By Ellie / Last Updated April 19, 2023

Can I drag and drop in Remote Desktop?


I use remote desktop on a daily basis and I find that I often need to quickly transfer files between my physical PC and the RDP, or even between different multiple remote sessions. I'm also aware that there is a copy/paste option available in Remote Desktop. What I'm looking for is a direct drag and drop function. So I want to ask, can I drag and drop in Remote Desktop? 

- Question from Annie

The answer is NO!

Unfortunately, the answer to this question is NO. Remote Desktop, as a Windows built-in feature, allows people to remotely access a PC from another PC, which provides a large amount of convenience for many users. With Remote Desktop, we can not only realize file transfer by using copy and paste, but not drag and drop.

Windows drag and drop isn’t available – how to transfer files

Here in this part, we’ll talk about how to transfer files if drag and drop in Remote Desktop isn’t available. Before the operation, enable the Remote Desktop on the host PC, otherwise the computer can’t connect to the remote PC.

Part 1: Connect to the remote PC

Step 1. In the PC that you want to control, click  the“Start” button and go to “Settings” > “System” > “Remote Desktop”. Here you can see the PC name of this computer. Keep it in mind, as you need  to use it for accessing this computer

Remote Desktop

Step 2. Drag the slider to enable Remote Desktop. Then, click “Confirm”.


Note: By default, any user who has an administrative account on the host PC is allowed to access it, thus you need to set a strong password for your administrative account.

Step 3. Type “Firewall” in the Search box, choose Windows Defender Firewall, and click “Allow an app through Windows firewall”.

Step 4. Click “Change Settings” and Check Private and Public for Remote Desktop. Then, click “OK”.


After enabling Remote Desktop and allowing the tool in the firewall, you can run Remote Desktop Connection to control the computer. 

Step 5. In the PC that you use to control another PC, input “remote desktop connection”, double click "Remote Desktop Connection" to open it.


Step 6. Now, you’ll in Remote Desktop Connection. Type the PC name or the IP address of the remote PC  and click "Connect". 

Enter IP of the Host Computer

Step 7. Then, you’ll be asked to input the password and user name and the password of the host PC to connect to it. 

Step 8. Now the remote connection is being established.

Desktop of the Remote Computer

Part 2: The ways to drag and drop in Remote Desktop

Step 1. Now suppose the file or folder is located on local desktop.

Transfer Files to Local PC

Step 2. Hover the mouse cursor over the file or folder and long press the on-screen left mouse button.

Step 3. Move the finger to drag the selected item to the desired location.

Step 4. Tap the on-screen left mouse button to drop in respective location.

Bonus tip: What we can do if drag and drop not working?

However, what if you meet with “drag and drop not working”? Don’t worry, it’s just because the local drives are not redirected. Here are 2 ways can help you figure it out. Keep reading!

Method 1. Disable “Do not allow drive redirection” option

Step 1. Press Win + R and then enter “gpedit.msc” in the dialog box. Click on “OK” or press the “Enter” key.


Step 2. Navigation:

Computer Configuration > Windows Components > Remote Desktop Services > Remote Desktop Session Host > Device and Resources Redirection > Do not allow drive redirection

Do not Allow Redirection

Step 3. Double click on it and then set it to “Disabled”. And then exit to see whether the issue remains.

Disabled Redirection

Method 2. Change the registry key

Step 1. Press Win + R and then enter “regedit” and then press the “Enter” key.

Run Box Regedit

Step 2. Navigate to:

HKLM\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows NT\Terminal Services\fDisableCdm

Step 3. Double click on fDisableCDdm and then change the value data to 1.

Free & faster alternative to Remote Desktop: AnyViewer

You can use copy-paste to achieve file transfer when the answer to the question “Can I use drag and drop in Remote Desktop on Windows 11, 10, 8, 7?” is No. But copying and pasting in and out of RDP are slow in most cases. If you are looking for a faster way to transfer files between remote devices, we strongly suggest you use AnyViewer. You can choose to transfer files directly without logging into the other computer or remotely access the other computer with one click and then transfer files.

If you upgrade to the Professional and Enterprise versions, then you can enjoy:

Faster transmission speed. Transfer speed for a free account is 500 KB/s, and for a paid account is 10 MB/s.
Increasing number of files transferred in bulk.
Larger size of a single file that can be transferred.
Assign more devices and remote to more devices simultaneously.
Experience Privacy mode to blacken the remote screen and disable the keyboard & mouse of the remote PC.

NOTE: The file transfer function requires version 3.0 and above. If your version is lower, please upgrade first.

Download Freeware Win 11/10/8.1/8/7
Secure Download

Part 1. Sign up for AnyViewer for file transfer

To use the file transfer feature, you need to sign up for AnyViewer and log in to the account on the Controller computer.

Step 1. On the Controller computer, go to Log in, and then click Sign up. (If you already have signed up on its official website, you can log in directly.)

Log in AnyViewer.png

Step 2. Fill in the signup information.

Sign Up For AnyViewer

Step 3. Then you can see you successfully logged in to AnyViewer. Your device will automatically be assigned to the account you’ve logged in to. 

Free Editions

Part 2. Transfer files with AnyViewer

After signing up for an AnyViewer account and logging in to AnyViewer on the Controller computer, you can start to transfer files. Depending on different situations, you can choose different ways to achieve file transfer.

Option 1. Transfer files without controlling the remote computer

Step 1. Enter the device ID of the recipient on the blank box, and then choose File Transfer.

File Transfer

Step 2. Then you’ll be asked whether to Send a request to your partner or Input security code.

  • Send a request to your partner: The Recipient computer will receive a pop-up window asking whether he/she allows you to control his/her computer.
  • Input security code: You can input the security code set by the Recipient in advance and achieve a direct connection.

Choose a Method

Tips: This option is suitable for users who need to transfer files to a stranger or anyone that you do not completely trust, ensuring security during file transfer.

Option 2. Transfer files during a remote connection session

Step 1. On the Recipient computer, log in to the same account as you’ve logged in to on the Controller computer.

Step 2. On the Controller computer, go to the Device tab, choose your target computer, and click File Transfer to start transferring files.

File Transfer AnyViewer

Tips: This option is suitable for users who need to frequently access their own remote computers and transfer files, ensuring convenience during transfer.

Whatever options you select, a File Transfer dialog box will appear. The path of the Controller computer is shown on the left of the box, and the path of the Recipient computer is shown on the right. You’re able to transfer files between devices (from the Controller computer to the Recipient computer or from the Recipient computer to the Controller computer) freely by clicking the arrows after choosing the target files.

Choose Files

You can see the transfer status at the bottom of the File Transfer dialog box. Right-click to pause or remove the transfer task. The dialog can be closed when the transfer is complete.

Transfer Status


This post primarily introduces how to transfer files if drag and drop in Remote Desktop isn’t available on Windows 11, 10, 8, or 7... If you would like remote access software that will be not limited by the same LAN and is easy to set up, you can also use AnyViewer to transfer files between Windows devices. Choose according to your own preference.