How-To Geek

Upload Files Faster with Drag and Drop in Google Chrome


There’s nothing more annoying than saving a file somewhere on your hard drive, and then having to browse for that file again when you’re trying to upload it somewhere on the web. Thankfully Google Chrome makes this process much easier.

Note: this might potentially work in Firefox 4, but we didn’t take the time to test it out. It definitely doesn’t work in Firefox 3.6 or Internet Explorer.

Using Drag and Drop for File Upload Controls

Putting a line of text here to explain this is almost pointless, given the screenshot illustration—but if you insist, the basic idea is that anywhere there’s a file upload control on a web page, you can simply drag and drop the file onto it to select that file.


Once you do so, the file will be selected in the control, and then you can use the Share or Upload button, depending on what the site provides you.


I’ve been using this for a while and didn’t really think about it until a friend was watching me upload something and got really surprised when I simply dragged and dropped it onto the form. That’s when I realized… I bet other people don’t know about this! It’s a stupid geek trick!

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 12/7/10

Comments (19)

  1. Hatryst

    I wonder how did you discover this trick ;)

  2. helpive

    I managed to discover this by myself too. I just got used to uploading attachments to gmail so naturally that I did the same thing on the other sites.

  3. ck

    but why my chrome can’t do this?version 8.0.552.215. erm…

  4. Gouthaman Karunakaran

    Nice trick. But I knew it before. It’s kinda obvious since we drag and drop music files into programs and a lot of other stuff. A standard (not-so-well-known) trick.

  5. Hatryst

    You knew it before? It isn’t a standard trick, buddy. Try it in Firefox or any other browser, it won’t work.

  6. David Levine

    I knew Gmail supported this, but I didn’t realize it worked elsewhere. Thanks for the tip!

  7. HellSt0rm

    when you download a picture with google chrome and it is on the transferbar at the bottom, you can drag it from there and do the same.

  8. Ali

    Nice trick ;)

  9. hankchristian

    I have been doing this with Firefox 3.6 for a couple of months.

  10. John-Hans Melcher

    Wow….love it….even the drag and drop into Gmail attachments. That’s new for me too. Alright!
    Gratitude to you Sir! John-Hans Melcher

  11. ReynaldoRiv

    I didn’t realize this worked outside of Gmail. Thanks!

  12. Carlin

    Loving the geeky goodness, thanks for sharing!

  13. Paultx

    You start with:

    “There’s nothing more annoying than saving a file somewhere on your hard drive, and then having to browse for that file again when you’re trying to upload it somewhere on the web.”

    But the trick doesn’t save you from having to browse for the files to upload. It only saves you from opening the Open dialog box.

  14. funkybebel


  15. googledude

    Is there a way for firefox to this?????

  16. Dooh

    wow… nice trick

  17. Justin

    it has done this in Safari for a while.

  18. EtienneB

    It is a relatively new technique in Chrome, I tried without success … Yet it was already available in IE 6!

    I did not know she had finally been implemented in Chrome! Thank you!

  19. SumDum

    This is not a feature of Chrome, as witnessed by those proclaiming it’s use in other browsers in previous comments, it is simply the correct pairing of operating system component understandings and the browser rendered user input able to serve as a operating system compatible drop target and is possible in any of the browsers without any special work other than conforming to input standards of the decided target operating system.

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