The computer mouse, in all possible ways, like the touchpad for laptops and the graphical pen, has been an inseparable part of every computer user throughout the world. In fact, thinking about starting up your computer and doing all your tasks with the pure keyboard is like a nightmare! Especially when it comes to working in some complex environments like the Internet or getting busy handling some heavy computer operations.

A friendly companion of mouse usage is its capability to make our computing lives more fruitful by letting us do some mouse related tasks with ease. All of you are probably familiar with the dragging and dropping process. It’s no new phenomenon and we do it nearly everyday; for making shortcuts, for moving our files or for making copies of some applications and data types inside some other folders.

Your first and best guess for dragging your files to different locations is through clicking on a file and holding down your left mouse button (or right mouse button for right handed people) and moving your files from one place to another. During this process, you know that you shouldn’t let go of your mouse button until you find your proper new place for your file. You can then release your finger and it’s done.

For example, you have just dragged and dropped a file from a folder to your desktop. Now, is there any way that you can have more control over the drag and drop? Is it possible to tell Windows to hold a file for you with the mouse while you go drink a cup of coffee and then return to finish the process? Is there a way to do this without the routine holding down and pressing your mouse button as you do all the time?

You may not be expecting it, but the answer is yes. Please read on to explore. There is a feature on the Windows XP mouse panel that allows you to click on a file for a second or so (in fact, you can decide on its time), then release your finger and your file is automatically locked, selected and ready to move as if you are still holding down your mouse button. Then, by simply moving your mouse, the dragging is done. So, whenever you find your desired place for the file to be placed, you can just finish your process with a single click. Can you believe that?!

To begin this technique, start by clicking on Start and going to the Control Panel. Please make sure that you are using the Classic View of your Control Panel. Then select the Mouse icon.

Now, your Mouse Properties window has appeared. Take a look at the top of the window to make sure the first tab, the Buttons Tab, is selected.

Now, look at the lower section of the window. This is where you will find the ClickLock properties area. Check the box that reads “Turn On ClickLock.” Upon checking this box, the Settings button becomes vivid.

Click on it to pop up a small window with the ClickLock Settings feature.

As you can see in the image, there is a bar extended from the short to long period. With this, you can select the amount of time you want Windows to hold down your mouse button for you when you’re transferring a file from one location to another. With whatever time period you choose, just remember that you won’t have to continuously hold down your mouse button by yourself. Windows will do it for you. So, if you think you want it held for a long time, choose the long end of the scroll bar. Please note that Windows XP does this through software and your mouse button is not held down physically.

For an experiment, select the shortest time for now. Once you do that, you can experience the results right at this very moment. Just click on the blue header of the small window for nearly a second and then release your finger. What has happened? Without any clicking on any mouse button, just move your mouse to see your window moving.

You see, it’s a really comfortable method. You are dragging a window, but without your routine, repetitious holding down of your mouse button. Then, when you make a single click, it actually unselects your window. Try it! Move your ClickLock window to a corner of your desktop and then make a single click to drop your window there.

If you choose longer ranges, you should press your mouse button down longer before letting go. It’s really up to you to find the most convenient time for your needs.

Now, click OK and OK again to exit. The ClickLock feature is a very handy method that simply enables us to drag our files without having to continuously hold down our mouse buttons. It is also certainly more enjoyable and comfortable.

~ Hamid Reza