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I would like to set up my PC touchpad so that I can drag when touching with three fingers, like on a Mac.

I haven't found a way to do this.

Here is my device's info

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3 Answers 3

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Just like you, I searched on the whole web, seeking for something to enable this amazing feature, dragging with three fingers! But I found nothing...

So, I developed it. I used the Windows Raw Input API in a C# WPF application, for handling all the contacts with the trackpad (thanks to the RawInput.Touchpad library), and it works well!

If you want to take a look, the app is available on my GitHub: https://github.com/ClementGre/ThreeFingersDragOnWindows

Enjoy!

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  • thanks for your work! i confirm it's good, acceleration and speed are customizable. hopefully haptic trackpads become commonplace on windows in 2024... Commented Dec 21, 2023 at 13:36
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You could use a substitute gesture: double-tap and drag (or tap and half):

  • Tap, immediately tap and hold, then drag
  • Moves an item or selects text
  • Like moving a mouse while you hold down the left button

I'm a macOS user, and can say that this gesture is a very good replacement for three-finger in Windows.

Source:

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  • 7
    Thank you for your answer. This is what I use, but it still is very different from macOS, and thus generates cognitive burden each time I would like to drag something Commented Aug 17, 2018 at 8:34
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    I hated double-tap-drag in Windows 10 and disabled it. In windows it does not function properly. It cannot differentiate between double tap only or double tap and drag. When I double tap something then quickly I move the cursor on the third half tap .. it drags!! .. it is frustrating. Hence, double tap in windows does not replace the 3-fingers drag in Mac. Commented Feb 10, 2021 at 16:12
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    I agree with @AmeenRabea. In Windows this gesture has me moving and dropping random folders into other folders, moving shortcuts in my browsers, etc. It's an absolute mess.
    – Ilya
    Commented May 16, 2022 at 20:19
  • "You could use a substitute gesture: double-tap and drag" - so, instead of the objectively superior and more intuitive solution requested, use the crappy thing you know of already even though you're here because it sucks ass. yeah ok I'll do that then. Commented Jan 12 at 6:59
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While the root cause for unsupporting is that Windows does not fire an event as soon as your fingers touch the pad, but only when you touch the trackpad and raise your fingers, I found a simulation of 3-finger dragging with AutoHotKey:

  1. Position your mouse wherever you want to click and drag from and do a 3 finger tap on the touchpad
  2. Move the mouse using a single finger like you normally do, except now the system acts like you’re click-and-dragging to that location. You can take your finger off the touchpad and on again to cover large portions of the screen, or even use the two finger gesture to scroll through large articles like this one and select the entire text.
  3. When you’re done selecting, tap again either with a single finger or with 3 to end the gesture. You can now copy your selected text, or if you’d been moving windows around, it will now stop following your cursor. (I found that a single finger tap to end the gesture to end the drag feels much more natural, however I added the three finger as well for consistency.)

See details: https://medium.com/@dakshin.k1/enable-3-finger-gesture-for-click-and-drag-on-windows-and-linux-cd7165b66851

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