How to Drag and Drop Text and Other Content Between Apps on iPhone

BY Rajesh

Published 20 Mar 2022

iOS 15 features

With iOS 15, you can use cross-app drag and drop on your iPhone to move things like documents, text, and images between apps. The feature feels more intuitive and seamless compared to the long-standing copy-paste feature. No wonder it’s been on the wishlist of most iOS users for a long time.

For those unaware, cross-app drag and drop has existed on iPad for several years (since iOS 11 in 2017). Apple had withheld this productivity-centric feature on iPhone. Perhaps, the Cupertino giant wanted to keep it exclusive to the iPad or thought that the gesture might not work as swiftly on iPhone. Now that it is accessible let me show you how to drag and drop text and other content on iPhone running iOS 15 or later. 

How to Drag and Drop Text Between Apps on iPhone

You no longer need to rely on the traditional copy-pasting gesture to move text and URLs between apps on your iPhone. 

Step 1: Launch the app with the text you wish to copy to another app and select the text. For this nifty guide, I will copy the text in Safari and paste it into the Notes app. 

Step 2: Now, long-press on the selected text and make sure to hold the selection with your finger. It’s worth pointing out that long-pressing the selected text makes it rise and adhere to your finger so that you can drag it around on the screen. 

Use cross-app drag and drop on iPhone

Step 3: Next, use another finger to swipe up from the bottom of the screen and head into the destination app from the app preview or the home screen. 

Step 4: Navigate to the preferred location in the destination app while still holding the selected text with your finger and drop it. As you drag the selected content, animations and visual cues play a vital role in identifying possible destination text boxes. 

Drag and drop text on iOS

How to Drag and Drop Documents Between Apps on iPhone

Dragging and dropping documents between apps is just as straightforward. So, to move audio files, video clips, or PDFs from one app to another, follow the same steps above.

How to Drag and Drop Images Between Apps on iPhone

Dragging and dropping images between apps on iPhone feels as seamless as on iPad.

Step 1: Open the app with images (for example, the Photos app) that you want to move to another app. I’m going to drag some pictures from my photo library to the stock Notes app.

Step 2: Select the images and long-press them. 

Step 3: Using another finger, swipe up from the bottom of the screen to navigate to the destination app from the app switcher or home screen. 

Step 4: Drop the selected images in the preferred location in the destination app.

drag and drop images on iPhone

How to Drag and Drop Screenshots Between Apps on iPhone

Interestingly, dragging and dropping screenshots on iPhone is a bit different.

Step 1: Capture a screenshot on your iPhone by pressing the side button and the volume up button together. Note that the drag and drop gesture supports the selection of multiple items. You can take advantage of this feature to move numerous screenshots at once.

Step 2: Now, press and hold the screenshot thumbnail that shows up at the bottom left corner of the screen. Make sure to wait until the white frame around the screenshot thumbnail disappears.

Step 3: Next, use another finger to tap the app you want to drop the screenshot in. After that, navigate to the desired location and then drop the screenshots there.

So, that’s how the all-new drag and drop gesture works on iPhone. I’m delighted to see this long-awaited iPad feature on iPhone. As the contemporary iPhone models have comparatively larger screens, it’s apt to make features like cross-app drag and drop, PiP mode, split mode, and slide over available on them. What do you have to say about it, and what other iPad feature would you like to see on iPhone in the future? Be sure to drop your thoughts in the comments section below.