Disk Drill vs DiskWarrior

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We streamlined our evaluation parameters into several clear categories.

Overall Winner
Recovery Rate51
File Type Support50
Found files and Recovery quality200,000 Found files






0 Found files






PRO Version
$89.00 / Perpetual


$119.95 / Lifetime


Read full Disk Drill review Read full DiskWarrior review


In this comparison, we pit against each other two generations of data recovery software for macOS: Disk Drill and DiskWarrior.

Disk Drill has all the style of a young fashion model, but can it offer more besides pretty looks? DiskWarrior, on the other hand, goes back to the PowerPC era, and its user interface certainly has more than a few wrinkles on it, which we would be willing to overlook if it could perform its job with the confidence and elegance of a master craftsperson—but can it? Let’s find out!

Disk Drill for macOS is one of those apps that make screenshots of the macOS operating system look good. While data recovery is what it's known for the most, the app comes with a nice collection of extra tools that cover everything from data protection to secure data erasure. 

DiskWarrior for macOS is a disk repair tool that promises to restore access to lost data by fixing common and not-so-common file system issues. The tool has been around since 1998, but its development has stalled in recent years.

Top Disk Drill Pros

  • Two for one. When you buy Disk Drill for Mac, you also unlock Disk Drill for Windows.
  • Abundance of extra utilities. Included with Disk Drill for Mac are many extra free utilities that greatly increase the value of the software.
  • Structured scan results. Disk Drill groups scan results into three main categories (Deleted, Existing, and Reconstructed), and it provides advanced filters to help you find what you're looking for.

Top DiskWarrior Pros

  • Repair capabilities. DiskWarrior shines when it comes to repairing drives whose file system has been damaged, triggering errors in Disk Utility and preventing files from being accessible.
  • Bootable recovery. The program can boot into the standard macOS recovery and repair HFS and HFS+ system disks that have stopped booting.
  • Disk optimization. The program can scan HFS and HFS+ disks and analyze them for directory index fragmentation. In theory, this can increase disk performance.

Top Disk Drill Cons

  • Phone support. No phone number to call for support is provided.
  • No disk cloning. Disk Drill doesn't offer disk cloning features, but creates convenient byte-by-byte backups for better data recovery from unstable drives.
  • Bootable drives. The software doesn't have an option to create custom boot drives.
Read full review

Top DiskWarrior Cons

  • Strange behavior. On startup, the application always minimizes all other open windows for some reason, which can be quite annoying when you have multiple other windows opened.
  • File system support. DiskWarrior supports only HFS and HFS+ drives. That’s a huge downside considering that Apple has been using APFS as its default file system for some time now.
  • Trial version. The developers of DiskWarrior don’t offer a free trial version, so there’s no way for customers to test the software for free.
Read full review

Pricing • Business model

1Distributed as Freemium Paid
2Trial version availableproscons
3Trial version limitations Free preview No trial
4Number of devices per license
  • PRO License - 1
  • Enterprise License - 10
  • New Copy - 1
  • Upgrade - 1
5Starting price$89.00/ Perpetual$119.95/ Lifetime
6License modelLifetimeLifetime
7No credit card to tryproscons
8Money back guaranteeproscons
9See Plans & PricingPricing detailsPricing details

Disk Drill is a freemium software application, which means there’s a free version that you can download without paying to test what it can do and how well it performs in real-life data loss situations. The biggest limitation of the free version is its inability to recover found files. The application can only preview them to confirm their recoverability. A PRO license can forever unlock Disk Drill’s recovery capabilities for $89.00.

DiskWarrior doesn’t offer a free version, and it also doesn’t provide a money-back guarantee. That’s bad news for those who don’t want to shell out $119.95 to buy software that’s not guaranteed to work properly or deliver satisfactory results. 

Data Recovery Performance

Our data recovery performance tests are designed to determine how well can data recovery software applications recover lost files from damaged or missing partitions. 

Clever In-Depth Scan of File Systems

1HFS+ partitionsFull supportNot supported
2APFS partitionsFull supportNot supported
3FAT32 partitionsFull supportNot supported
4exFAT partitionsPartial supportNot supported
5NTFS partitionsFull supportNot supported
6EXT4 partitionsNot supportedNot supported

Even though Disk Drill costs less than DiskWarrior, it delivers vastly superior data recovery results because it can actually recognize and recover hundreds of file formats using its Clever In-Depth Scan algorithms. The application failed to pass only our EXT4 recovery test because it doesn’t support the Linux file system. That’s understandable considering that Disk Drill is available only for macOS and Windows. What matters much more is the fact that Disk Drill can recover data even from the system drives of M1-powered and T2-encrypted Macs.

Quick Scan of File Systems

1FAT32 partitionsPartial supportNot supported
2exFAT partitionsPartial supportNot supported
3NTFS partitionsFull supportNot supported
4EXT4 partitionsPartial supportNot supported
5HFS+ partitionsNot supportedNot supported
6APFS partitionsPartial supportNot supported

DiskWarrior doesn’t have the ability to recover lost files from file system metadata. Disk Drill supports (at least to some extent) all commonly used Windows, Linux, and Mac file systems, making it an easy choice. 

Other Scan Types

1The number of file types supported by signature scanSome (≈400)Not supported
2Native deep scan of system drives on M1/M2/M3-powered MacsFull supportNot supported
3Native deep scan of system drives on T2-encrypted MacsFull supportNot supported
4Native data recovery from local Time Machine snapshotsFull supportNot supported
5Scan for lost partitionsFull supportNot supported
6HFS+ directory rebuildFull supportFull support
7Recovered files' labelingFull supportNot supported
8Partial file recoveryFull supportNot supported
9Disk images: scan and recoveryFull supportPartial support

DiskWarrior is a one-trick pony that can only perform HFS+ directory rebuilds to recover data lost because of file system corruption. These days, such cases of data loss are rare because the HFS+ file system is no longer used by default on modern Macs. In contrast, Disk Drill can recognize hundreds of file formats and recover them even from M1/M2-powered and T2-encrypted Macs—not to mention Time Machine snapshots and disk images.

Real-Life Recovery Challenge

1Raw photo recovery100%0%
2Video formats recovery99%0%
3Document formats recovery89%0%

As you can see, DiskWarrior couldn’t possibly deliver any worse results. In fact, the data recovery software didn’t manage to restore the original folder structure and file names of any files from our sample collection. The fact that many modern file systems, including APFS (the default file system of modern Macs), are not supported has a lot to do with the software’s poor performance, but the main reason is that DiskWarrior doesn’t have proper data recovery capabilities. It can only repair file system issues that cause files to become unavailable. 

Feature Comparison

The feature comparison of Disk Drill and DiskWarrior produced contrasting results, as the summary table below shows.

In short, Disk Drill strives to deliver an excellent user experience across the board, and it takes a holistic approach to data recovery, giving users plenty of tools to not only recover their lost data but also address the root cause of the data loss (poor disk health, lack of backups, and so on). DiskWarrior’s features have become so outdated and neglected that they simply fail to deliver anything close to a positive user experience, which is a shame because the software used to be genuinely great.

DiskWarrior doesn’t stand a chance against Disk Drill because its developers have been neglecting the software for a long time. The last update was released in 2018, and that’s why you can’t even run DiskWarrior on Apple silicon Macs. It’s then quite surprising that Alsoft, Inc., the company behind DiskWarrior, still provides phone support. We would love to hear what Alsoft’s customers say about the software.


When a software application stops receiving updates, it quickly becomes outdated and inconvenient to use when compared with modern alternatives. That’s precisely what happened to DiskWarrior. The application looks out of place on modern Macs, and it doesn’t have many features we expect data recovery software to have these days.

Smartphones and tablets were virtually unheard of when DiskWarrior was first released, so it probably won’t surprise you to read that the software can’t recover data from iOS and Android devices. Unfortunately, it also performs extremely poorly when recovering data from regular internal and external storage devices. Disk Drill is almost the exact opposite because the app can confidently recover even modern raw photo and video file formats.


Disk Drill takes a holistic approach to data recovery, giving users plenty of tools to not only recover their lost data but also address the root cause of the data loss (poor disk health, lack of backups, and so on). DiskWarrior’s features have become so outdated and neglected that they simply fail to deliver anything close to a positive user experience, which is a shame because the software used to be genuinely great.

Disk Drill greatly increases the value it delivers by including many extra features related to data recovery. For example, the application can recover data directly from Time Machine backups, and it can monitor the health of storage devices to help users avoid data loss disasters. DiskWarrior, unfortunately, doesn’t come with basically any extra features, except for bootable recovery drive creation.

Wrapping Up

DiskWarrior has suffered a crushing defeat in this data recovery software comparison. Despite its relatively young age, Disk Drill for macOS has scored more points in every category, making it a much better choice for Mac users who have lost important data and want to get it back without spending money on professional data recovery services.  

Disk Drill for macOS

Disk Drill for macOS is a data recovery software app even Apple would be proud of, and you can try it for free.

Visit developer's website
Excellent performance
Many extra features
Modern UI
Free version available
Apple silicon Mac support
Mobile recovery

Why choose DiskWarrior

Read full DiskWarrior review
Bootable recovery drive creation
Phone support

More software comparisons

Have you still not found the right data recovery software? Then take a look at our other comparisons. 

David Morelo

David Morelo is a professional content writer with a specialization in data recovery. He spends his days helping users from around the world recover from data loss and address the numerous issues associated with it.

When not writing about data recovery techniques and solutions, he enjoys tinkering with new technology, working on personal projects, exploring the world on his bike, and, above all else, spending time with his family.

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Nikolay Lankevich
Nikolay Lankevich

Nikolay Lankevich has over 15 years of strong experience in various fields and platform includes Disaster Recovery, Windows XP/7. System analysis, design, application (Inter/Intranet) development, and testing. Provided technical supports on desktop and laptops on Win-XP and Macintosh for about 2000 employees.