New File Explorer | Image Courtesy: WindowsLatest.com
I am convinced that the new Microsoft developers have either overlooked or failed to recognize the significance of the ‘drag and drop’ functionality. In the latest update for Windows 11, the Redmond giant has omitted drag and drop support in the address bar of File Explorer. This is not the first time such a change has occurred. When Windows 11 was initially released, the ability to drag and drop items onto the taskbar was absent. It was only reintroduced in a substantial update (22H2) a year later. Microsoft celebrated this as a new addition, despite it being a feature that had been present all along. It seems that history is repeating itself once again.
The second major update, known as “Moment 4” or 23H2, is currently being rolled out as an optional enablement package alongside Windows 11 KB5030310. This update brings a redesigned Explorer with a new home page, details pane, recommended carousel, more rounded corners, and an integrated OneDrive address bar. However, this integration comes at the cost of the ‘drag and drop’ functionality.
According to Microsoft’s support document, the File Explorer’s address bar has undergone some changes. It now recognizes both local and cloud folders, as well as displaying file status. For Microsoft OneDrive users, the address bar also includes sync status and a quota flyout box. On the surface, these updates seem beneficial. However, there is a drawback. You can no longer drag and drop files or apps using the address bar. This means that if you have two folders on your computer and wish to move a file from one to the other, the old method of drag and drop is no longer possible.
In previous versions of Windows, including Windows 11 22H2, it was simple to move items within File Explorer. As shown in the above screenshot from the previous version, you could easily drag and drop files with the “Move to…” label. Unfortunately, this feature no longer works after the Windows 11 September (23H2) update. Previously, you could drag a file or app to the desired location in the address bar, and it would be moved without the need to open another window or tab. However, as demonstrated above, this functionality has been removed.
Although not a widely used feature, some power users preferred the convenience of drag and drop over opening multiple windows or tabs. “Removing that feature from the address bar has disrupted my workflow on numerous occasions recently,” one user shared with me. Microsoft has confirmed that drag and drop is not supported in the updated address bar. When pressed for further information, Microsoft acknowledged the changes but had no additional details to share. They stated, “This [drag and drop] isn’t currently supported with the updated address bar…we’ll continue monitoring feedback.”
Upon further inquiry, I learned from my contacts at Microsoft that the decision to eliminate drag and drop from the address bar was based on the fact that only a small number of users utilized this feature. In order to swiftly introduce the new File Explorer with its redesigned address bar, Microsoft deemed drag and drop as unnecessary and thus left it out when finalizing the updated version. While there is a possibility that drag and drop support may return in future updates, the exact timeline remains unknown.