I want to do something I think is very simple. Select one or more files, and move those files to a folder. Obviously I can do something like this from the terminal, but sometimes I want to just use finder and a trackpad if I already have the directory open in finder.

So, I select the files I want to move, and then try to click and drag these files as I would with a mouse on any other operating system. However on MacOS, as soon as I try to click to begin the drag motion, the operating system interprets the "click" as a single action, and so a preview window is opened on a single file, and the selection is lost.

How can I do what I think is a pretty basic task? This is honestly very frustrating.

  • Have you reviewed Apple’s guides How to use the Force Touch Trackpad and Turn on three finger drag on Mac Trackpad? This is very good info on all of the features of the Mac Trackpad
    – Allan
    May 1, 2023 at 17:35
  • 1
    Three-finger drag has worked for me for years, and I use it multiple times a day.
    – IconDaemon
    May 1, 2023 at 18:04
  • I'd love to know how to do this on Macs without Force Touch [I'm new to the whole idea of trackpads & so far find them irritatingly intractable ;) - we don't yet know exactly what Mac the OP is on...
    – Tetsujin
    May 1, 2023 at 18:08
  • I use the three fingers to swap between workspaces, so I can't use it for drag. Literally every other laptop allows you to click and drag things using the trackpad. And people say apple has a good user experience lmao
    – JLCarveth
    May 2, 2023 at 13:54
  • @JLCarveth - it's not wise to antagonise those you're asking help of. Because you have a force-touch trackpad, there's a difference between 3-finger touch & three-finger force touch. "Every other laptop" just doesn't have this degree of control.
    – Tetsujin
    May 2, 2023 at 14:43

1 Answer 1


You're enacting Force Touch by pressing through to a second level on the trackpad which in Finder opens Quick Look on the item below the mouse. Either…

  • don't press through to that second level, just depress the first level like a normal click, or
  • turn off Force Touch in System Settings → Trackpad.
  • No idea why this isn't accepted or upvoted more... That's the answer.
    – Thinkr
    Jun 1, 2023 at 5:44

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