disk drill review

Disk Drill PRO v5 Review: Is It Really That Good?

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Written by Robert Agar Robert Agar Staff Writer • 49 articles Robert Agar, a staff writer at Handy Recovery, specializes in data recovery and data management topics, with a particular affinity for macOS and iOS. He played a key role in the founding of our team and project back in 2017, and is notably responsible for authoring much of the initial content that graced our website. Robert brings over 30 years of experience in data storage, security, compliance, backup, and recovery to the Handy Recovery team. LinkedIn Approved by Andrey Vasilyev Andrey Vasilyev Editor Andrey Vasilyev is an Editorial Advisor for Handy Recovery. Andrey is a software engineer expert with extensive expertise in data recovery, computer forensics, and data litigation. Andrey brings over 12 years of experience in software development, database administration, and hardware repair to the team. LinkedIn
Quick summary

In our in-depth Disk Drill review, we go over the data recovery application’s main and extra features, its recovery process, and several other aspects that you should take into consideration when evaluating whether it’s worth your money. Hint: Disk Drill is worth every penny, and there’s even a free version.

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Windows users may already be familiar with Disk Drill Data Recovery. It has been a reliable solution for resolving data loss issues for many years. Its developers at CleverFiles have recently released the latest update of this versatile data recovery tool. Disk Drill for Windows 5 provides even more powerful data scanning and recovery capabilities as well as an improved user interface. We encourage readers who are unfamiliar with the way data recovery software works to visit our guide on the subject. Let’s take a look at the application’s features so you can see if it’s right for you.

Guys, we have great news! CleverFiles reached out to us and provided a discount coupon exclusively for our readers. Use promo code “DD20-OFF” or follow this link to save 20% when you upgrade to Disk Drill PRO.

If you’re looking for scores, here they are:



User Friendliness


Recovery Process








Our internal analytics indicate a clear preference among our audience for learning about the program’s testing process and exploring its pricing plans. In response to this interest, we’ve featured respective sections for easy access. For a comprehensive breakdown of Disk Drill’s features and updates in the latest major release, please click here.

How to Use Disk Drill

Let’s take a look at how to set up Disk Drill on a PC and run it through a few media recovery scenarios.

Installing and Configuring Disk Drill

Installing Disk Drill for Windows 5 is a painless process. It just took me a few minutes. Here’s the procedure I used.

  1. I downloaded the software from the Official website.
  2. Clicking on the downloaded files started the installation.disk drill v5 setup
  3. All I had to do was click install and agree to allow the installer to make changes on my device. This is required so setup of Disk Drill can make changes to Windows settings.disk drill UAC
  4. I was then ready to launch Disk Drill and begin data recovery.

The data recoveries discussed below all make the assumption that you have completed the installation process outlined above. Here’s how Disk Drill enabled me to quickly address the following data loss scenarios.

Scenario 1: Can Disk Drill Recover Data from External Storage Media?

The answer is yes! I had an issue where several folders were inadvertently deleted from an external drive used to store photos. These were the steps that allowed me to get them back.

  1. I connected my external hard drive to my machine.
  2. After firing up Disk Drill I choose the disk from the app’s list.
  3. I clicked the Search for lost data button to start scanning the drive.disk drill 5 usb flash drive
  4. Disk Drill returned a list of the data it could recover. Included in the list were the folders I needed back which I quickly selected for recovery. For each listed file, Disk Drill estimated its recovery chances, giving me plenty of information to decide which reconstructed files to select and which to leave behind.disk drill 5 usb flash drive results
  5. I clicked the Recover button and select a suitable recovery destination.disk drill 5 usb flash drive destination
  6. When the recovery concluded my files were safely in their new folder.disk drill 5 usb flash drive explorer

Results: The results of this test demonstrate that Disk Drill can easily recover lost data from external storage media, including USB hard drives, thumb drives, and even memory cards.

Scenario 2: Recovering Lost Photos from an Internal HDD

I have also had occasion to use Disk Drill to recover lost photos on my internal HDD. They were inadvertently deleted when I was attempting to transfer them to an external drive, and then I inexplicably also emptied the Recycle Bin. I thought my prospects were dim, but tried Disk Drill anyway.

  1. After launching Disk Drill I selected my internal disk for scanning.
  2. I clicked the Search for lost data button to begin scanning for my lost images.disk drill 5 internal strorage device
  3. When the scan was completed, I activated the Pictures filter and was able to quicky find and preview the missing photos.disk drill 5 pictures results
  4. I clicked the Recover button and selected a new folder in which to save the files. Since the photos were recovered from drive D, I selected drive C to avoid any files being overwritten or corrupted.disk drill 5 pictures recovery destination
  5. In a few minutes, the process was complete, and the important photos were safe and sound in the new folder.disk drill 5 pictures explorer

Results: My photos were restored in a matter of a few clicks. What began as a stressful situation ended well with the priceless images available again.

Scenario 3: Attempting to Recover a Deleted Word Document

Another situation that you might run into is the accidental deletion of a Word document. It can happen easily, as it did to me, when cleaning up my hard drive. Afterwards, I realized I had deleted a doc I needed for work the next day.

  1. I launched Disk Drill and choose the main drive since it was where the Word file had been located.
  2. I clicked the Search for lost data button to scan for the deleted document.
  3. When the scan completed, I opened the Documents folder in. To my great relief, the file was marked as recoverable, which I was able to confirm by opening it in the Preview window. I then selected the file for recovery.disk drill recover word document
  4. After clicking the Recover button I was prompted for a storage location at which to save the doc. I did not save it to its original location to avoid overwriting the original file. The best solution is to use a different drive, such as an external device, to store the recovered data. Simply using a different folder on the same drive still exposes you to accidentally overwriting the data you want to recover.
  5. The process was completed, and I had my file back. The ten-minute recovery process saved me hours of work that would have been spent attempting to recreate the document.

Results: Once again, Disk Drill came through with flying colors. It found my lost document and recovered it quickly which saved a lot of work and unnecessary stress.

Intermediate Verdict

Disk Drill effectively and efficiently performs its primary function as a data recovery tool. From the perspective of a data recovery tool, I can highly recommend this software. It successfully passed all of my tests and recovered the requested data with no issues.

How Much Does Disk Drill Cost

Disk Drill can be obtained in a couple of configurations to serve the needs of individuals or businesses. Here are the options available.



Limitations or Perks

Primary usage scenario

Basic Version


  • 500 MB recovery
  • Preview all recovery features
  • Free data protection tools

Testing the application’s features and small data recovery tasks.

Pro Version

$89 $71 by clicking this link

  • Unlimited recovery
  • Full access to all features
  • 1 user 3 activations
  • Free data protection tools

Single users with large data recovery and protection requirements.

Enterprise Version


  • Unlimited recovery
  • 10 users and unlimited activations
  • Comprehensive commercial data recovery for your business
  • Free data protection tools
  • Priority customer support

Ideal for company-wide data recovery.

All paid versions of Disk Drill for Windows 5 include an option for users to download the fully-functional Disk Drill for macOS. Discounts may also be available by checking on the CleverFiles download site.

Key Features of Disk Drill

Users choose software tools based on their features and usability. Satisfying those criteria has always been the focus of the team at CleverFiles. Disk Drill for Windows 5 continues this practice with the new version of their data recovery software. It offers users an intuitive and powerful platform for recovering lost and deleted data from any type of disk-based storage device. Data protection tools are included for free to help keep your important data safe. Let’s take a closer look at what you get with Disk Drill.


Good to know: Disk Drill is sometimes wrongly referred to as “Disc Drill.” Although the words “disk” and “disc” can be used interchangeably, the former is the preferred spelling in computer-related usage.

User Interface

Disk Drill for Windows 5 builds on the wildly successful user interface overhaul introduced with the release of Disk Drill 4. Clearly designed with the latest Windows 11 design guidelines in mind, the new user interface looks and feels more polished, cohesive, and intuitive.

The left pane, where all main features are available, is now split into only two sections: one dedicated to data recovery, and the other one dedicated to all the extra tools Disk Drill comes with. From the data recovery section, you can access all storage devices connected to your computer, see recent recovery sessions, and recover data from RAID arrays.

That’s right, Disk Drill for Windows 5 introduces support for the recovery of Windows and Linux RAID arrays. The process is just as straightforward as when recovering data from regular internal and external storage devices, and the results live up to Disk Drill’s reputation.

disk drill for windows user interace

To initiate the data recovery process, you need to select the storage device you want to recover and click Search for lost data—that’s it! During scanning, Disk Drill for Windows 5 displays an even more comprehensive real-time summary of scan results, allowing you to see exactly how many pictures, videos, audio files, documents, and so on have been found.

When recovering lost data using a capable application like Disk Drill, it can be difficult to find specific missing files. Disk Drill for Windows 5 makes this easier with the addition of new scan results filters. You can now narrow down recoverable files by file type, file size, date modified, and recovery chances.

Because data loss can occur not just during the day but also in the middle of the night, Disk Drill 5 for Windows supports Dark Mode, making it much easier on the eyes in low-ambient-light conditions. It also helps that the team behind Disk Drill has fixed all known UI scaling glitches, so using the software on HiDPI monitors has never been more enjoyable.

These and other user interface improvements result in a sleeker user experience and less time required to recover lost data.

Powerful Recovery Capabilities

Data recovery is Disk Drill’s main purpose. It performs that function with advanced scanning algorithms that can deeply interrogate disk storage devices and perform everything from SD card recovery to USB flash drive scanning in order to uncover recoverable files in over 400 different formats. You can quickly recover from data loss situations such as restoring files from an external hard drive, saving data from formatted disks, and retrieving files that are no longer in the Recycle Bin.

Newly supported file formats include but are not limited to:

  • Image formats like CRW (raw photos by Canon), CPT (Corel Photo-Paint 2019), EXR (high-dynamic range, multi-channel raster images), INSP (Insta360 panoramic images), X3I (super fine detail Sigma raw photos)
  • Video formats like VP6 (On2 TrueMotion), R3D (video files by the RED Cinema), and M1V (Moving Picture Experts Group Phase 1&2)
  • Professional file formats like XD (Adobe XD mockups), MB (Autodesk Maya 2020 binary & ASCII projects), PTS, PTF, PTX, PTXP (Avid Pro Tools Sessions, multiple versions), MDP (Fire Alpaca)

disk drill scanning progress

The tool offers flexibility in the scanning process by enabling scans to be paused and resumed at a later time. Those who don’t want to wait for scanning to finish can review found items in real-time with Disk Drill continuing scanning in the background.

New in Disk Drill 5 for Windows are cross-platform scanning sessions. For example, you can scan an external hard drive on a Windows computer, save the results, and then continue from where you left off on a Mac without having to start from a clean slate. Needless to say, this feature can save users a ton of time.

Disk Drill offers the ability to load scan results as a virtual disk so files can be moved more easily. You can fine-tune the scanning process by selecting specific scans or allowing the tool to run them all for more complete data recovery. What’s more, Disk Drill 5 for Windows can mount, scan, and recover data from your Virtual Hard Drives in VHD and VHDX formats.

Disk Drill removes all guesswork from data recovery by predicting recovery chances for each found file at the end of scanning and allowing you to preview recoverable files in a dedicated Preview window.

Disaster recovery (DR) chances are indicated using easy-to-understand star labels:

  • ★ = High
  • ✬ = Average
  • ☆ = Low
  • ? = Unknown

Best of all, you can filter your scan results according to estimated recovery chances, making it easy to select files that have acceptable recovery chances and leave everything else behind.

Additional Data Protection Tools

A real bonus is the data protection tools that are included for free with all versions of Disk Drill, including Disk Drill Basic. You can provide extra protection for valuable files and folders by configuring Recovery Vault to store them if they get deleted. The vault works like an additional Recycle Bin and saves the data for a user-determined period of time. They can quickly be recovered without employing a full recovery and paying any cent. Restoring files from Recovery Vault is absolutely free.

data protection disk drill

Byte-level backups, which can be created using the Drive Backup feature, can be critically important when you are faced with a disk that is showing signs of imminent failure. When you create this backup, it can be used for data recovery without putting the failing disk through the stress of multiple reads and writes. You only access the drive one time to make the backup which can be used to recover deleted files if the disk does indeed fail.

drive backup disk drill

Last but not least, there’s the S.M.A.R.T. monitoring tool, which tracks various indicators of hard drive reliability so that you can easily tell when a hard drive is nearing the end of its life and transfer your data from it before you lose the ability to do so due to excessive wear and tear.

smart monitoring disk drill


Disk Drill

User-friendly interface

✅ Yes

Intuitive recovery process

✅ Yes

Recover data from formatted disks or partitions

✅ Yes

Recover data from any disk-based device

✅ Yes

Recover deleted files from an emptied Recycle Bin

✅ Yes

Repair damaged partitions

📛 No

Over 400 file formats supported for recovery

✅ Yes

Display scan results as a virtual disk

✅ Yes

Data loss prevention tools

✅ Yes

Windows and macOS support

✅ Yes

Linux support

📛 No

Recovery over network

📛 No

Find lost partitions

✅ Yes

RAID Array recovery

✅ Yes

Windows Storage Spaces recovery

✅ Yes

Original File Names and Folder Structure recovery

✅ Yes

Video and photo repair

📛 No

Disk Drill’s Developers: A Commitment to Innovation

Each new version of Disk Drill extends and enhances the tool’s functionality. Here’s a look at some of the main improvements made to Disk Drill 5 for Windows.

  • Up to 8x faster scanning speed
  • Heavily upgraded recovery from EXT3 and EXT4 Linux file systems
  • More informative scanning progress indicator
  • A new “Lost data structures” group in the scanning results
  • EXT4 recovery now properly understands and treats symbolic links
  • Lost NTFS partitions scanning and recovery
  • Bad sectors detection and notifications

Unique Features That Set Disk Drill Apart

Some of the features that set Disk Drill app apart from the competition include:

  • The advanced technology that drives its scanning algorithms
  • A very intuitive and user-friendly interface
  • The inclusion of free data protection tools

User Reviews of Disk Drill

In the interest of providing more than one point of view, here are what some other users and reviewers have said about Disk Drill.

Lifewire calls Disk Drill an

awesome free file recovery program“.

Softpedia says that Disk Drill is

easy to recommend as a powerful and efficient data recovery program“.

Reddit user claims the following:

In the past I’ve had best success with an app called Disk Drill“.

Techadvisor UK gives this verdict on the tool:

Disk Drill is a great undelete tool with some valuable extras“.

OnMac says that Disk Drill:

has evolved from a humble but capable data recovery tool into a comprehensive toolbox“.

AppleNApps sums:

This tool is definitely worth it since, aside from the usual data recovery features, Disk Drill comes with an abundance of extra utilities that pushes this tool to the top“.

So you don’t have to just take our word for it. Disk Drill works!

Alternatives to Disk Drill: Should You Consider Other Software Options?

The data recovery software market, while not as expansive as the VPN or antivirus markets, is still filled with a variety of software options, and new ‘players’ are appearing regularly. Sure, Disk Drill is a big name in this market, but it’s not the only one. There are other significant competitors.

In our comparison, we’ve picked several alternatives to Disk Drill. Our choices are based on their popularity, market share, and how often they show up in rankings alongside Disk Drill. These include known solutions like EaseUS Data Recovery, Recuva, Stellar Data Recovery, and Wondershare Recoverit.

To lend weight to our analysis, we’ve compiled some telling statistics. Below, you’ll find a chart comparing the Google search popularity of these recovery software options. This data from ahrefs.com reflects monthly search volume for each software in both the US and globally. To ensure clarity, we’ve combined statistics for different forms of each product name. For example, searches for “Disk Drill,” “Disk Drill data recovery,” “EaseUS Data Recovery,” and “EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard” are pooled under their respective brands.

Market Share of Alternatives to Disk Drill

The detailed comparison below explores key factors like pricing models, file types supported, success rates, and ease of use, equipping you to choose the data recovery software that best suits your needs.

ParameterDisk DrillEaseUSStellarRecuvaRecoverit

User Interface & Ease of Use






Recovery Performance


Very Good




Pricing Model

Lifetime license


Lifetime & Subscription

Free & Paid versions

Annual subscription

Data Protection Features






Free Version Availability

Limited recovery



Unlimited recovery

Limited recovery

Supported File Formats




Multiple (not specified)


RAID Recovery Support






Customer Support

Email, Knowledge Base

Email, Phone, Knowledge Base

Email, Phone, Knowledge Base


Email, Knowledge Base

Operating System Compatibility

Windows, macOS

Windows, macOS

Windows, macOS


Windows, macOS

Additional Tools

Data backup, S.M.A.R.T. monitoring


Drive cloning


Video repair

File System Support






Scanning Options

Quick & Deep Scan

Quick & Deep Scan

Quick & Deep Scan

Standard Scan

Quick & Deep Scan

Recovery Speed






Software Updates & Maintenance






Each data recovery tool has its own set of strengths and weaknesses.

  • Disk Drill boasts a robust feature set and an intuitive interface, making it a top contender in the market.
  • EaseUS and Stellar deliver reliable recovery with diverse pricing models, catering to different budgets.
  • Recuva shines with its free unlimited recovery, even with a more streamlined interface and feature set.
  • Recoverit strikes a sweet spot between features and usability, prioritizing ease of use for beginners.

Ultimately, the choice of data recovery software depends on your specific needs, preferences, and budget. We recommend trying out the free versions or demos where available to get a firsthand experience of each software’s capabilities.


Disk Drill uses sophisticated algorithms to scan storage devices at the deepest level to find traces of lost files and recover them to a safe location. As such, Disk Drill can recover even files that are no longer present in the Recycle Bin.

You can use Disk Drill to perform a variety of data recovery and data protection tasks from a centralized and intuitive interface.

  • Data recovery – Disk Drill is an excellent choice for data recovery software and can retrieve hundreds of different types of files from virtually any kind of disk-based storage device.
  • Data protection – Disk Drill protects your data with its Recovery Vault feature that offers one-click retrieval of important files that are accidentally deleted.
  • Drive backup – Disk Drill lets you create a byte-level backup that can be instrumental in saving data from a failing hard drive.

Disk Drill 5 is the latest major version, and that’s the version this review is all about.

No, there isn’t a dedicated portable version of Disk Drill, but you can install Disk Drill on any storage device you want.

Disk Drill supports Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10, and Windows 11. Disk Drill is also available for macOS.

Absolutely! Disk Drill is available for both Windows and macOS, and the two versions share the same intuitive user interface that makes it easy to achieve excellent data recovery results. Disk Drill for Mac can scan all file systems commonly used by Mac computers, including APFS, and it also supports iPad and iPhone recovery.

Unfortunately, there’s no version of Disk Drill for Linux. While you can attempt to run the application anyway using tools like Wine, you’re unlikely to obtain good recovery results, which is why we recommend you use TestDisk instead.

No, you can’t. Just like most data recovery software applications, Disk Drill doesn’t run on Chromebooks.

Disk Drill is a freemium software application. You can use it to recover up to 500 MB of data before being asked to purchase a license to unlock unlimited recovery.

Yes, it does! In fact, you can find a discount coupon at the start of this article.

Yes, there are. In fact, we’ve been given an exclusive coupon code just for our readers: DD20-OFF. CleverFiles additionally offers discounts for educators, non-profit organizations, government users, competitive upgrades, and when upgrading from a past version.

You can get the full version of Disk Drill from its official website. In fact, you should never download Disk Drill from anywhere else because there are many shady websites that distribute malware disguised as legitimate software applications.

You can get the activation code when you upgrade from within the free version of the tool by downloading the Pro version from the CleverFiles site.

As described in this review, Disk Drill 5 comes with many new features and useful improvements, so we definitely recommend it over the previous versions of the applications. If you have purchased lifetime upgrades with your Disk Drill 4 or Disk Drill 3 license, you can get Disk Drill 5 for free.

Disk Drill 5 for Windows can run on any PC with Windows 10 or Windows 11 (x64 version).

There are many alternative data recovery tools on the market. Some are freeware and some are paid solutions. We have put together an informative guide on the available tools and suggest you give it a read.

Alternate solutions include:

If you’re getting the Disk Drill 0x80072ee7 error, then it’s possible that the Disk Drill installer you’re using has been tampered with. Remember that Disk Drill is a freemium software application, and you should download it only from its official website.

You can uninstall Disk Drill in the same way you uninstall any other Windows program with the following procedure.

  1. Select Start, then select Settings > Apps > Apps & features.
  2. Select the app you want to remove.
  3. Click Uninstall.


With its intuitive interface, data protection tools, and effective data recovery capabilities, we think you can’t go wrong when selecting Disk Drill as your data recovery tool of choice. It is a valuable application that helps both new and experienced Windows users get their lost data back quickly and easily.


  • Intuitive user-friendly interface
  • Powerful recovery capabilities
  • Supports all Windows version
  • Recovery for any type of disk-based storage
  • Additional data protection and disk backup tools


  • Does not support the Linux operating system
  • No phone support
  • Full scans using all available methods may take some time

So, is it worth it?

In a word, yes! If you are in need of a data recovery tool for Windows, Disk Drill is an excellent option. It will find your lost and deleted data in a few clicks. It also helps protect your important files and disks with its additional free tools. In our opinion, it should be your first choice when faced with a data loss scenario.

Our verdict: 4.8 out of 5.

About article
Staff Writer Robert Agar

This article was written by Robert Agar, a Staff Writer at Handy Recovery Advisor. It was also verified for technical accuracy by Andrey Vasilyev, our editorial advisor.

Curious about our content creation process? Take a look at our Editor Guidelines.

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