Why Can’t I Move Anything on my Figma Design? Here’s How To Fix

Canva thrives in offering an exceptional experience to novice designers. Whichever elements you want to incorporate in your designs, you simply drag and drop them.

Why Can't I Move Anything on my Figma Design? Here's How To Fix

It’s annoying to find that you can’t move anything in Canva while in the middle of the design process. This is likely to waste a lot of your time and drag you behind in terms of delivering the output late.

But is this an indication that there is something wrong? Read on to find out what might be happening and how to fix it.

Reasons Why Canva Won’t Let You Move Anything

Before you start clicking things randomly on your Canva design, you first need to identify what is happening. Most of the time, the issue is isolated to some elements, and this is usually relatively easy to fix.

The checklist below offers you reasons why this happens and possible solutions to solve the problem.

1. View Access Only

The first thing you need to check is if your editor is in the correct permissions mode. If you are new to using Canva, note that there are three types of sharing permissions. They include:

  • Edit Access – Edit Access allows you to make your preferred changes to the design. However, you can’t share the design with anybody else since you lack permission.
  • Edit and Share Access – As the name suggests, this option allows you to make edits and share the design. This mostly happens when working with a team, and you want to share the output.
  • View-Only Access – This option does not permit you to edit or share the design. All you can do is to view the design. When you want to edit it, the team leader must permit you to do it.

When the team leader wants to give you the freedom to edit the design, they simply tap on the three dots icon next to the folder and click on the Share button.

If nothing is able to move on your Canva design, there is a high chance that you are in the View-only access. This means that you can’t make any changes to the existing design or share it. To solve this, check your access settings and update your team leader to grant you the freedom to edit.

This issue is not as prevalent if you made the design from a template for personal use since it sets up your editor in Edit and Share Access by default.

Once the access is updated, everything will get back to normal, and you can move things freely.

2. Locked Elements

A bit obviously, locking your elements in Canva prevents them from moving. No matter how you try to drag and drop items in the designs, everything remains frozen. However, locking your elements in Canva is not a bad thing.

If the design has multiple layers, there are high chances they overlap. Once they do, clicking and dragging on an element can also move the element that got caught up in that space in another layer. For example, you might not notice that you clicked on the edge of an image with a transparent background. This makes it difficult for you to focus on a specific aspect.

Overlapping elements in Canva can be a bit tricky to select and move. The solution to helping you operate smoothly is grouping the layers and clicking the lock icon. It enables you to move other elements without impacting the locked-in design.

To check if your elements are locked, click on any element and check if there is a padlock icon in the toolbar. If there is, you can unlock them by selecting all the locked elements and clicking on the padlock icon.

This will automatically unlock all the elements, and you can continue with the design process. No further action is needed to solve the problem.

You can also ungroup elements if you want to unlock them one by one by selecting the group and pressing “Ungroup” from the floating toolbar.

3. Editor’s Locked Out

In rare cases, the entire editor page can be locked out, everything becomes frozen, and nothing seems to work.

This problem is mostly caused by a poor internet connection. If the browser detects a choppy internet connection, Canva’s menu bar will change to rainbow-colored. A message will pop up indicating that Canva has locked the editor out.

After the editor is locked out, you cannot save the changes you have made to the design. At this point, you can’t move anything, including the text box. When this happens, all you do is wait for the internet to stabilize.

If this happens, don’t do anything to your design or close the tab to avoid cases of unsaved changes. If the problem persists, check your internet connection.

4. Locked Text Boxes

If you’re working from a template, you may want to move the premade text boxes in Canva and realize that nothing is happening. This is most likely to happen because those text boxes are locked.

The templates are meant to help you create professional designs. When the text boxes are locked in place, the original theme and feel of the template can be preserved even if the text itself changes. This makes it less likely for users to inadvertently mess up the design by moving the boxes around.

Realizing the text boxes are locked can be frustrating, but there is always a way out. If you want to move the text box from one place to another, copy the old text box and paste it to a different location.

When you want to resize the box, use Canva’s Free Transform tool to change the box to your preferred size.


Why can’t I move the text box in Canva?

In some templates, the textboxes are fixed to preserve a unified feel. Check the template or try to paste the text box elsewhere.

Why is everything locked on Canva?

When everything is locked on Canva, it likely means you don’t have a connection to the server or the editor is in viewer mode. Check your internet connection or ask your team supervisor to change your permissions.

How do you move things in Canva?

You can drag and drop elements around, either by clicking, holding, and dragging on the PC, or pressing and dragging on mobile.

Get Moving in Canva

Sometimes, you may experience technical hitches when using Canva. However, this can usually be solved with a few mouse clicks. After that, it’s all about using your imagination to the fullest.

How did you unfreeze your Canva design? Do you have any simple design tips when moving elements? Share your experience in the comment section below.

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