Native File Drag & Drop


Certain kinds of applications that manipulate files might want to support the operating system's native file drag & drop feature. Dragging files into web content is common and supported by many websites. Electron additionally supports dragging files and content out from web content into the operating system's world.

To implement this feature in your app, you need to call the webContents.startDrag(item) API in response to the ondragstart event.


Starting with a working application from the Quick Start Guide, add the following lines to the index.html file:

<a href="#" id="drag">Drag me</a>
<script src="renderer.js"></script>

and add the following lines to the renderer.js file:

const { ipcRenderer } = require('electron')

document.getElementById('drag').ondragstart = (event) => {
  ipcRenderer.send('ondragstart', '/absolute/path/to/the/item')

The code above instructs the Renderer process to handle the ondragstart event and forward the information to the Main process.

In the Main process(main.js file), expand the received event with a path to the file that is being dragged and an icon:

const { ipcMain } = require('electron')

ipcMain.on('ondragstart', (event, filePath) => {
    file: filePath,
    icon: '/path/to/icon.png'

After launching the Electron application, try dragging and dropping the item from the BroswerWindow onto your desktop. In this guide, the item is a Markdown file located in the root of the project:

Drag and drop

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