Did you know you can drag and drop between iPhone apps? This simple trick will make navigating iOS far more efficient

iPhone 15 Pro with a titanium finish running iOS 17
(Image credit: Gerald Lynch / Future / Apple)

Navigating iOS can be complicated at times, especially considering a lot of neat tricks are sometimes hidden in plain sight. One of those tricks is the ability to drag and drop files and photos between applications making your iPhone far more efficient for getting work tasks done on the go.

Most of us opt for the built-in menus in apps to insert attachments or add media, but that quickly becomes frustrating when you need to scroll back through months and months of photos to find exactly what you’re looking for. Instead, this iPhone trick lets you take the file or photo from wherever you found it in the first place and simply drag it across applications.

iPhone 15 Pro | $999 at Apple

iPhone 15 Pro | $999 at Apple

You won't find a better 6.1-inch iPhone on the market and the 15 Pro has all the bells and whistles ready to get the most of iOS 18 and Apple Intelligence later this year.

Drag and drop

To drag and drop between applications simply find the photo or file that you want to insert into another app and hold down on it until you can move it around with your finger. From there swipe up to close the app, select the destination app all while still holding down with your original finger, and then drag the file or photo into the destination app. It can feel a little convoluted to start but once you’ve got the hang of it dragging and dropping becomes a powerful tool in your repertoire.

If the written steps are hard to understand, I’ve embedded a great YouTube video from Beardfm which not only shows you how to drag and drop iPhone but also what works and what doesn’t.

Everything to Drag-and-Drop on iPhone - YouTube Everything to Drag-and-Drop on iPhone - YouTube
Watch On

The power of drag and drop really comes to life on the bigger screen of the iPad, allowing you to get serious work done. I can’t imagine not using drag and drop on either my iPhone 15 Pro Max or my 11-inch iPad Pro as it makes the devices far more intuitive to navigate.

iOS 18 and iPadOS 18 launch later this year and with the added functionality of Apple Intelligence these platforms are going to become even more powerful. Combine that new AI power with simple navigation tricks like drag and drop and you’ll be getting more work done than ever on your favorite Apple devices — “What’s a computer?”, Right?

John-Anthony Disotto
How To Editor

John-Anthony Disotto is the How To Editor of iMore, ensuring you can get the most from your Apple products and helping fix things when your technology isn’t behaving itself. Living in Scotland, where he worked for Apple as a technician focused on iOS and iPhone repairs at the Genius Bar, John-Anthony has used the Apple ecosystem for over a decade and prides himself in his ability to complete his Apple Watch activity rings. John-Anthony has previously worked in editorial for collectable TCG websites and graduated from The University of Strathclyde where he won the Scottish Student Journalism Award for Website of the Year as Editor-in-Chief of his university paper. He is also an avid film geek, having previously written film reviews and received the Edinburgh International Film Festival Student Critics award in 2019.  John-Anthony also loves to tinker with other non-Apple technology and enjoys playing around with game emulation and Linux on his Steam Deck.

In his spare time, John-Anthony can be found watching any sport under the sun from football to darts, taking the term “Lego house” far too literally as he runs out of space to display any more plastic bricks, or chilling on the couch with his French Bulldog, Kermit.