEffect with the same value data.
  5. Close Registry Editor. The new setting of drag and drop behavior will take effect immediately. If you’ve set DefaultDropEffect to 1, Windows will perform the copy action when you drag a file and drop it to a folder on the same drive.

    To undo the changes later, just delete the DefaultDropEffect value from both keys and you’re done.

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