How to Use Drag and Drop to Share Content Across Apps in iPhone

Drag and drop

This secret trick in iOS 15 lets you share and save content like a speedster.

iOS 15 has been out for a few days now. Everyone tests out all the features Apple showcases at the WWDC as soon as they get their hands on the software. And they turn out to be as terrific as one expects them to be.

But after that, the real fun begins: taking deeper dives into the OS and discovering the hidden gems. These underrated features that might not get a mention at the keynote even steal the show for some users. iOS 15 has many such new features, one of them being the drag and drop feature.

With the drag and drop feature, you can share photos and even links by just dragging the content from one app and drop it into another.

Previously, the drag and drop feature was available only for the iPad. But that’s changing with iOS 15. Here’s how to use it.

Dragging and Dropping Photos

The most useful application of this feature is to share or save photos on your iPhone. You can use this to save photos from the browser onto your iPhone or send it directly as a message. You can also share photos from your gallery and send them as messages. This even works for dragging a photo from one conversation into another or emailing it. It’ll also work for any videos in your gallery.

Note: You won’t be able to drag the photos in all the apps. Currently, it works in browsers such as Safari or Chrome, Photos, Messages, and the Email app (even third-party apps) to name a few. It did not work in third-party apps such as WhatsApp or Google Photos.

You can drag photos from any webpage in the browser or any album in the Photos app.

Tap and hold the photo you want to drag. Depending on where you’re dragging the photo from, related options will appear.

Ignore those options and while holding the photo, drag it anywhere else on the screen. It’ll be hanging as a thumbnail in the air.

Now, with one hand, keep holding onto the photo thumbnail. And with the other hand, open the app where you want to share the photo. You can go to the Home screen and then open the app. Or you could have it opened and go to it from the App Switcher. The only important thing to keep in mind is to not let go of the thumbnail. Keep holding it until you reach the final destination.

If you want to save the photo to your gallery, open the Photos app. Then, go to the album where you want to save the photo. Or, simply go to the Recents album or the Library tab. Then release the photo you were holding, and it’ll be saved in your gallery.

To share it as a message, open the conversation of the person you want to share it with and drop it anywhere in the conversation. It’ll appear in the compose textbox automatically.

You can also drop it onto the message thread instead of opening the conversation.

Tip: To see whether you can successfully drop a photo into an app, look for a little ‘+’ icon in the top-right corner of the thumbnail.

You can also move multiple photos using this drag and drop method.

Dragging and Dropping Links or Text

Just like photos, you can also drag and drop links or text from one app to another. The major difference here is that the gamut of apps where it works is far greater than the ones for sharing photos.

You can share links from the browser or text from another app to almost any app: Message, Email, even third-party apps like WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook, etc. For sharing photos, the apps where you can drop the photo are very limited as of now.

Using this feature, you can also drag text from a plethora of apps like share text from messages, notes, reminders, a webpage, email, etc. But when it comes to dragging text from third-party apps like WhatsApp or Facebook, it still doesn’t work.

Just as with photos, tap and hold the link or text you want to share.

For sharing text, first, select the text you want to share and then tap and hold it.

To share a note, instead of sharing text from within a note by selecting it, you can also drag the complete note. From the list or gallery view of notes, tap and hold the note and drag it anywhere on the screen.

For either case, i.e., whether it’s the text or a link, it will appear in a little floating rectangle on the screen. Keep holding it the entire time while you open the app where you want to drop it.

Now, whether it’s a link or text, drop it anywhere that supports it. For a link, you can drop it in the browser to open it. Otherwise for either of them, drop them in any messaging apps, email, notes, etc. To confirm that you can drop the link/ text in an app, look out for the green ‘+’ icon in the right of the floating text or link.


Once you get the hang of it, which won’t take more than a few seconds, you’d realize how easy it makes everything. You don’t need to tap copy/paste or the share options. Neither do you need to go looking for the save option in the browser. All of these do take a few seconds at least. But drag and drop works in a flash.