[c#] How do I drag and drop files into an application?


Be aware of windows vista/windows 7 security rights - if you are running Visual Studio as administrator, you will not be able to drag files from a non-administrator explorer window into your program when you run it from within visual studio. The drag related events will not even fire! I hope this helps somebody else out there not waste hours of their life...


I've seen this done in Borland's Turbo C++ environment, but I'm not sure how to go about it for a C# application I'm working on. Are there best practices or gotchas to look out for?

You need to be aware of a gotcha. Any class that you pass around as the DataObject in the drag/drop operation has to be Serializable. So if you try and pass an object, and it is not working, ensure it can be serialized as that is almost certainly the problem. This has caught me out a couple of times!

The solution of Judah Himango and Hans Passant is available in the Designer (I am currently using VS2015):

Another common gotcha is thinking you can ignore the Form DragOver (or DragEnter) events. I typically use the Form's DragOver event to set the AllowedEffect, and then a specific control's DragDrop event to handle the dropped data.