Change Drag & Drop Sensitivity to Avoid Accidental Move of Files

Is your mouse or touchpad too sensitive which causes accidentally dragging of items on your desktop or File Explorer when clicked/tapped? By default, if you drag a file or folder by a distance of 4 pixels and release the mouse button, the default “drag and drop” action (move or copy, depending on whether you are dragging it to another folder on the same drive, or to a folder on another drive.) will take place.

With the default value set to 4 pixels, it is easy to inadvertently drag and drop files to a random item on your desktop or File Explorer. If you’re not happy with the default value, you can increase the drag and drop distance (in pixels) to avoid accidental move or copy of files. However, you’ll need to edit the registry to change the setting, as there is no GUI option available.

Change Drag & Drop Sensitivity in the Registry

To change the Drag and Drop sensitivity in Windows, follow these steps:

  1. Start the Registry Editor (regedit.exe)
  2. Go to the following branch:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop
  3. In the right pane, set the data for DragHeight and DragWidth values to 50
    dragheight dragwidth registry pixels
  4. Exit the Registry Editor
  5. Logoff and login back for the change to take effect. Or simply restart the Explorer shell.

Now, in order to drag a file or folder, it has to  be moved by at least 50 pixels in order to drop it. This registry edit works in Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10.

About the author

Ramesh Srinivasan founded back in 2005. He is passionate about Microsoft technologies and has a vast experience in the ITeS industry — delivering support for Microsoft's consumer products. He has been a Microsoft MVP [2003 to 2012] who contributes to various Windows support forums.

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