In-Depth Disk Drill for Windows Review (Updated 2021)

Jeffrey Cochin
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Disk Drill for Windows review

Disk Drill for Windows has been a reliable solution for data loss situations for years. The software has recently been updated to version 4.0 with the addition of new functionality and an enhanced interface. Disk Drill’s developers have continued to make it easier for users to recover accidentally deleted or lost files and folders. This article will walk you through the features of this robust data recovery tool with the intention of helping you determine if it’s right for you.

Here is a table that summarizes our take on some of Disk Drill’s characteristics.


Score (10 points)



User Friendliness


Recovery Process






disk drill claimed features

#1 Claimed Features

The features of a software application define its level of value and functionality to its user base. Let’s investigate what the developers of Disk Drill for Windows 4.0 have packed into this comprehensive data recovery program.

1.1 Recovery capabilities

The most important feature of a data recovery tool is its ability to restore lost and deleted data. Disk Drill addresses this issue with advanced scanning algorithms that will identify and restore any recoverable data on a disk-based storage device. If you have accidentally formatted a drive or partition, have a corrupt memory card, or need to restore files for an emptied Recycle Bin, Disk Drill has you covered.

disk drill

The recovery process is aided by the ability to pause or save a scan and restart it at a later time. A great feature of Disk Drill is the potential to mount the results of a scan as a virtual disk to easily relocate the recovered data. Users can control the level of scanning that the tool performs. A quick scan can be run to find your files and you can let the tool run all the scanning methods in an optimal order to provide the best data recovery results.

1.2 User-Interface

Even the most powerful software tool can be useless if it is too difficult for the average user to operate. This is certainly not the case with Disk Drill. It offers users an intuitive user interface that provides easy access to all of its impressive features. The main window lets you choose between data recovery, backup or protection and displays recent scans that you can reload.

disk drill v4.0 recovery software

Options in the menu bar allow disks to be viewed in a detailed or tree format. You can select logical volumes or physical disks as the focus of a scan. Results of the scan are displayed in the app’s main window and can be paused or restarted with a single click.

Choosing Data Protection displays the current configuration of Recovery Vault, enabling you to make any desired changes. Disk Drill guides you through the process of making a byte-level backup that can be instrumental in recovering from a failing disk.

1.3 Additional data protection tools

The additional data protection tools that come with all of Disk Drill’s versions make it even more valuable. These features are designed to help you keep your data safe and streamline the recovery process in the event of a failing disk. Recovery Vault works like an extended Recycle Bin that protects important files and folders from accidental deletion and enables you to get them back without performing full data recovery.

disk drill professional review

Failing disks can pose difficulties when attempting to recover their data. Instead of running a full scan which may involve multiple reads and further degrade the device, you can create a byte-level backup. This only subjects your disk to a single read operation and gives you an opportunity to save the data before the device completely fails.

disk drill storage backup


Disk Drill

User-friendly interface


Intuitive recovery process


Recover deleted files


Recover data from formatted disks or partitions


Find lost partitions


Recover deleted files from an emptied Recycle Bin


Windows and macOS support


Linux support


Display scan results as a virtual disk


Over 400 file formats supported for recovery


Data loss prevention tools


Recover data from any disk-based device


Repair damaged partitions


Filter recovery files for faster scanning


1.4 Unique & Strong Sides

Some of the unique features that make Disk Drill stand out from its competitors are:

  • Its user-friendly interface;
  • Data protection tools;
  • Mount scan results as a virtual disk;
  • S.M.A.R.T. monitoring system;
  • The ability to recover data from any disk-based storage device.

1.5 Areas for Improvement

All software can be tweaked to provide more utility to its users. Some areas for Disk Drill’s developers to consider for version 5.0 are:

  • Adding support for Linux systems;
  • Add the capacity to repair damaged partitions;
  • Improve filtering to reduce scanning time.

disk drill data recovery review

#2 User Experience

Disk Drill provides a simple recovery method that will be appreciated by individuals needing to perform data recovery. The last thing you need to add to the stress of a data loss scenario is to wrestle with a complicated recovery tool. Let’s take a look at a typical data recovery using Disk Drill.

2.1 Testing Setup

For this test, we are using an HP Laptop running Windows 10. The machine has an Intel CPU running at 1.8 GHz and 8 GB of RAM. The main disk is 1 TB. Data recovery was performed on a 16 GB Wilk USB 3.0 drive attached to the machine. A few files were copied to the USB drive and then deleted prior to beginning the recovery procedure.

2.2 Recovery Process

Here are the steps we used to perform the recovery.

To recover deleted files using Disk Drill, you need to:

  1. Download and install Disk Drill on your Windows computer.disk drill recovery software setup

    If you are recovering data from your machine’s main hard drive, you should perform the download and install on a removable USB flash drive to protect the recovery media. In our test case, the program is installed on the machine’s main disk.

  2. We connected the USB drive to the computer.
  3. Then we launched Disk Drill and selected the USB device from the list of available disks.launch disk drill v4.0
  4. Click the Search for lost data button to start scanning the media for recoverable files. We used the default which executes all recovery methods that are appropriate for the device. You can modify the scanning techniques used on a particular recovery.disk drill overview restore deleted files
  5. A window appears that displays a status bar which shows the scan’s progress. It identifies the number and type of files that Disk Drill has found and that can be recovered. Files can be previewed before starting the actual recovery. Just select the Show preview panel view from the View dropdown on the menu bar.disk drill professional review scan results
  6. The scan completed and found the files we had previously deleted. They were selected before proceeding with the next step, which was done by clicking the Recover button.
  7. At this point, we selected a storage location at which to save the recovered data. We avoided the original disk for the saved files as this can lead to corruption or overwriting during the recovery process.
  8. Once this is done, click the OK button to perform the recovery.disk drill review deleted files restore

That’s all there is to it. Your files should now be in their new location and you can rest easy that the valuable data is not gone forever.

2.3 Performance

It took about 9 minutes to scan the USB drive with all scanning methods. Recovery performance is dependent on several moving parts that cannot be controlled by the recovery application. Different drive speeds and the type and size of the files to be recovered can impact the amount of time it takes to scan the disk.

disk drill speed

The scanning timing display indicated it would take several hours to complete a scan of the main hard drive. We did not conduct the full scan of that drive at this time. A quick scan of the drive completed in about five minutes and reported a number of recoverable files that were recognizable as being previously deleted from the Recycle Bin.

disk drill recovery software from recycle bin

2.4 Results

We were very pleased with the scan results. All of the files purposely deleted from the USB drive were successfully recovered. The quick scan of the main hard drive found files previously deleted and long forgotten. They were available for recovery if we wanted to get them back.

disk drill v4.0 pricing

#3 Pricing & Licensing

There are several pricing options available that allow Disk Drill users to obtain exactly what they need from the tool.



Limitations or Perks

Primary usage scenario

Basic Version


500 MB recovery;

Preview all recovery features;

Data protection tools are included.

Testing the application for small data recovery tasks.

Pro Version


Unlimited recovery;

Full access to all features;

1 user 3 activations;

Best for a single user with large data recovery requirements.

Enterprise Version


Unlimited recovery;

10 users and unlimited activations;

Comprehensive commercial data recovery for your business;

Priority customer support.

Appropriate for company-wide data recovery.

Check out the CleverFiles download site where you may be able to take advantage of a discount when purchasing Disk Drill. The Pro and Enterprise versions of Disk Drill for Windows 4.0 include a license for Disk Drill for macOS. For the price of one application you can protect yourself from data loss on the two most popular home computing environments.

disk drill overview support

#4 Customer support

There is an extensive knowledge base and access to FAQs that will help you with most of the issues you may run into with Disk Drill. To access these documents, just click Help in the upper-right of the app’s main window. Email support is available at this link. Enterprise version owners can take advantage of enhanced, priority customer support.

disk drill professional review support

free data recovery software Disk Drill for Windows & macOS Free Download
disk drill alternatives

#5 Similar Products to Disk Drill

Here’s a quick overview of how Disk Drill stands up to some of its competitors in the world of data recovery software.

disk drill alternatives and competitors


Disk Drill

EaseUS Data Recovery

Stellar Data Recovery

Recovery interface and usability




Recovery capabilities




Data protection tools




Recovery file thumbnail preview




File formats supported

Over 400

Over 1000

Over 200

Free macOS recovery with paid versions




RAID recovery





Flexible pricing terms are available

Subscriptions are required.

Flexible pricing terms are available


Email and knowledge base

Email, knowledge base, and phone

Email, knowledge base, and phone



Based on our review of Disk Drill versus some of its competitors, we believe it is the best solution for Windows data recovery. It has advanced features that will recover all of your data and is designed to be used by anyone with its intuitive interface. It removes additional stress from the data recovery process.

disk drill v4.0 pros


  • Easy-to-use interface for a simplified data recovery experience
  • Powerful recovery capabilities for all disk-based storage devices
  • Supports all Windows version
  • Additional data protection and backup tools
  • S.M.A.R.T. disk monitoring


  • Does not support the Linux operating system
  • Full scans using all available methods can be time-consuming
  • No phone support

Disk Drill can be evaluated for free by downloading the trial version. This enables you to use the data protection tools and recover up to 500 MB of data before committing to a paid version. We recommend it for any Windows user who has fallen victim to data loss. It will get your data back effectively and efficiently.

Jeffrey Cochin
Jeff Cochin is a data management and recovery professional, who has been with 7datarecovery for nine years and has always been an essential part of the team. Jeff also works as a technical writer at Macgasm, being a first hand in testing, trying and writing about big and small tech software.
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Strong knowledge in data recovery, computer forensic and data litigation. 12 years experience in software development, database administration and hardware repair.