I am missing the functionality to drag and drop layers between QGIS instances a lot! I know there is a plugin that enabales the user to load layers from certain project files but I think it is cumbersome and directly dragging an dropping should be core functionality.

Is it currently possible? Has it ever been possible or is it scheduled for V3?

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    Update: According to Nyall Dawson, the respective feature request has not been addressed yet nor will it be in QGIS 3 – hilpers Jan 29 '17 at 9:22
  • If you right-click on the layer in the layers panel and choose "Styles" --> "Copy Style", you can then right-click on a layer in the other QGIS instance and paste the style. This doesn't directly answer your question, but does take some of the pain out of duplicating layers. – Nate Wanner Jan 30 '17 at 2:55

From today on, there is a plugin Copy layers and groups to clipboard available which enables the user to achieve this functionality. Thanks a lot to the developer, Germán Carrillo (GeoTux)!

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    You're welcome! Questions like yours and one by @Miro made me wonder about that functionality. It turned out to be simpler than I thought thanks to the QGIS API. – Germán Carrillo Feb 7 '17 at 12:46

This is not yet possible.

If there is no open ticket on the the QGIS bug tracker, you could file one.

For more info on how feature requests are handled, see How to effectively get things changed in QGIS?


You can drag and drop files from Windows Explorer to your QGIS canvas. If you know where your data files are located, you can have Explorer open and over top of QGIS (or another monitor if you have more than one) and drag the shape files over. Not quite the same, I know, but still a useful method.

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