Unable to Drag and Drop Messages or Folders in Outlook 2016

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84 Responses

  1. Carlos says:

    Nice, worked for me! Thanks.

  2. Patrick Lo says:

    I read that article and tried. Unfortunately, I had no luck at all.

  3. Paul says:

    Helped me too, thanks very much from London.

  4. Lauren says:

    Thank you this worked for me also.

  5. Kelley says:

    THANK YOU!!!

  6. Chris says:


    I only had this issue using Office 2016 Pro / Windows 10 Anniversary, this started on insider builds about 4-6 weeks ago, reverted back to Win8/10 to get the upgrade since release was around the corner and it worked fine – came back after Anniversary update yesterday.

    This solution does work, any idea why?

  7. Karen says:

    Worked for me too. Many thanks.

  8. Zubair Alexander says:

    @Chris. Like I said, it makes no sense but it works. Why it works would be a question that only the developers can answer :).

  9. Lain says:

    Worked just once then stopped again :(.

  10. Sean says:

    I didn’t have this problem until last week’s auto update. Now I can’t drag. ESC doesn’t fix it. Any ideas?

  11. Kip says:

    Worked. So strange.

  12. Melasian says:

    DOES NOT WORK FOR ME EITHER!!! Auto updated last night and now cannot drag emails into different folders, attachments cannot be dragged from one email to a reply email (it creates a whole new blank email with the attachment). This is the second computer that has done exactly the same thing after the auto update.

    Someone please help!!!!!!!

  13. Anthony says:

    I found if I hold the mouse button down over the item I want to drag for a few seconds (anywhere from 2-7 seconds), then eventually the ‘ghosted’ representation of the item I want to drag appears, and I can then successfully drag and drop.

    This only started to be an issue for me in the past week or so.

  14. Zubair Alexander says:

    Anthony, that’s very interesting. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  15. Brandi says:

    Thank you for this! I had to close and reopen Outlook once I hit the escape key a few times but then it worked on the first try.

  16. Clark says:

    This worked for me.

    However, I still can’t drag to subfolders when I use the search function. Hitting Esc just exits the search.

  17. Trent says:

    Just uncheck and recheck offline cache mode for the primary data file and this fixes the problem.

  18. Shelley says:

    I just went through the Anniversay update and the ESC key fix for Outlook 2016 isn’t working for me at all…plus I’m having the credential box popping up, too…another bug in Outlook that I can’t seem to find a fix for…aaarrrgggg!!!!!!!

  19. Mikael says:

    Trent’s solution with uncheck/check offline cache did the trick!

  20. Jan says:

    Tried all of the above not working. Received an Office update 2 days ago, and has had the problem since. I find this seriously frustrating.

  21. Matt says:

    Trent nailed it! Simply uncheck “offline cache” mode in File-Account Settings-Data Files. Double click your data file. Uncheck box. Restart Outlook. It works. If you want to recheck “offline cache” you can. Restart Outlook and drag and drop emails to folders continues to work.

  22. Penny says:

    I tried ESC and at first it didn’t work. Then I pressed the ESC for a few seconds. Then click and drag worked once. After that it’s back to not working. I’m really after a permanent fix – it’s driving me crackers!

  23. Dave says:

    Like Anthony (Sept 2nd) I find that holding down the mouse (see icon remains as arrow) and slowly dragging (I usually try up and down) within the item (usually) brings up the “no entry” (circle with diagonal line) icon within a few seconds, once you have the “no entry” icon you can then drag to the folder.

    It doesn’t always work first time (if the icon does not change within about 5 seconds it doesn’t ever seem to) but repeated attempts eventually work (so far).

    Pressing ESC did not help.

    Using the Move drop-down and the history list is probably quicker for recently used folders. Fix needed please MS.

    I’m using Outlook2016 from Office365 on Win10 Anniversary update and a MS Exchange-hosted email account (but emails in a Data File exported from another account behave in the same way).

  24. Mark says:

    I had the same problem starting. Trent’s suggestion about uncheck/rechecked offline cache mode worked for me.

  25. Darren says:

    As a work-around, I discovered that if I click & hold within the tiny area of the “Sort by: Icon” column (to the left of sender’s name in the “FROM” column), I can drag that email. None of the other solutions listed here worked. A software auto-update is what trashed my Outlook functionality. Thanks, Microsoft!

  26. Jeff says:

    I am seeing the same thing as Anthony. Esc thing didn’t work. It started with office 2013, I uninstalled it an loaded 2016 with same result. I have tried removing it from cached mode, didn’t work in either online mode or cached mode after putting it back.

    Strange for sure.

  27. Nico says:

    Great! Lifesaver. Who would ever have thought the solution would be so basic! thanks so much!

  28. Thom says:

    My Drag and Drop for Outlook 16 (365) stopped working yesterday after updates were installed. Went back to previous version and is working properly now. This was the first time Drag and Drop did not work in Outlook 16.

  29. Thom says:

    I should have explained my previous post better. Windows installed the Anniversary update (version 1067) yesterday. This is when the drag and drop problem started for me. I went back to the previous version which cured the problem. Drag and drop is so important to the way that I run my business that if I cannot have it on Windows, I will convert to Apple.

  30. Joshua says:

    Thanks Trent, your solution works!

  31. Waka says:

    I have found it is the view settings in Outlook. Adjust them until the link starts to work. I went with the reading pane. This tends to happen after updates.

  32. Rolf says:

    It works !! Windows 7 Enterprise, 64 bit, Outlook 2106, Office 365.

  33. Carl says:

    Trent got it right. Thank you. This is how to do it.
    Turn on or off Cached Exchange Mode.
    Click the File tab.
    Click Account Settings, and then click Account Settings.
    On the E-mail tab, click the Exchange account, and then click Change.
    Under Microsoft Exchange server, select or clear the Use Cached Exchange Mode check box.
    Exit and then restart Microsoft Outlook 2010.

  34. Carl says:

    It worked on my Outlook 2016.

  35. Rob says:

    Hi all. Just thought I would share this post as I had a similar issue with a user today. Turns out he had old cached credentials for the Exchange server. He was being prompted for his password every time he opened outlook, and whilst he would put in the correct password and was able to send and receive emails as though it was working without issue, he was unable to drag / drop anything. Closing Outlook, flushing the cached credentials via the credential manager, and restarting Outlook, fixed the issue for me.

  36. Giorgio says:

    ESC did not work for me (after Win 10 Anniv Update), but toggling the offline cache mode did work (thanks Trent!). I was able to turn the cache off, restart Outlook, turn the cache back on, restart Outlook and now I have the cache AND can drag emails to folders,

  37. Bill says:

    This absolutely worked. I could not believe it and my first thought was a single word that I cannot write here and rhymes with Luck. I have a Windows 7 64-bit Professional SP1 installation and Microsoft Outlook 2016 32-bit. I am commenting in case it helps others and to thank you for the info.

  38. Steve says:

    I had same problem, ESC and uncheck/check cache mode didn’t work. Closed outlook but found it was still running under task manager. Right click -> End Task, when I opened Outlook back up everything was working again 🙂

  39. Marie-Claire says:

    Esc worked for me too! Thanks

  40. Petra says:

    OMG… It actually worked after hitting the ESCAPE KEY; but I had to hit it multiple times….Crazy….

  41. Maureen says:

    Holy cow, it worked. Tried for an hour to get it going and finally found your answer. Outlook is so screwy.

  42. Craig says:

    Actually, you can drag and drop, but it requires a bit of a workaround. It would be tough to explain, but if you click on the email and then slowly drag it and hesitate over the left hand side of the email, it will show a circle with line through it. Then, you slowly drag it to the folders area and it will allow you to drag and drop.

    It’s a pain in the butt, but it works. MS still needs to update this though.

  43. Craig says:

    Well, the cache clean up solution worked for a few days, but then went back to the same issue again.

  44. Loreen says:

    ESC did not work for me. Pressing F9 seemed to work – but only sometimes.
    I just turned off Cached Exchange Mode – drag N drop seems to be working now.
    Copied from Carl:
    Trent got it right. Thank you. This is how to do it.
    Turn on or off Cached Exchange Mode.
    Click the File tab.
    Click Account Settings, and then click Account Settings.
    On the E-mail tab, click the Exchange account, and then click Change.
    Under Microsoft Exchange server, select or clear the Use Cached Exchange Mode check box.
    Exit and then restart Microsoft Outlook 2010.

  45. Avi says:

    For those of you who tried the ESC key solution and it didn’t work. It didn’t work for me either until I tried “control ESC” simultaneously.
    Try that! It works!

  46. Aleksi says:

    Thanks Trent and Matt! I was feeling *so* frustrated… The ESC-hitting didn’t work, but the unchecking/restart/checking/restart did the trick for me! THANKS!

  47. Elle says:

    Thank you so much for this. My jaw dropped when this worked–just like you said, lol. I have been looking for a solution to this problem for months and decided to Google it again today and this thread came up. THANK YOU!!

  48. Ron says:

    Yes! That IS all that it took to restore dragging and dropping to my Outlook. Weird, but easy! Thank you!!!!

  49. Adam says:

    Thank you!

  50. JV says:

    Disabling, closing, enabling cache option seemed to work for me.

  51. Tim says:

    None of the fixes worked for me EXCEPT this:

    Click the File tab on Outlook 2016.
    Click Account Settings, and then click Account Settings.
    Highlight the email account.
    Click “Change”.
    Under “Offline Settings” uncheck and then recheck the “Use Cached Exchange Mode” box.
    Click Next and then Finish.
    Do this for each email address you have assigned to your Outlook profile.
    Exit and then restart Microsoft Outlook 2016.

  52. Cathy says:

    Oh my gosh! No way!! It works! I would never have figured that out! I was getting mad thinking they had removed the drag and drop feature. Thank you!

  53. Ben Campbell says:

    SECONDED 17/11/16
    Trent nailed it! Simply uncheck “offline cache” mode in File-Account Settings-Data Files. Double click your data file. Uncheck box. Restart Outlook. It works. If you want to recheck “offline cache” you can. Restart Outlook and drag and drop emails to folders continues to work.

  54. Roger Cruz says:

    After installing Office 2016 Ent, I am seeing the same annoying behavior. The ESC does not work for me but one of the commenters said to hold the mouse button down for 3-5 secs. When I do that, I am then able to drag them. Very annoying!

  55. Brian says:

    Trent’s suggestion worked for me also. ESC did nothing (although it has in the past). Disabling Offline Cache Mode on the primary data file, closing & restarting Outlook, enabling Offline Cache Mode, closing & restarting Outlook, worked perfectly. Thank you!

  56. Georges says:

    Rob’s solution worked for me.

    -a shared mailbox credentials pop up appeared after O2016 update; did not remember the PW so ignored it; the drag drop problem appeared
    -after finding out the actual password, and restarting outlook the problem disappeared 🙂

  57. Angela says:

    Thank you sooooo much! you saved my day :o)

  58. Ulrich says:

    Works fine. Thx Alexander!

  59. Susan says:

    Thanks worked like a charm.

  60. Alexander Turovsky says:

    This is a general issue. Microsoft claims solution ETA is December 2016

    Drag and drop emails and attachments in Outlook does not work:

    Alexander Turovsky
    Senior IT Support Technician, Perion Networks

  61. Ryan says:

    Trent, thank you so much!

  62. Sarah says:

    I genuinely can’t believed that just worked! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

  63. Kelli says:

    I have tried hitting Esc several times. Not working still. Is there a current update to fix this? I am using the App through Office 365 for business… not online Outlook

  64. Gail says:

    Thanks Anthony! the holding down for 2-7 seconds works most consistently for me.

  65. Stan says:

    Thanks Matt, who explained how to apply Trent’s solution – it worked!

  66. Courtney West says:

    works better doing it then closing outlook then hitting the esc button again 🙂

  67. Ravi says:

    Thank you Trent – disabling offline cache mode helped me.

  68. Chance says:

    Thank you, Trent – your uncheck/check cache solution worked for me!
    For anyone else that isn’t sure where to locate this:


    Turn on or off Cached Exchange Mode:
    Click the File tab.
    Click Account Settings, and then click Account Settings.
    On the E-mail tab, click the Exchange account, and then click Change.
    Under Microsoft Exchange server, select or clear the Use Cached Exchange Mode check box.
    Exit and then restart Microsoft Outlook

  69. Julie Starr says:

    Yep, I sat with the same look on my face as I half hearted hit the key thinking “it can’t be that simple” boom it worked…….thanks.

  70. Kathy says:

    Thanks so much! Worked for me.

  71. Nayda says:

    Thank you very much!!! All the way from Colombia 🙂

  72. JD says:

    Worked. Love the simple fixes. I was ready to start uninstalling and reinstalling Office. This saved me boat loads of time! Thank You!

  73. Slawek says:

    I am shocked!!!
    I thought that it will not work.
    Escape button “Are you for real?”
    It does work
    Thank you for solution and I hope it is only temporary problem 🙂

  74. David says:

    I used to use this feature a lot ..eg grabbing a whole bunch of separate emails and attaching them into a draft email with comment and then sending [just one email with a bunch of attachments] …but suddenly last week couldn’t do this ..feature was there but would only drag n drop the email shaded email ..useless …until now !!!
    This has been an issue for a couple of days ..but sorted .. a fix from 2013..!!!

    Compose a new mail message
    Open the new mail message in a separate window (icon is located upper right of the new mail message)
    with both the inbox and new mail message windows open on your screen (split the screen]

    drag & drop the message you want from the inbox (any folder) to the empty new message text body .

    this will create an attachment in the new email message[s].

  75. Jil says:

    Thank you!! This worked perfectly for me! Crazy.

  76. Sylvester says:

    This worked for me. I have been working as an IT consultant for 8 years and have never tried something so stupid, but so easy… Thanks 🙂

  77. Sebba says:

    Windows 8
    Lost permission to drag only certain emails in to a desired folder. The address was from one supplier only, every other email from any other source worked when dragging into the specific sub folder.

    Work around ended up deadly simple, the email that wouldn’t move into that folder worked by dragging them into a newly created folder then dragging them from that folder into the correct one.

    Don’t know why it was locked – but every other work around failed i.e., pressing ESC blah, blah, blah.

  78. Karen says:

    So simple and it worked. Thanks for sharing the info.

  79. John says:

    Awesome, thanks! Solved it for me too.

  80. Steve says:

    It worked for me as well.

    Now if you could find a fix so that the online archive doesn’t collapse all folders upon shut down of Outlook, I would be grateful. I’m a folder junkie and recognize it’s my issue with a searchable archive, but I want them not to collapse. 🙂

  81. Chris says:

    Tried all of the below – ESC, switchinig cahced mode, quick repair, full repair. What I think fixed it was resetting Internet Explorer settings – not Edge – Close all other windows and Apps then in Internet Explorer Settings – Advanced – Restore advanced settings – also Reset… and ensure it does reset and prompt to reboot.

  82. Nick says:

    My issue is slightly different, in that I can no longer drag and drop between grouped emails within the inbox. It worked fine for me before I moved desks (and computer). I have tried all of the suggestions, but nothing seems to work.

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