Saturday, 10 March 2012

Why Isn’t There an Option to Confirm Drag and Drop in Windows?

Ah, criticising Microsoft is a bit like picking on the disabled kid.

Anyway, one of the issues we have with Windows is when a user accidentally moves a directory.  How do you accidentally move a directory you ask. By moving your mouse across the screen. Sometimes, for one reason or another, as you drag the mouse the left button gets held down and suddenly you’ve moved a directory. If it’s a small directory the user may not even be aware that they’ve done it – and sometime later we get asked to restore the “missing” directory.

This has happened often enough that I’ve been asked to modify permissions on directories so that users can’t do it. The problem is I can’t – the permissions on the directories are fine. The users concerned are supposed to be able to do what they do.

Really this isn’t a security issue, it’s a usability issue. If Microsoft had provided an option in Windows so that the user would be asked to confirm a move then we would all be happy. Unfortunately, they haven’t.

You might be thinking “so what – it’s the user’s fault, they should have been more careful”. However, it’s easy to do. Browse to your favourite search engine and enter Windows Explorer move confirm and you’ll see that plenty of other people have the same problem.

So, Microsoft, why haven’t you fixed this issue? It shouldn’t be hard – you only need to provide a tick box under the Folder Options menu and then, if it’s ticked, ask the user to confirm a drag and drop move. One of your gun Windows programmers could probably knock it up over lunch.

It’s just not good enough!

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