DiskDigger – Overview#
In this review, we’re going to take an in-depth look at DiskDigger for Windows to see exactly what it has to offer its users in terms of recovery performance, features, and overall usability.
|Latest version||18.104.22.16867 • Released 16th Sep, 2023|
|Download size||1.7 MB|
|Category||Data Recovery Software|
|UI languages||English, Russian, Japanese, Spanish, Italian, German, French, Dutch, Macedonian, Albanian, Swedish, Slovenian, Turkish, Portuguese, Hungarian, Polish, Czech, Farsi (Persian), Danish, Afrikaans, Greek, Hindi, Chinese|
|Distributed as||Freemium Some features are provided free of charge, but money is required to unlock the rest|
|Trial version available||Trial version available|
|Trial version limitations|
Trial version shows ads during recovery
|No credit card to try||No credit card to try|
|Money back guarantee||Money back guarantee|
DiskDigger is available for free with some limitations. With the free license, users are able to recover as much data as they want but are limited to one file recovery every five seconds. Additionally, free users have access to the preview function and scan session manager, where you can save scan sessions and load them at a later time.
If you want to remove the five-second cool-down so you can recover all of your data in one go, you can grab yourself a DiskDigger personal license for $14.99 (currently down from $19.99 at the time of this review), which will give you lifetime access to the full application. There is a 30-day money-back guarantee and payments are made through their website which is protected by SSL.
Unlocks all of diskdigger features and functionality
Developer — Defiant Technologies, LLC.
DiskDigger is developed by Defiant Technologies, LLC, a small software company that creates software for digital forensics and data recovery. The company was founded in 2010 and DiskDigger for Windows, Linux, and Android remains its primary focus.
1% 20.3% than avg
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).
6200 117.7% than avg
Based on the number of brand-related search queries on Google US according to ahrefs.com.
Although the company isn’t currently known for any other software outside of DiskDigger, it is currently developing a suite of forensic tools, as well as other recovery utilities.
2010 • 13 years on the market
P.O. Box 550066 North Waltham, MA 02455
DiskDigger isn’t as heavily marketed as other alternatives on the market that you will often see competing in search results. It has a Facebook page, but nothing is posted there.
If you have an inquiry, the company has a public-facing email address that you can contact. A phone number is also available, though it isn’t listed as a contact method. The DiskDigger website hosts a number of tutorials on how to use DiskDigger, which is a helpful starting point for new users.
Data Recovery with DiskDigger for Windows
Tested on: Windows 11 (22H2)
When we test a data recovery application, we have a standardized process we follow to ensure it’s given a fair score. Our testing process is very comprehensive, and we will break down what each stage looks like shortly.
How We Test
Below you will find each step we take when evaluating a data recovery application. This process has been refined to a point where we believe we can provide a practical, unbiased assessment of any data recovery tool to ensure users know exactly what to expect.
|1||Installation||Nobody likes a lengthy installation process filled with unnecessary steps. We assess how easy the installation process is and what sort of options are given to the user.|
|2||Source selection||Once installed, we take a look at how easy it is to select the device we're trying to scan. Is it hidden in another area of the application? Does it allow scanning of the partitions or will it scan the entire disk? These are some questions we intend to answer.|
|3||Scanning process||Not all data recovery tools scan your drive in the same way. Moreover, some applications will have a more efficient scanning process to others. Overall, we look at how fast and easy the scanning process is.|
|4||Managing found data||Once the scan is complete, the data is compiled for the user to review. We measure how easy it is to navigate the recovery screen and select the data you want to recover, as well as what other options or features are included to help make this process easier.|
|5||Recovery and post-processing||When the files are ready for recovery, we look at how easy it is to complete it and whether or not the application warns against saving the data to the same drive you're recovering from. Once the files are recovered, we review how much of the data was recovered and how much of it is in a usable state.|
This five-step process encompasses the entire data recovery procedure to show you what a typical recovery looks like.
Once you open the DiskDigger, you're immediately taken to step one, which is source selection. You will be presented with a simple list of your drives and their associated capacity.
If you connected your drive while DiskDigger is open, you must click Refresh list before being able to select it, as it will not automatically appear. Once you're ready, you can click Next to proceed to step two.
For step two, you must choose what type of scan you'd like DiskDigger to perform. There are two scan types: Dig Deep (scans for recently deleted files) or Dig Deeper (scans the whole disk). It is not possible to start a scan with both scan types at once. Select your preferred scan method, then click Next.
Before the scan begins, you also need to select what file types you want to recover as part of step three. You're presented with a list of every file type DiskDigger can recover. There are Select all, Select none, and Invert buttons at the top to help with selection.
Once you've selected the file types you want to scan for, click Next.
Managing found files
As the scan progresses, the file section will populate with recoverable files. Recoverable files are split into different tabs based on their file type. This allows you to see all files of a particular type at once, but makes recovery troublesome as you cannot select all files for recovery. Instead, you must go into each tab and recover the files by file type.
DiskDigger has a preview window you can use to see the contents of the files. However, it does take a moment to bring up a preview. You can also switch between a list view and a thumbnail view. Once you've selected the files you want to recover, start recovery by clicking the Recover selected files... button.
Recovery and post-processing
To complete recovery with DiskDigger, you must select a folder where the files can be restored to. If you're using the free version, you will need to continue clicking the Continue unregistered button after each file is recovered. There is a five-second cool-down before you can click it again. Otherwise, with a license, you can recover them all immediately.
Once finished, the output location you specified will open in File Explorer where you can view the recovered files.
DiskDigger for Windows – Tutorials and Other Videos
Here are some supplementary videos you can watch to familiarize yourself with DiskDigger.
DiskDigger for Windows – Full Review
Now that we’ve taken a brief look at what your typical recovery looks like with DiskDigger for Windows, it’s time to break down each part of the application to see what it has to offer its users. This is the same criteria we use for each data recovery tool we review to see how close it can get to a perfect score.
12 rating criteria
Although DiskDigger has been around for quite some time, the company behind it hasn’t done much in the way of marketing it. Furthermore, if you need help with something related to the application, the only support avenue available is email. Much of this, however, can be attributed to the fact that it’s a one-person project, so it’s necessary to manage expectations. Despite that, the software is updated at least every 6 months and includes a changelog that covers all of the changes made. It’s also compatible with the latest version of Windows, which is a huge plus.
|1||Update frequency||Every 6 months|
|3||Changelog available||Available (View full update history)|
|4||Latest Windows release supported||Yes, all good|
|5||Genuine or clone?||Genuine|
|6||Brand name popularity||Unpopular|
|7||Online market share||Poor|
|9||Extensive knowledge base||Not available|
|10||Helpdesk support||One-person project|
|11||Live chat||Not available|
Bang for the buck
8 rating criteria
DiskDigger is very competitively priced. Since you can technically recover an unlimited amount of data with the free version, your typical user will never need to upgrade if they don’t mind the 5-second cool-down between the recovery of each file. If you did want to upgrade though, you can do so for the super low price of only $14.99, currently discounted from $19.99 at the time of this review. This will give you a lifetime license that grants unlimited access to the software.
Commercial rights are not included with the cheapest license. And, the application doesn’t support clever scanning, which means it loses some points in terms of the price-quality ratio.
|1||Competitive pricing||Unlimited recovery with the trial version. Cheap personal license.|
|2||Price-quality ratio||No clever scanning. Mediocre quick scan.|
|3||Free trial||Endless free trial (with cool-down between recoveries).|
|4||Is it free?||The tool is offered on a trial basis. Otherwise, a personal license is required.|
|5||Pricing policy||Lifetime licenses.|
|6||Unlimited recovery in full version||Yes.|
|8||Commercial rights in the cheapest license||Commercial rights are not offered with the license.|
18 rating criteria
DiskDigger managed to score pretty high in terms of usability. Sure, the interface isn’t as sleek and modern as others, but everything you need is easy to find without the need to scour through endless menus. Well, at least for most. If you have a monitor with a high DPI, you may encounter issues, such as not being able to change the interface language. It also has some useful features behind-the-scenes, like the option to auto-resume scans of drives that may disconnect and reconnect as the scan is in progress. Scan results can be broken down by file type and whether or not the files were deleted or already existed on the drive. Lastly, the application comes ready with a multitude of languages to choose from.
|1||Modern user-friendly interface||No|
|4||Automatic implementation of multiple appropriate scanning methods without user interaction||No|
|5||Auto-resuming scans of failing drives||Yes|
|6||Auto-resuming backups of failing drives||No|
|7||Convenient source selection on start||Yes|
|8||Convenient file-by-file preview of recoverable items||Yes|
|9||Convenient thumbnail preview of recoverable items||Yes|
|10||Mount recoverable items as disk||No|
|12||Multiple view modes in scan results||A few|
|13||Hex view for recoverable items||Yes|
|14||Filter recoverable items by type||Yes|
|15||Search recoverable items by file names||No|
122 rating criteria
Quite possibly the most important factor of any data recovery tool: recovery performance. Even though DiskDigger allows for free recovery (which is undoubtedly a plus), it still has some work to do if it wants to compare to other tools on the market. Firstly, it doesn’t support clever scanning, only quick and signature scans. Its quick scan delivered poor results when scanning Windows (FAT32, exFAT, and NTFS) and Linux (EXT4) partitions, as it was unable to find most of our lost data. It’s also unable to scan for lost partitions or BitLocker-encrypted drives. However, it does support most devices and its signature scan abilities are decent, which is hopeful at least.
|1||Deep scan||Bad||DiskDigger does not support clever in-depth scanning.|
|2||Quick scan||Bad||DiskDigger was unable to find the majority of our data. For example, it was could not locate 77.9% of the data on our exFAT partition.|
|3||Other types of scan||Bad||It does support signature scanning and scanning of disk images, but it cannot find lost partitions or recover from BitLocker-encrypted drives.|
|4||Device support||Fine||The only devices that aren't supported are iOS and Android devices, as well as RAID arrays.|
|5||Real-life recovery challenge||Fine||It is able to recover a decent number of file types based on their signature.|
|6||Other notable recovery features||Bad||The application doesn't have many other notable recovery features aside from scan session management and recovery chance prediction, which we found to be inaccurate.|
Clever scanning is not supported by DiskDigger. As a result, you will not be able to recover files and folders with their original names or structure from disks that have been formatted, become raw, or lost their partition structure. The application can only scan drives using a quick scan or signature scan.
DiskDigger supports Windows (FAT32, exFAT, and NTFS) and Linux (EXT4) partitions, but not Apple (HFS+ and APFS) partitions. Our tests determine that the application really struggled to locate most of our lost data with its quick scan. It was unable to find 77.9% of the lost data on our exFAT partition and 47.3% of the lost data on our NTFS partition. Our EXT4 partition didn’t fare much better, as 96.2% of the data was not found and remained lost.
Other scan types
|1||The number of formats supported by deep scan||2|
|3||Windows shadow copies scanning||0|
|4||Scan for lost partitions||0|
|5||Recovered files' labeling||0|
|6||Partial file recovery||5|
|7||Disk images: scan and recovery||5|
In total, DiskDigger supports 210 file signatures with its signature scan. It also allows for partial file recovery and the ability to scan and recover data from disk images. However, it does not allow you to recover data from drives encrypted with BitLocker, nor is it able to scan for any partitions that have become lost. You’ll also find that if the disk has been formatted, the application will be unable to restore the original file names and folder structure.
|1||Internal and external HDD||5|
|2||Internal and external SSD||5|
|3||USB thumb drives / Classic iPods (non-iOS) / FireWire devices||5|
|7||Recovery from RAID1, 0, JBOD||0|
Most common devices are supported, such as internal and external hard drives and solid state drives, USB drives, and memory cards (like SD cards, microSD cards etc). You can even recover data from unmountable partitions. Mobile devices, like iOS and Android, are not supported by the DiskDigger for Windows (although you can recover data from Android devices using DiskDigger for Android). Likewise, you will not be able to recover data from RAID arrays.
Real-life recovery challenges
|1||Raw photo recovery||4|
|2||Video formats recovery||3|
|3||Document formats recovery||4|
Raw photo recovery
|1||3fr (Hasselblad 3F raw image)||3|
|2||arw (Sony alpha raw)||4|
|3||bmp (bitmap image file)||5|
|4||cr2 (Canon raw version 2)||5|
|5||cr3 (Canon raw version 3)||5|
|6||crw (Canon raw CIFF image file)||0|
|7||dcr (Kodak digital camera raw)||3|
|8||dng (digital negative lossless raw image)||4|
|9||CinemaDNG (Blackmagic, Penelope, Pocket)||5|
|10||erf (Epson raw file)||5|
|11||exr (high dynamic-range file format)||0|
|12||fff (Hasselblad raw image)||5|
|13||gpr (GoPro raw format)||5|
|14||heic (high efficiency image file format)||4|
|15||iiq (intelligent image quality raw Leaf, Phase One)||5|
|16||insp (panoramic image Insta360)||0|
|17||jp2 (bitmap image format JPEG 2000)||0|
|18||jpg (joint photographic experts group compressed image)||5|
|19||kdc (Kodak digital camera raw image)||3|
|20||mef (Mamiya raw image file)||5|
|21||mos (Leaf and Mamiya raw image file)||5|
|22||mpo (multi picture stereoscopic object file)||5|
|23||mrw (Konica Minolta raw image format)||0|
|24||nef (Nikon raw image file)||5|
|25||nrw (Nikon raw image file)||5|
|26||orf (Olympus raw format)||4|
|27||pef (Pentax raw image file)||5|
|28||raf (Fujifilm raw image file)||3|
|29||raw (native digital camera file)||5|
|30||rw2 (Panasonic LUMIX raw image file)||3|
|31||rwl (Leica raw image format)||3|
|32||sr2 (Sony raw 2 image file)||5|
|33||srf (Sony raw file)||5|
|34||srw (Samsung raw image file)||5|
|35||tiff (tag image file format)||3|
|36||x3f (Sigma camera raw picture file)||0|
|37||x3i (Sigma super fine detail picture file)||0|
Raw photo recovery was one of DiskDigger’s strong points. It has great support for a wide range of formats and has a decent chance of recovering most of the ones it does support. Formats like CR2, JPG, and SRF yielded great results. It did struggle with some Kodak formats, notably DCR and KDC. There were some that it didn’t support at all, such as CRW, MRw, X3F, and X3I. Overall, the results for raw photo recovery were decent.
Video formats recovery
|1||360 (GoPRO 360 degree videos)||5|
|2||ari (ARRI professional digital video camera)||0|
|3||arx (ARRI professional digital video camera)||0|
|4||avi (GoPRO CineForm intermediate codec)||4|
|5||avi (MJPG, H.264, MSMPEG4 v2 codecs)||5|
|6||braw (Blackmagic raw video file)||0|
|7||insv (Insta360 panoramic AVC H.264 video file)||3|
|8||insv (Insta360 panoramic HEVC HVC1 video file)||3|
|9||mov (Apple ProRes 422 Proxy/LT/HQ)||3|
|10||mov (Apple ProRes 4444 Raw/HQ)||1|
|11||mov (advanced video coding H.264)||4|
|12||mov (CineForm HD codec)||2|
|13||mov (HEVC, HVC1 codecs)||5|
|14||mp4 (advanced video coding H.264)||3|
|15||mp4 (HEVC, HVC1, Apple ProRes codecs)||3|
|16||mxf (advanced video coding H.264)||0|
|17||mxf (DVCPRO HD codec)||0|
|18||mxf (ARRI raw, Apple ProRes codecs)||0|
|19||mxf (XDCAM HD422, HD35 MPEG2 codecs)||0|
|20||r3d (Red digital camera company raw video file)||0|
|21||wmv (pro raw 9 codec)||5|
DiskDigger had some trouble recovering a lot of video formats. Even though it was great at recovering common formats like AVI, MOV, and WMV, most other formats either had poor recovery results or weren’t supported at all. For example, it couldn’t recover all MP4 files (which is considered quite a common format) and it outright didn’t support new formats of this codec. ARRI (ARI, ARX), Blackmagic (BRAW), and MXF formats were all unsupported and therefore yielded no results.
Document formats recovery
|1||accdb (Microsoft Access 2007+ database file)||3|
|2||djvu (compressed image format)||5|
|3||doc (Microsoft Word 97 – 2003 document file)||4|
|4||docx (Microsoft Word 2007+ document file)||4|
|5||fb2 (FictionBook 2.0 File)||2|
|6||key (Apple Keynote)||3|
|7||mdb (Microsoft Access 97 - 2003 database file)||4|
|8||numbers (Apple Numbers)||3|
|9||odp (OpenOffice presentation file format)||3|
|10||ods (OpenDocument spreadsheet file format)||5|
|11||odt (OpenDocument text document file format)||1|
|12||pages (Apple Pages)||3|
|13||pdf (portable document format)||4|
|14||ppt (Microsoft Powerpoint 97 - 2003 presentation file)||3|
|15||pptx (Microsoft Powerpoint 2007+ presentation file)||5|
|16||rtf (rich text format)||4|
|17||xls (Microsoft Excel 97 - 2003 spreadsheet file)||4|
|18||xlsx (Microsoft Excel 2007+ spreadsheet file)||3|
Document recovery seemed to be another area where DiskDigger did an alright job. All of the document formats that we test for were supported, but some had varying success. Common formats like DOC, DOCX, ODS, XLS, and PPTX were easily recovered. Other formats, like ACCDB, ODP, PPT, and XLSX had some issues. Moreover, it seemed many of the recovered files were corrupted, and therefore unusable. So, while it does support a large range of document formats, keep this in mind as you may need to find a way to repair them once recovered.
Other notable recovery features
|1||Overall non-intrusive read-only algorithms||0|
|3||Effectively filters out corrupted scan results||3|
|4||Byte-to-byte device backups||0|
|5||Bootable recovery drive creation||0|
|6||Convenient scan session management||2|
|7||Bad sector management||0|
|8||Recovery chance prediction||3|
|10||Disk vitals monitoring and tracking during scan||0|
|12||Links to in-lab recovery service for physically damaged devices||0|
|14||Scan free space only||5|
|15||Start file recovery without interrupting the scan||0|
|16||Preview recoverable items without interrupting the scan||0|
Outside of data recovery, DiskDigger isn’t capable of much else. It does include some useful features, like its ability to scan free space only and save/load scan sessions, but that’s pretty much it. This isn’t very surprising though, seeing as it’s a one-man project with a simple focus.
10 rating criteria
It’s common nowadays for data recovery tools to include extras that increase the value of the application. DiskDigger doesn’t include any extras and prefers to focus solely on data recovery.
|1||Disk space mapping||No||Not supported.|
|2||Disk clean up||No||Not supported.|
|3||Corrupted video repair tool||No||Not supported.|
|4||Corrupted photo repair tool||No||Not supported.|
|6||Duplicate finder||No||Not supported.|
|7||Built-in disk space secure eraser||No||Not supported.|
|8||Disk cloning||No||Not supported.|
|9||Disk surface test||No||Not supported.|
|10||Secure data shredding||No||Not supported.|
Although including extra features isn’t essential, it’s a great way to remain competitive and gives users more of a reason to choose your tool over others. These features typically complement data recovery. Unfortunately, at this time, DiskDigger doesn’t have much else to offer us.
Frequently Asked Questions
We’ve searched the internet for the most frequently asked questions surrounding DiskDigger and provided some answers to them below.
What is DiskDigger?
DiskDigger is a data recovery tool that allows you to scan your drive for recoverable data and restore it to a working storage device.
How to use DiskDigger on PC?
Follow these steps to recover data using DiskDigger:
- Download and install DiskDigger (not to the same drive you’re recovering from).
- Select the drive you want to scan and click Next.
- Select the scan you’d like to perform and click Next.
- Select the file types you want to recover and click Next.
- Choose what data you want to recover and click Recover selected files… to choose a suitable recovery location.
How to recover deleted photos using DiskDigger?
You can try using the quick scan (Dig Deep), but if you want the best chance of recovering photos, we recommend the signature scan (Dig Deeper). In step three, you can choose the image file types you’d like to recover so when you perform a scan, it will only pull relevant data.
How to recover videos with DiskDigger?
The signature scan (Dig Deeper) is likely the best scan type for recovering videos specifically, as you can choose what video file types you want to search for and recover. In step three, simply specify the video file types you want to recover so that once the scan is complete, only video files will be visible in the results.
Where DiskDigger save files?
Once you are on the final step of recovery, you will be given the option to choose where you want the files to be stored. Once the recovery is finished, this location will open automatically.
Why is DiskDigger ignoring files?
DiskDigger may be ignoring files if you didn’t specify the necessary file types in step three. The application also attempts to filter out corrupted scan results to reduce how much junk is displayed in the recovery results screen.
How to use DiskDigger on Android?
DiskDigger on Android is only able to recover images unless your device is rooted. Follow these steps to use DiskDigger on Android:
- Download DiskDigger for Android.
- Tap Start basic photo search.
- Select the photos you want to recover and click Recover.
How to run DiskDigger on a PC to scan a phone?
DiskDigger is unable to recover data directly from your mobile device if it’s connected through your computer. Instead, you should use DiskDigger for Android to recover data on the device itself. If you’re trying to recover data from an SD card, remove the SD card and connect it to the computer instead.
Is DiskDigger safe to use?
Yes, DiskDigger was developed by Defiant Technologies, LLC and is a trusted application.
What are the disadvantages of DiskDigger?
DiskDigger’s quick scan isn’t that great, as it fails to discover most of the lost data. It doesn’t allow you to recover all data at once either. Instead, you must recover all files of a specific type, one at a time. Lastly, the application doesn’t come with any other features that would otherwise complement data recovery.
Is DiskDigger free to use?
DiskDigger can be downloaded and used for free. Files can be recovered for free, but you do need to wait five seconds between the recovery of each file. Otherwise, its other features like file preview and scan session management are free to use.
How much is DiskDigger PRO cost?
DiskDigger’s personal license is $14.99, currently down from $19.99.
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- 42 publishings
- Auckland, New Zealand
Jordan Jamieson-Mane is a content writer with a focus on technology-related content. He has spent much of his life studying and working with all types of technology. During his time as a writer, he has written countless articles in the field of data recovery, breaking down complex topics into articles that are easy to understand.
When he's not writing articles on data recovery, Jordan enjoys traveling the world, reading books, and building websites.
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- Houston, Texas, United States
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.