Is it possible to cancel file dragging on a Mac? I've noticed that with the escape key, you can cancel file dragging within the Finder, but if you're dragging the file onto another application you can't cancel it (which in my opinion seems very annoying when you really just want to cancel the file dragging). Is there any way to cancel the file dragging in such circumstances?

2 Answers 2


You can drag the file to the menu bar (top bar) and release it. That will cancel the dragging in any app (afaik).


Whilst dragging you can command-Tab (without releasing your click-and-drag). If you command-Tab back to Finder you can then click escape. If you command-tab to any application which will not accept the dropped file then you will receive a beep alert and the drag-and-drop will be cancelled.

  • This doesn't seem to work on High Sierra. Does anyone know ay other methods? The accepted solution (dragging to the menu bar) works but is pretty inconvenient.
    – Locksleyu
    Jan 31, 2019 at 15:16

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