Knowledge Base

Drag and Drop not working in Outlook


You are not able to copy or move any Outlook items by dragging and dropping.


As far as we know, this is a software bug that occurs in all versions of Outlook, and it is not related to CodeTwo or any other third-party software. We have discovered a few solutions that may restore the drag & drop functionality in Outlook:

  • Ensure that you are using drag and drop to copy/move items of the same type.
    The drag & drop feature works only when you copy/move items between the folders of the same type. Therefore, you cannot copy e.g. calendar items to a folder with emails.
  • Press the ESC key repeatedly.
    Make sure that the Outlook window is active, and press the ESC key several times. After that, you should be able to use the drag & drop feature again.
  • Use the Folder List view.
    Try to change the view to Folders (Fig. 1.) and try dragging and dropping your items again. We have discovered that Outlook behaves differently depending on the view type.
    Outlook - folders view switch
    Fig. 1. Changing the view in Outlook.
  • Reset Outlook folders.
    It might happen that certain Outlook folders are corrupted (for example, they do not have a valid type identifier), which causes the problem with drag & drop. You can use a command-line switch that restores missing folders at the default delivery location and recreates their properties:
    1. Close your Outlook.
    2. Launch the Run command (e.g. by pressing the Windows logo key + R).
    3. Type the following command: Outlook.exe /resetfolders (Fig. 2.), and click OK to execute it. This should repair the default Outlook folders and restore the drag & drop capability.


      Remember to type/paste the command precisely, as shown below – the space before the slash (‘/’) is there on purpose.

    Fig. 2. A customized startup of Outlook.

  • Turn on or off Cached Exchange Mode.
    1. Click the File tab on the Outlook’s ribbon.
    2. Next, click Account Settings and select Account Settings from the drop-down menu (Fig. 3.).

    Accessing settings for email accounts.
    Fig. 3. Accessing settings for email accounts.

    1. In the window that opens, on the Email tab, double click your email account for which the drag & drop feature does not work.
    2. Toggle the state of the Cached Exchange Mode feature by either selecting or clearing the Use Cached Exchange Mode to download email to an Outlook data file checkbox (Fig. 4.). Click Next and Done.

    Use the checkbox to either enable or disable Cached Exchange Mode.
    Fig. 4. Use the checkbox to either enable or disable Cached Exchange Mode.

    1. Finally, shut down and start your Outlook desktop app again.
  • Restart Outlook.
    If all the above methods fail, usually the last-resort solution to make the drag & drop feature work again is to restart the Outlook desktop app. Here’s how to do it.
    1. Shut down Outlook.
    2. Open the Windows’s Task Manager by pressing Ctrl+Alt+Delete on the keyboard and clicking Task Manager in the menu that shows up on the screen.
    3. On the Processes tab, look through the Background processes sublist to see if there are any Outlook background process running. If there are, close them by right-clicking on them and selecting End task from the shortcut menu.
    4. Finally, reopen Outlook. Now, you should be able to use the drag & drop feature again as intended.

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