How to Use Cross-app Drag and Drop in iOS 15

How to drag and drop between apps

What to Know

  • Update your iPhone to iOS 15 to use the drag and drop feature.
  • Long-press on a text, URL, image, or document to select it from the source app.
  • Drag and drop the selected content on the appropriate location on the destination app.

iOS15 allows you to drag and drop images, documents, and text between different apps instead of copy-pasting or searching for an image or a document again on another app. Here's how to use cross-app drag and drop in iPhones running on iOS 15.

How Do You Drag and Drop on iOS 15?

iOS 15 allows you to use a continuous gesture to drop text, images, or documents from a source app to a destination app. Before iOS 15, you could drag and drop within a single app only.

Drag ad Drop Text Between Apps 

You can easily move text or URLs between apps instead of copy-pasting them. 

  1. Open the app with the text you want to copy to another app. For example, the Notes app. 

  2. Select the text.

  3. Long press on the selected text and hold the selection with the finger as it hovers over the screen.

  4. With another finger, swipe up on the screen from the bottom and open the destination app from the Home Screen or the app preview.

  5. On the destination app, drop the text on a specific location or a text field. 

    Dragging and dropping text across apps in iOS 15

Drag and Drop Images Between Apps

Image sharing is faster and more intuitive with a drag and drop. On an iPhone, the source is often the Photos app while the destination can be any of the social apps. 

  1. Open the source app with the images you want to drag and drop.

  2. Select the image and long-press it with a finger. 

  3. Use another finger to swipe up from the bottom of the screen to open the destination app from the Home Screen or the app preview. 

  4. Drop the selected image on the desired location of the destination app. 

    Drag and dropping images from Photos to Gmail in iOS 15

Tip:

You can drag and drop an online image from your browser to a messaging app. This is a faster image sharing method compared to downloading the image or taking its screenshot. 

Drag and Drop Documents Between Apps

Follow the same steps as above to drag and drop documents between apps. Files can be audio and video files, PDFs, or any other document format. For example, you can drag and drop a PDF from the Files app to your email. 

Note:

When you drag a cloud document from a source like Google Drive, only the link is shared with the destination and not the entire document. 

How Do I Drag and Drop Between Apps?

Before iOS 15, you could drag and drop within an app but not across apps. It takes some skill with the fingers to do a drag and drop. But it's faster than the typical copy and paste or successive download and upload of a document. 

Drag and drop also allows you to handle multiple files if you can skillfully use two or more fingers. Ideally, keep the destination app and the location for the drop open as a preview in the middle of the screen to make it easier. 

FAQ
  • How do I drag and drop screenshots in iOS 15?

    To drag and drop a screenshot on iOS right after you take it, press and hold the screenshot thumbnail. While still holding down the screenshot thumbnail, use a different finger to tap the app where you want to drag your screenshot.

  • How do I overlay apps on iOS?

    To use Picture-in-Picture on iPhone, go to Settings > General > Picture in Picture and make sure the toggle next to Start PiP Automatically is on. Then, while using a compatible app, go to your home screen and switch to any other app.

  • Why is drag and drop not working on iOS?

    Not all apps support drag and drop. If you're having problems with a specific app, reinstall it.

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