Disclaimer: I've been Googling and experimenting on this for hours and have found people looking for answers - but no answers...

SharePoint Online has very intuitive support for drag-and-drop from one's PC to SharePoint (upload). What I need to do is offer (technophobic) users a simple way to drag-and-drop files from SharePoint to one's PC (download). When I attempt to do so, it creates shortcuts on the PC to the SharePoint file. I've been experimenting with both IE and Chrome and can not get either to work.

This thread:

discusses the issue but didn't help. Their suggestion of using SharePoint's "Open with Explorer" button is a bit too flaky. I'll have the folder open then truly unexpectedly, I'll get this:

Error message upon flakiness

I tried adding all of these:

to the trusted sites list.

I'm not sure exactly what "select the option to login automatically" means. I guessed it means the "remember me" checkbox on the SharePoint login page. But that didn't help. Still get the same flakiness.

This is the closest thing I found on SP StackExchange:
SharePoint Online Drag and Drop trying to copy from Sharepoint Library to computer or hardrive

In case someone has a completely different solution / approach, the goal is to allow simple and secure transfer of files from someone external to our company to people internal to the company. I really would like to use SharePoint and not something else like DropBox because I could really administer permissions far easier with SharePoint.

Any suggestions would be super-appreciated.

  • Why not Sync the library users are interested. Now OneDrive Sync client sync SharePoint library? Commented May 5, 2017 at 22:12
  • In my experience, I've found OneDrive for Business not to be super solid. I did release a project using it, and have received so many "support calls" that I'm afraid to do it again. And one of the main users for this is external...
    – Eliezer
    Commented May 5, 2017 at 22:14
  • I think there are two more options, 1) map the library to network/location 2) Office Group 365 allows guest sharing/invitation so you can add the external users easily. Commented May 5, 2017 at 22:35
  • @SMerchant, I did try mapping it as a drive and I'm finding it's just as unstable... :(
    – Eliezer
    Commented May 12, 2017 at 20:34
  • I just cannot understand why SharePoint would allow drag-and-drop to upload but not support the same for download. So frustrating!...
    – Eliezer
    Commented Jun 6, 2017 at 17:15

1 Answer 1


Drag and drop from SharePoint Online does work, it's just tricky.

  • Use Internet Explorer
  • Make sure the site is in Trusted Sites
  • Make sure Drag and drop is enabled in Trusted Sites Zone security settings
  • Make sure Allow programmatic clipboard access is enabled in Trusted Sites Zone security settings.
  • Close IE and re open it.
  • Navigate to document library
  • Hold Ctrl down left click document and drag to desktop and drop it.


  • Thank you so much! I can't believe it worked! One strange thing, though: I get this warning a couple seconds after I drag files onto my desktop. Not only is that warning shown after the fact, but clicking either the "OK" or "Cancel" both leave the copies of the files in their new location. So just to be clear, the exact name of the settings that I set to "Enable" are "Allow dragging of content between domains into separate windows" and "Allow Programmatic clipboard access". Do you get the same warning?
    – Eliezer
    Commented Feb 22, 2018 at 22:05
  • Hmm this has not worked for me, I am using WIndows 10, IE SPOL. Any Ideas? Commented Aug 9, 2019 at 12:15

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