Disk Drill for Windows Review – Is It as Good as They Say?

4.55

Out of 5 Total Score

No. 1 Among all Windows solutions

Price range $89...$598 • 508 Software LLC • Windows

Last update:

Windows users have almost an overwhelming number of data recovery software applications to choose from, so it takes a lot for any single application to stand out from the crowd. Read this review to find out if Disk Drill for Windows deserves your attention (hint: it does). 

Disk Drill for Windows – Gallery

Main Pros and Cons of Disk Drill

PROS

  • Two for one. When you buy Disk Drill for Windows, you also unlock Disk Drill for Mac.
  • RAID Array Recovery. The latest Disk Drill for Windows can recover RAID arrays including 0, 1, 5, 6, 10, 1E and JBOD.
  • Windows Storage Spaces recovery. Disk Drill offers support for Windows Storage Spaces (Simple, Two-way mirror, Three-way mirror, and Parity).
  • Organized scan results. Disk Drill categorizes scan results into three main categories (Deleted, Existing, and Reconstructed) and offers advanced filters for easier searching.
  • Visualization of the scanning process. The scanning process is visualized in real time, with information about the number of scanned files and the time remaining available at a glance.
  • Mount results as a virtual disk. The results of all scans can be mounted as a virtual disk and browsed using File Explorer.
  • File previews. The program can generate previews for all file formats supported by Windows.
  • Dark mode support. Your eyes will love Disk Drill's dark mode when recovering lost data late at night.
  • Raw photo support. The raw image scanner is one of the best on the market because it can detect the largest number of raw file formats.
  • Multiple view options. There are 4 types of view options: files, files and icons, folders, and folders with icons.
  • Raw video support. Disk Drill for Windows excels at detecting professional raw video formats like Apple ProRes or Braw.
  • S.M.A.R.T. Supports reading S.M.A.R.T. data from all compatible devices.
  • Speedy scanning. Disk Drill's scanning speed continues to improve with each update.
  • Linux file system support. Disk Drill can recover the original file structure even after formatting or partition loss on Linux systems.
  • Clever scan. The program does a great job of restoring the original structure of files and folders on FAT32, exFAT, NTFS and ext3/4 partitions.
  • Recovery Vault. There is a module, called Recovery Vault, which can store metadata about deleted files to make their recovery easier.
  • Byte-by-byte disk copies. It's possible to create both full and partial byte-by-byte disk copies.
  • Support content. On its YouTube channel, as well as on its blog, there is a vast database of support content that covers all sorts of data loss scenarios and solutions.
  • Sessions. The program automatically saves scan sessions and has a friendly interface that makes it easily possible to resume scanning later.
  • Cross-platform scanning. Disk Drill allows sharing of scan sessions between Mac and Windows versions of the software.
  • Ease of use. The user can browse found files, preview them, filter them, and more while the software is still scanning.
  • Active disk monitoring. If bad or unreadable disk areas are found during the scanning process, the program recommends the user to create a backup first.
  • Scanning prompts. When there is a chance to find additional data, Disk Drill for Windows automatically prompts the user to scan again.
  • Disk status icons. It's possible to display disk temperatures in the system tray.
  • Auto resume. If the scanning or backup process is suddenly interrupted, the software automatically resumes it as soon as possible.
  • Free space scan. Disk Drill for Windows can increase scanning speed by focusing on sectors that are marked as empty.
  • Free recovery. The free version of the data recovery software can recover up to 500 MB of data.
  • Recovery chances. The program automatically calculates recovery chances, making it obvious which files are recoverable and which are not.
  • Ability to work with the HFS file system. Disk Drill for Windows can mount HFS disks and make it possible for the user to copy files from them.
  • Recovery during scan. There's no need to wait for scanning to finish because you can restore your files even while it's in progress.
  • VHD and VHDX support. Disk Drill can scan virtual hard drive images in VHD and VHDX format as if they were regular storage devices.

CONS

  • Phone support. No phone number to call for support is provided.
  • Bootable disks. The software doesn't have an option to create custom boot disks.
  • Recovery over a network. It's not possible to perform remote recovery over a network.
  • Video and photo repair. Disk Drill doesn't the ability to repair corrupted videos and photos.

Disk Drill Summary

🏅 Highly recommended

Disk Drill shines as a data recovery software application in just about every way possible. With a single lifetime license, you can install this powerful tool on any Windows, or even Mac, computer you want, and you can count on its top-notch recovery performance to rescue your valuable data from the jaws of loss. Disk Drill supports hundreds of file formats and all commonly encountered file systems, and it can even reconstruct RAID arrays.

The application doesn’t stop there; it can recover directly from Windows Shadow Copies or Storage Spaces, pushing its capabilities further. As if that wasn’t enough, Disk Drill is a joy to use, coming loaded with extra data protection features to put your mind at ease. To get started and see its capabilities for yourself, you can take advantage of Disk Drill’s free trial, which lets you recover up to 500 MB of data for free before you commit to the lifetime license.

TitleResult
Compatibility Superb
Recovery Rate Superb
Usability Superb
File Type Support Superb
Scan Speed Superb
Free Trial Yes
Starting Price $89.00 / Perpetual
Money-Back Guarantee Yes
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Reduced PRO version price for our readers.

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What Is Disk Drill?

 #

Disk Drill is a capable data recovery software application for Windows and macOS. It supports hundreds of file formats and comes with extra data management and backup features. Even though Disk Drill for Windows hasn’t been around for nearly as long as some other data recovery software applications, its developers have managed to accomplish a lot, and you can test the latest version yourself on any computer running Windows 10 and Windows 11 (Disk Drill 4 supports Windows 7-Windows 11 21H2, while Disk Drill 2 supports Windows XP and Vista).

Disk Drill Factsheet

RequirementsWindows 10-11 (x64 only)
Latest version 5.4.844 • Released 6th Jan, 2024
Download size18.6 MB
CategoryData Recovery Software
UI languagesArabic, Chinese, Czech, Dutch, French, German, Hindi, Italian, English, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish, Ukrainian

Sibling version

Disk Drill for macOS

4.79

Disk Drill for Mac is the best data recovery solution for Mac we’ve tested so far. It has a similar user interface to the Windows version, and its capabilities are even more comprehensive. Read full review

No. 1 Among all macOS solutions

Disk Drill Logo

How Much Does Disk Drill Cost?

Distributed as Freemium Some features are provided free of charge, but money is required to unlock the rest
Trial version availableTrial version available
Trial version limitations

Trial version of Disk Drill Basic includes:

  • Free data recovery of up to 500 MB
  • All storage types and file systems supported
  • Free data protection with Recovery Vault
  • Preview lost files before performing a recovery
  • Free byte-level backups of your storage media
Paid plans
  • PRO License
  • Enterprise License
Price range $89.00...$598.00
License model Lifetime
No credit card to tryNo credit card to try
Money back guaranteeMoney back guarantee

As the subscription pricing model sweeps across many data recovery software applications, Disk Drill for Windows chooses to tread its own path. It provides two premium offerings, tailor-made for different users.

The PRO version, a perfect fit for regular users, is priced at $89.00. For companies requiring premium technical support, unlimited activations, and such advanced features as forensic data export (DFXML), the software offers an Enterprise version with a price tag of $499.00. On top of this, users have the option to invest in lifetime upgrades.

But if you’re just dipping your toes in, there’s a free trial version that lets you recover up to 500 MB of data and even offers backup and data protection features to help you avoid any data loss—that’s what we call great value.

All Disk Drill Pricing Options

1PRO $89.00
2PRO + Lifetime Upgrades $118.00
3Details

Basic version plus:

  • Unlimited data recovery
  • 1 user, up to 3 simultaneous activations
  • All recovery methods: Quick & Deep Scan, Lost Partition Search & others
1Enterprise $499.00
2Enterprise + Lifetime Upgrades $598.00
3Details

PRO version plus:

  • Unlimited data recovery
  • Up to 10 users, ∞ activations
  • Licensed to your business
  • Priority technical support
  • Forensic data export (DFXML)

Discounts and coupons

DiscountDescriptionLink
-20%
Disk Drill for Windows

Reduced PRO version price for our readers.

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-20%
Education, Non-profit & Government

If you are a student, teacher or another representative of an educational establishment, as well as if you need to recover data for a government agency or a non-profit organization, you are eligible for a 20% discount on Disk Drill PRO or Enterprise!

Get the Deal
-50%
Competitive Upgrade

If you already own another data recovery app for macOS or Windows and find it less effective than Disk Drill, you can easily switch to the equal edition of Disk Drill with a 50% discount.

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-50%
Upgrade to Disk Drill 5

Disk Drill 5 for macOS and Windows is here. To all our current premium users of Disk Drill 1, 2, 3 or 4, a big thank you for supporting us through all these years!

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Have you found a better discount coupon and would like to share it with our readers? Then don’t hesitate to get in touch with us, and we’ll update this section promptly.

Developer — 508 Software LLC

The company responsible for Disk Drill for Windows, CleverFiles was founded in 2009, so it’s been around for more than a decade. The company’s headquarters is located in the United States, Virginia. 

18% 1335.1% than avg

Online market share

Reflects the share of online traffic within the niche occupied by data recovery software, based on data taken from ahrefs.com (from Google US search engine).

38000 1234.5% than avg

Brand name popularity

Based on the number of brand-related search queries on Google US according to ahrefs.com.

CleverFiles is a highly reputable software company with an impressive BBB customer rating of 4.87 stars out of 5 at the time of writing this review.

Developer website cleverfiles.com
Support email help@cleverfiles.com
Founded

2009 • 15 years on the market

HQ location

66 Canal Center Pl #505, Alexandria, VA 22314, USA

Social media LinkedIn YouTube

If you’ve ever researched how to recover lost data on the web, it’s very likely that you’ve stumbled upon an in-depth guide published on the official website of Disk Drill for Windows. Indeed, 508 Software, LLC spends a lot of effort on content marketing, trying to promote Disk Drill by showing how it (along with other tools and techniques) can help solve real data loss issues. 

How to Use Disk Drill

Tested on: Windows 11 (version 22H2)

Okay, enough with the facts. We know that you’re just as excited to see how well Disk Drill for Windows performs as we are. But before we describe our test results, let’s take a brief look at the process of using Disk Drill.

Step 1

Installation

Disk Drill for Windows is a freemium software application, which means that you can download it from its website without paying any money and use it with certain limitations. In particular, you can recover only up to 500 MB of data. To recover more, you can purchase either the Pro or the Enterprise version of the software. The good news is that the free version can be upgraded easily—no need to reinstall the software.

The installation of Disk Drill for Windows is straightforward and shouldn't take you more than a minute or two. You just need to download the installer file from the official website, launch it, and then follow the instructions provided by the installation wizard. Once Disk Drill is installed on your computer, you can launch it and immediately tell it which device you want to scan.

Step 2

Source selection

The source selection screen displays a comprehensive list of all connected storage devices. You can expand each device to see its partitions. For more information, you can switch to the General section, which is where Disk Drill for Windows displays things such as the device model, serial number, revision, or physical number. Storage devices that are not in good working order are marked with a clickable "!" symbol. 

Disk Drill categorizes connected storage devices into four sub-groups: Hardware disks, Logical volumes, RAIDs (which can be reconstructed and recovered just as easily as regular storage devices), and Other. You can display these sub-groups individually or all at once. 

We selected our storage device by clicking on it and initiated a scan using the Search for lost data button. Since version 5, Disk Drill always automatically uses the best recovery method to find as many recoverable files as possible on the first try. 

Thanks to Disk Drill's robust session management capabilities, there's no need to scan the same device again—you can simply load the last scan session and continue recovering your data. 

Step 3

Scanning process

During scanning, Disk Drill for Windows kept us informed by displaying the number of found files across six different categories (Pictures, Video, Audio, Documents, Archives, and Other). 

We were pleasantly surprised with Disk Drill's scanning speed because the software managed to blaze through our storage device, discovering recoverable files at a truly impressive rate. 

While we let Disk Drill finish its job before we moved on to the next step, it's actually possible to restore files during a scan. This can be handy when you're pressed for time and just want to get back your lost files as quickly as possible. 

Step 4

Managing found files

One area where Disk Drill for Windows excels is the management of found files. You can choose between several different views depending on if you want to see more information about each file or handy thumbnails, and there are multiple filters in the left pane and above the scan results to help you narrow down the scan results with a simple click. For example, you can display only certain file types or focus on a specific date. 

Disk Drill's preview feature makes it easy to tell apart recoverable files that have been damaged beyond repair from those that can be recovered without any issues. But you don't even need to preview each and every file to know that it can be recovered because Disk Drill for Windows automatically displays the recovery chances of each file. 

Disk Drill organizes recoverable files into three categories: Deleted or lost, Reconstructed, and Existing. The Deleted or lost category is opened by default because it contains deleted files with their original names and paths. Files in the Reconstructed category are restored by file signatures, and there's no folder structure associated with them. Finally, the Existing category is reserved for files that are currently located on the storage device. 

Step 5

Recovery and post-processing

Thanks to Disk Drill's preview feature and file filters, it took us just a short while to find the missing files and add them to the recovery queue. From there, we just had to click the Recover button and select the desired recovery destination.

The data recovery software confirmed that the selected destination was suitable before recovering all files. It then displayed a concise summary of the recovery process, letting us know how many files were recovered and providing a button to view them in File Explorer. We clicked the button and confirmed that all files were successfully recovered.

Is Disk Drill safe?

100%

Avg score While there are many reliable data recovery software applications available, Disk Drill certainly stands among the safest options.

Safe and Trustworthy
👾 Malware
10/10

Disk Drill doesn't contain any malware. 

🔒 Privacy
10/10

No data is shared with third parties, and there's an opt-out option for data collection.

📊 Data Integrity
10/10

The software relies entirely on non-destructive data recovery algorithms. 

👨‍💻 Developer
10/10

CleverFiles is a trustworthy US-based company.

SUMMARY

When it comes to safety, Disk Drill leaves absolutely nothing to be desired. Considering that the data recovery software is developed by a trustworthy US-based company with a clear structure and a solid reputation, CleverFiles, it probably won't surprise you that it doesn't come with any malware. What may not be so obvious is Disk Drill's comprehensive commitment to data integrity and user privacy. The software operates in read-only mode during scanning, an important feature that ensures the original data always remains intact.

Furthermore, Disk Drill is privacy-forward, choosing not to share user data with third parties, and even provides the option for users to opt out of data collection. It's also worth mentioning that Disk Drill has an excellent Trustpilot rating, which shows the trust it has built among its user base. 

Disk Drill - Full Review and Analysis

We don’t always look forward to reviewing data recovery software because some applications are a pain to use. Fortunately, Disk Drill for Windows is among the most polished solutions of its kind currently available, so reviewing it was a pleasure. 

89%

Karma

12 rating criteria

Disk Drill for Windows is an authentic data recovery software application that receives updates on a regular basis to maintain support with the latest version of the Windows operating system.

Disk Drill users and potential customers can ask questions with live chat and email, but they often don’t have to because of the extensive knowledge base and numerous step-by-step data recovery tutorials that are published on the official blog. 

#FeatureResult
1Update frequency Every 3 months
2Updated recently Yes
3Changelog available Available (View full update history)
4Latest Windows release supported Yes, all good
5Genuine or clone? Genuine
6Brand name popularity Recognizable
7Online market share Excellent
8Maturity Mature
9Extensive knowledge base Available
10Helpdesk support Available
11Live chat Available
12Phone support No
71%

Bang for the buck

8 rating criteria

Disk Drill for Windows offers great value for money because the free version can preview an unlimited number of files and recover up to 500 MB for free. To go beyond the limit and unlock all features of this data recovery software, you can choose between two paid versions with optional lifetime upgrades.

#FeatureResult
1Competitive pricing Yes
2Price-quality ratio Good
3Free trial Yes (unlimited time but limited features and data)
4Is it free? Trial version can recover 500 MB for free
5Pricing policy Two paid versions + lifetime upgrades
6Unlimited recovery in full version Yes
7Free upgrades Only with Lifetime license
8Commercial rights in the cheapest license No
100%

Usability

18 rating criteria

Disk Drill is packed with useful features designed to make your life easier, and its modular user interface is so well-thought-out that it makes recovering lost data almost fun.

Because it takes just a single click to scan a storage device, even inexperience users can achieve great results with confidence. With each new version, Disk Drill introduces additional usability enhancements, such as dark mode support and granular scan result filters, that further improve its already excellent usability. 

We appreciate that Disk Drill for Windows speaks many different languages. When users can configure data recovery software to use their native language, they feel much less intimidated by the task ahead. 

#FeatureResult
1Modern user-friendly interface Yes
2Dark mode Yes
3Easy-to-locate features Yes
4Automatic implementation of multiple appropriate scanning methods without user interaction Yes
5Auto-resuming scans of failing drives Yes
6Auto-resuming backups of failing drives Yes
7Convenient source selection on start Yes
8Convenient file-by-file preview of recoverable items Yes
9Convenient thumbnail preview of recoverable items Yes
10Mount recoverable items as disk Yes
11Built-in updater Yes
12Multiple view modes in scan results Yes
13Hex view for recoverable items Yes
14Filter recoverable items by type Yes
15Search recoverable items by file names Yes
16Sort results Yes
17Multilingual UI Yes
18Simple deployment Yes
90%

Recovery performance

122 rating criteria

We test many great-looking data recovery software applications that don’t actually perform all that well when put to the test. We’re very happy that Disk Drill for Windows isn’t among them. 

The application’s data recovery performance is decisively above-average thanks to its support for hundreds of different file formats and powerful algorithms capable of restoring data even from encrypted drives (as long as you know the password, of course) and lost partitions.

Disk Drill for Windows should be the first choice of professional photographers and videographers who rely on raw photo and video file formats because of how well it recovers them.

#FeatureResultDescription
1Quick scan GoodDisk Drill for Windows can reliably find recently deleted files by performing a Quick scan.
2Deep scan GoodWhen scanning Windows file systems, the Deep scan feature works well, but Apple file systems are not supported.
3Signature scan GoodDisk Drill for Windows passed our signature-based recovery challenges with flying colors, performing exceptionally well when recovering raw photos and videos.
4Other types of scan GoodEven encrypted storage devices and lost partitions don't stop this data recovery software from finding recoverable files.
5Device support GoodAll internal and external storage devices are supported, but iOS and Android mobile devices are not.
6Other notable recovery features GoodThe software can read S.M.A.R.T. data, and it also has useful data protection and backup features.

Scan results

Summary of our scan results

This table presents a quick summary of the scan results we gathered when testing the data recovery software.

#FeatureQuick ScanRecovery of recently deleted filesDeep ScanThe ability to restore data upon file system reformatting or loss
1HFS+ partitions00
2APFS partitions00
3FAT32 partitions55
4exFAT partitions55
5NTFS partitions55
6EXT4 partitions55
82%

Every lost minute can significantly worsen the outcome of a data recovery attempt, and Quick scan certainly doesn’t waste your time because it’s designed to find as many recently deleted files as quickly as possible

Average Score

82%

Most consumer-oriented data recovery software applications can attempt to not only restore deleted files but also recover their original file names and folder structure

Average Score

#SignatureDescriptionScan Score
13FR

Hasselblad 3F RAW Image File

5
2ARW

Sony Alpha RAW File

5
3BMP

Bitmap Image File

5
4CR2

Canon RAW Version 2 File

5
5CR3

Canon RAW Version 3 File

5
6CRW

Canon RAW CIFF Image File

5
7DCR

Kodak Digital Camera RAW File

5
8DNG

Digital Negative Lossless RAW Image File

5
9CinemaDNG

Adobe Industry-wide Standard File Format for Digital Video Files

5
10ERF

Epson RAW File

5
11EXR

High Dynamic-range File Format

5
12FFF

Hasselblad RAW Image File

5
13GPR

GoPro RAW Format File

5
14HEIC

High Efficiency Image File Format

5
15IIQ

Intelligent Image Quality RAW File

5
16INSP

Panoramic Image Insta360 File

5
17JP2

Bitmap Image Format JPEG 2000 File

5
18JPG

Joint Photographic Experts Group Compressed Image File

5
19KDC

Kodak Digital Camera RAW Image File

5
20MEF

Mamiya RAW Image File

5
21MOS

Leaf and Mamiya RAW Image File

5
22MPO

Multi Picture Stereoscopic Object File

5
23MRW

Konica Minolta RAW Image Format File

5
24NEF

Nikon RAW Image File

5
25NRW

Nikon RAW Image File

5
26ORF

Olympus RAW Format File

5
27PEF

Pentax RAW Image File

5
28RAF

Fujifilm RAW Image File

5
29RAW

Native Digital Camera File

5
30RW2

Panasonic Lumix RAW Image File

5
31RWL

Leica RAW Image Format File

5
32SR2

Sony RAW 2 Image File

5
33SRF

Sony RAW File

5
34SRW

Samsung RAW Image File

5
35TIFF

Tag Image File Format

5
36X3F

Sigma Camera RAW Picture File

5
37X3I

Sigma Super Fine Detail Picture File

5
100%

Most modern digital cameras and increasingly many mobile devices let their users capture raw image data in a variety of raw file formats, so having the ability to recover them can be extremely helpful

Average Score

#SignatureDescriptionScan Score
1360

GoPRO 360 Degree Video File

5
2ARI

ARRI Professional Digital Video Camera File

5
3ARX

ARRI Professional Digital Video Camera File

5
4AVI

Audio Video Interleave Multimedia Container with GoPRO CineForm Intermediate Codec

4
5AVI

Audio Video Interleave Multimedia Container with MJPG, H.264, MSMPEG4 v2 Codecs

5
6BRAW

Blackmagic RAW Video File

5
7INSV

Insta360 Panoramic H.264 Video File

5
8INSV

Insta360 Panoramic HEVC or HVC1 Video File

5
9MOV

QuickTime File Format with Apple ProRes 422 Proxy, LT or HQ Codec

5
10MOV

QuickTime File Format with Apple ProRes 4444 Raw or HQ Codec

5
11MOV

QuickTime File Format with H.264 Codec

5
12MOV

QuickTime File Format with CineForm HD Codec

5
13MOV

QuickTime File Format with HEVC or HVC1 Codec

5
14MP4

Digital Multimedia Container Format with H.264 Codec

5
15MP4

Digital Multimedia Container Format with HEVC, HVC1 or Apple ProRes Codec

5
16MXF

Material Exchange Format for Professional Digital Video and Audio Media with H.264 Codec

5
17MXF

Material Exchange Format for Professional Digital Video and Audio Media with DVCPRO HD Codec

5
18MXF

Material Exchange Format for Professional Digital Video and Audio Media with ARRI RAW or Apple ProRes Codec

5
19MXF

Material Exchange Format for Professional Digital Video and Audio Media with XDCAM HD422 or HD35 MPEG2 Codec

5
20R3D

Red Digital Camera Company RAW Video File

5
21WMV

Windows Media Video Image with Pro RAW 9 Codec

5
99%

Video file formats have evolved a lot during the last decade, and not all recovery software tools support modern formats used by the latest digital cameras, camcorders, and mobile devices

Average Score

#SignatureDescriptionScan Score
1ACCDB

Microsoft Access 2007+ Database File

0
2KEY

Apple Keynote Office Application File

3
3PAGES

Apple Pages Office Application File

3
4NUMBERS

Apple Numbers Office Application File

3
5DJVU

Scanned Document File Format Intended For Scanned Images

5
6DOC

Microsoft Word 97 – 2003 Document File

5
7DOCX

Microsoft Word 2007+ Document File

5
8FB2

FictionBook 2.0 eBook File

5
9MDB

Microsoft Access 97 - 2003 Database File

5
10ODP

OpenDocument Presentation File Format

5
11ODS

OpenDocument Spreadsheet File Format

5
12ODT

OpenDocument Text Document File Format

3
13PDF

Portable Document Format File

5
14PPT

Microsoft Powerpoint 97 - 2003 Presentation File

5
15PPTX

Microsoft Powerpoint 2007+ Presentation File

5
16RTF

Rich Text Format File

5
17XLS

Microsoft Excel 97 - 2003 Spreadsheet File

5
18XLSX

Microsoft Excel 2007+ Spreadsheet File

5
84%

Documents are among the most commonly recovered file formats because their importance can be tremendous, especially when they're related to work or school. Because of how many document file formats exist these days, older and less developed data recovery software often struggle recovering and recognizing all of them

Average Score

Attention

Feeling puzzled by terms like "Quick scan" and "Deep scan"? This link explains the different scan modes and their specific purposes.

Disk Drill for Windows is a powerhouse when it comes to file recovery. The most popular Windows and Linux file systems are all supported, and support for Apple’s HFS+ and APFS partitions is omitted only because that’s where Disk Drill for Mac comes in, taking full advantage of their native support in macOS.

Several other software programs, though not as successfully, can also recover data if it’s still recorded in the file system. However, Disk Drill truly shines with its exceptional signature scanning performance. This software masterfully rescues most raw photo formats, including the ones used by Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Olympus, and Sony digital cameras. Similarly, its prowess extends to the recovery of popular video file formats, especially excelling in the retrieval of professional raw video files like Apple ProRes and Blackmagic.

Document file formats are also supported very well, with only a few notable exceptions bringing the average score down, such as the Microsoft Access 2007+ database file format or some of the file formats used by iWork, an office suite of applications created by Apple.

Other scan types

Advanced scan types for solving complicated data loss situations Basic data recovery algorithms aimed at recovering recently deleted data cover only a small subset of the data loss issues users experience every day. That’s why developers also implement all kinds of advanced scan types
91%
Average Score
#FeatureScore
1The number of formats supported by deep scan4
2BitLocker support5
3Windows shadow copies scanning5
4Scan for lost partitions5
5Recovered files' labeling5
6Partial file recovery5
7Disk images: scan and recovery5

Underneath Disk Drill’s intuitive user interface are powerful data recovery algorithms that can recover data from BitLocker-encrypted storage devices, find lost partitions, restore file names, and more.

Device Support

Supported internal and external storage devices Ideally, data recovery software applications should be able to recover from internal and external hard drives, external USB flash drives, memory cards, smartphones, and other commonly used storage devices
65%
Average Score
#FeatureScore
1Internal and external HDD5
2Internal and external SSD5
3USB thumb drives / Classic iPods (non-iOS) / FireWire devices5
4Memory cards5
5iOS devices0
6Android devices0
7Recovery from RAID1, 0, JBOD5
8Unmountable partitions5
9Remote SSH (secure shell protocol) Linux based devices recovery0
10NAS (Network-attached storage) RAID devices0

The Windows version of Disk Drill can’t recover iOS and Android devices, but all other internal and external storage devices are otherwise supported. Especially worth highlighting are Disk Drill’s RAID recovery capabilities, which include support for RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, 10, 1E, JBOD arrays, and Windows Storage spaces making it one of the best RAID recovery software. Disk Drill can automatically reconstruct RAID arrays, and its developers have promised to introduce manual RAID reconstruction functionality for advanced users in the future. 

Other notable recovery features

Additional recovery features and their performance These additional recovery features are what often separates average data recovery software solutions from those that can satisfy the needs of professionals and power users
74%
Average Score
#FeatureScore
1Overall non-intrusive read-only algorithms5
2Network recovery0
3Effectively filters out corrupted scan results3
4Byte-to-byte device backups5
5Bootable recovery drive creation0
6Convenient scan session management5
7Bad sector management0
8Recovery chance prediction5
9RAID reconstructor3
10Disk vitals monitoring and tracking during scan3
11Data protection5
12Links to in-lab recovery service for physically damaged devices5
13Scan speed5
14Scan free space only5
15Start file recovery without interrupting the scan5
16Preview recoverable items without interrupting the scan5
17Forensic features0

Disk Drill for Windows has useful data protection and backup features, which can store file metadata to improve data recovery outcomes and create byte-to-byte storage device images, respectively. The software makes scanning easy with its non-intrusive read-only algorithms, real-time indication of scan progress, and a built-in scan session manager, among other things. 

We’ve already mentioned its RAID recovery capabilities several times in this review, but we think they’re worth highlighting one more time because Disk Drill’s RAID reconstructor can piece back together arrays that have become corrupted and unusable. 

A scan session can be exported from Disk Drill for Windows and imported using Disk Drill for Mac, so those who use both Windows and Mac can save a lot of time.  

The speed of scanning has improved significantly with the release of Disk Drill 5, but it, of course, still depends largely on the performance of the scanned storage device. At any point during a scan, the user can choose to see the recoverable files that have been found so far and get them back without waiting for the recovery process to finish.

20%

Extras

10 rating criteria

Because we’re familiar with the Mac version of Disk Drill, which we’ve reviewed in the past, we were surprised to find out that Disk Drill for Windows offers only a handful of extra features. Still, some extra features are better than no extra features at all.

#FeatureResultDescription
1Disk space mapping NoNot supported.
2Disk clean up NoNot supported.
3Corrupted video repair tool NoNot supported.
4Corrupted photo repair tool NoNot supported.
5S.M.A.R.T. YesDisk Drill for Windows can read S.M.A.R.T. data of all connected storage devices that support the feature.
6Duplicate finder NoNot supported.
7Built-in disk space secure eraser NoNot supported.
8Disk cloning NoNot supported.
9Disk surface test NoNot supported.
10Secure data shredding NoNot supported.

The ability to read S.M.A.R.T. data is an essential capability that can help avoid data loss incidents by revealing disk issues in a timely manner, so it’s great that Disk Drill for Windows supports it.

What Users Say about Disk Drill for Windows

Disk Drill is an amazing experience. I took my daughter on a scuba trip to Palau (South Pacific) and we had some amazing footage of diving with sharks. I stored the video on a 3TB drive and thought I would build a small secure partition to safeguard my data. Turns out I partitioned the entire disk. Neither Minitool nor Easeus could find the 101GB file as well as scores of other files I had stored. I nearly gave up but tried Disk Drill on a whim, right before completely reformatting the drive. I can't tell you how shocked I was that I was able to completely recover all the files I was missing! I appreciate all that you have made, and I wish you the best.
 

V.O. (amazon.com)

A complete disk recovery solution presented with a clear, intuitive UI. Disk Drill's PRO option might seem expensive, but the 2-for-1 deal on the macOS version and various discounts make up for this.
 

Christian Cawley (techradar.com)

I hired a drone with a card that was not empty. I asked the leaser of the drone about the content in the card. "OMG, that card failed and was I was to erase it. I need the footage on it. Can you save it?"

Of course, I said. I have this tool ... DISK DRILL. I started using the software and I am still amazed. Recovered over 100GB from a 64GB card.

Thank you CleverFiles. Thank you.

Jimmy Gitonga (trustpilot.com)

Disk Drill was able to turn a moment of panic (realizing I'd erased a full set of job site pics from a card) into a sigh of relief in less than 20 minutes. The app did everything it said it would, did it easily, and did it quickly. It was well worth the purchase and impressed me enough to commit to the lifetime upgrades in case I ever do a bonehead thing like that again. Kudos to Disk Drill on an outstanding solution!

Larry T (trustpilot.com)

Video Resources for Disk Drill: Tutorials and Helpful Guides

To help you better understand how Disk Drill for Windows works, we’ve put together a collection of useful tutorials and other video resources.

4 Ways to Recover Deleted Files from a Recycle Bin

In this video, we explain why it’s possible to recover deleted files from a Recycle Bin, and we provide step-by-step instructions on how to do it.

How to Recover Deleted Files from an SD Card (2021)

Just deleted an important batch of images from your memory card? Never fear, I’m going to show you how to recover lost files from an SD card on Windows & Mac.

How to Recover Data from a Lost or Deleted Partition (2021)

Today, we're going to be talking on how to recover data from a lost or deleted partition. Try Disk Drill for free.

Meet Disk Drill 5 - The Essential Data Recovery Tool for macOS & Windows

Meet Disk Drill 5, your one stop data recovery and protection solution for macOS and Windows PC

Bottom line

Disk Drill for Windows is among the best data recovery software applications for Microsoft’s operating system.

With its easy-to-use interface and advanced data recovery algorithms, it makes it easy to recover more than 300 file formats from all kinds of storage devices that use Windows- and Linux-supported file systems, such as NTFS, FAT32, exFAT, and ext4. 

The few extra features that are included with Disk Drill for Windows can go a long way in preventing bad data loss scenarios, greatly increasing the value of the already affordable application.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to several frequently asked questions about Disk Drill for Windows.

As a data recovery software application, Disk Drill’s main purpose is to analyze storage devices to find and recover permanently deleted files from them. It also has a number of extra features to help users better manage their data and protect themselves against data loss.

Disk Drill features multiple data recovery algorithms that allow it to recognize traces of permanently and recently deleted files alike, giving the user the ability to preview and recover them.

You can download the latest version of Disk Drill for Windows and macOS from its official website.

Disk Drill allows users to recover lost files to any folder, but it’s highly recommended to never recover to the same storage device on which the lost files are located.

Yes, but the free version of Disk Drill for Windows can only recover up to 500 MB of data. To recover more, you must purchase Disk Drill PRO or Enterprise.

Yes, when you purchase a Disk Drill license, you can use the software for as long as you want. And if you also purchase the optional lifetime upgrades extra, then you will always have access to the latest version of the software.

Disk Drill is a reasonably fast data recovery software application, but its data recovery performance greatly depends on the size and speed of the scanned storage device.

If Disk Drill takes a long time to finish scanning, then the most likely cause is the limited performance of the scanned storage device. 

Theoretically, Disk Drill can recover even files that were deleted years ago as long as the physical storage device which they ocuppy hasn’t been filled with new data.

Disk Drill’s Quick Scan or Deep Scan modes can recover data with its metadata intact, allowing you to recover files with their original names.

Sometimes, saved over files are not physically overwritten. When that’s the case, it’s possible to recover them using Disk Drill just as easily as any other files.

Yes, Disk Drill can recover even corrupted files, but such files may be unreadable or impossible to open—it all depends on the extent of the corruption.

If Disk Drill for Windows is refusing to install, then you should restart your computer and try again (there could be pending updates or some unresolved issues). If that doesn’t help, download the latest version of the software again and try one more time.

If the free version of Disk Drill for Windows can’t recover your lost file, then it’s possible that the file is larger than 500 MB. In that case, you must upgrade to Disk Drill PRO or Enterprise.

Absolutely! Disk Drill is a reliable data recovery software application that can quickly and easily recover lost documents, videos, photos, audio files, archives, and more from all storage devices recognized by Windows.

To uninstall Disk Drill:

  1. Open Windows Settings by pressing Windows + i on your keyboard.
  2. Click “Apps” in the sidebar and then select “Apps & Features.”
  3. Locate Disk Drill and click the three dots button beside it.
  4. Finally, select “Uninstall” in the menu that appears.

🏅 Highly recommended

Disk Drill for Windows Review – Is It as Good as They Say?
4.55

Out of 5 Total score

No. 1 Among all Windows solutions

Disk Drill for Windows is among the best data recovery software applications available to Windows users.

Visit developer's website
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David Morelo
Author

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
Approver

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.

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