CleverFiles Disk Drill Review

A great budget-friendly tool that delivers all it promises and more, CleverFiles Disk Drill may not have all the features the big boys offer but is a serious contender when it comes to bang for your buck. Check out our full Disk Drill review.

By Joseph Gildred
— Last Updated:
Starts from $ 408 per month

Best data recovery software
CleverFiles Disk Drill provides users with an intuitive, feature-rich data recovery tool that competes admirably with bigger names like Stellar and EaseUS, but comes at a slightly more attractive price.

Data recovery tools can bail users out of a variety of scenarios, including helping recovery deleted files, lost, formatted or non-mounting partitions, and pulling data off of crash hard drives. For a full accounting of the scenarios covered by most data recovery tools, be sure and check out the roundup of best data recovery software.

During this review, we’ll cover Disk Drill pricing and features, then introduce you to the general user experience. We’ll also take a look at how Disk Drill performs, before finishing up with a look at CleverFiles’ customer service operation.

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Pricing & Licensing

85 % – Very Good

CleverFiles has licenses for both individual and commercial consumers. Software can either be used for Mac or Windows. It doesn’t have any bundled toolkits to service both operating systems. Licenses are generally good for one year but you can upgrade to a lifetime license for a bit more money.

If you’re not sure Disk Drill is the data recovery solution you’re looking for, the free trial will let you put their software to the test. The trial only lets you recover data up to 100MB, however, you can at least see if larger files are recoverable by running a scan and previewing the results. As you can read in our Stellar Data Recovery review, that service lets you recover up to 1GB for free, so it may be a better deal for you.


80 % – Good

CleverFiles Disk Drill happens to be one of the most feature-heavy disc recovery tools on the market, competing directly with top services like Stellar and EaseUS (read our EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard review).

The following table presents a quick overview of some of those features. We’ll explore some of these throughout this review. For deep explanations of the value of these features, don’t miss our data recovery roundup.

We also like Disk Drill’s “recovery vault” feature. Recovery Vault runs background processes to protect specified HFS, HFS+, FAT or FAT32 partitions on your computer. It stores metadata on deleted files including filenames. This information is used in the reconstruction process so that when you recover a file, you’re not just given a generic file name like you are with other recovery services.

It also speeds up the recovery process because you don’t need to run a deep scan. Note that if you’re using Time Machine on a Mac partition, there’s no need to use Recovery Vault, though.

During this review, we’re specifically looking at the Windows version of Disk Drill. The Mac version, though more expensive, does come with some added features which make it one of the best data recovery options for that operating system.

These include:

  • iOS recovery
  • Android recovery
  • Bootable drives
  • Duplicate finder
  • Cleanup
  • Health monitoring
  • Forensic features

We would like to see startup recovery made available for the Windows version of the software, too, as often times users need to recover data from non-booting machines.

For both Windows and Mac versions of the software, we’d also like to see the ability to add new file types. Currently, Disk Drill for Windows supports over 200 file types and Disk Drill for Mac supports over 300. So, in most cases not having this feature won’t be an issue.

Support file types include:

  • Documents: Word, Excel, Powerpoint, PDF
  • Images: JPEG, PNG, RAW, Photoshop, Illustrator
  • Audio: MP3, WAV, AIFF, AAC, Ogg
  • Videos: MPEG-4, QuickTime, AVI, WMV
  • Archives: Zip, Gzip, RAR, Stuffit

Disk Drill can be used to recover files from the following file systems:

  • Windows: FAT, NTFS
  • Mac: HFS, HFS+
  • Removable Storage: ExFat

Recovery Process

85 % – Very Good

To scan your computer with Disk Drill, once you boot up the application, you’ll first need to pick a location to scan. Using the Disk Drill wizard, you can choose to scan your entire hard drive or a partition on your hard drive.

Disk Drill pulls data from your device’s partition table to list deleted partitions, too, saving you from having to run a full hard drive scan to find them. Many data recovery tools don’t do this (read our Prosoft Engineering Data Rescue review for another service that performs admirable in this respect).

There’s no option to scan an individual folder like there is with Stellar. There’s also no option to scan for specific file types. Neither is a real deal breaker, though, since Disk Drill’s quick scan runs faster than most.

Disk Drill has three scan types that you’ll want to be aware of:

  • Run quick scan
  • Run deep scan
  • Run all scan types

When you run a quick scan, Disk Drill recovers files that are still intact but not accessible. This includes both recently deleted content and content on non-mounting partitions. Quick scan will return file paths and original file names.

Deep scan, on the other hand, scans free space on your drive and reconstructs deleted files based on file patterns. This method of recovery will be best for files that have been deleted a long time or recovering data from RAW volumes.

If you know you want to run a deep scan, we’d recommend you choose the option to run both quick and deep scans sequentially. This returns both intact and reconstructed files.

While your scan runs, you can keep tabs on its progress thanks to a progress bar at the top of the app. That bar features timers which display time elapsed and time remaining, keeping you up to date on how things are moving along.

You can browse and preview recovered files as they become available, before the scan even finishes. Preview by right clicking on a file and selecting, “preview.”

There’s no option to preview thumbnails, which is a drag. However, you can preview by general file type. Accomplish this by clicking on the desired category on the right side of the wizard: pictures, video, documents, audio or archive. There are also categories for size and date.

You can also perform a file search.

Doing so will help locate files with specific names or files with specific extensions (txt, docx, jpg, etc.). You can browse files returned by your scan in the central pane. Intact files are sorted by their file tree location, just like in your file explorer. Deleted files can be found in the recycling bin folder.

Once you’ve found the files you want to resurrect, doing so is as simple as marking the checkbox beside the file or folder name in your results and then clicking the “recover button” near the top of the app.

Indicate your desired recovery location in the field beside the recover button. This can be the same location you recovered the file from, but it’s generally recommended you save elsewhere. If you’re not ready to recover yet, you can save the scan results and process them later by clicking “save session.”

Next, we’ll take a look at how well Disk Drill actually performed in its recovery tasks.


80 % – Good

We performed a series of basic tests to gauge Disk Drill’s efficiency. These included quick and deep scans run against a single partition and full scan run against an entire hard drive.

The test partition we tested was 518GB in size, with 139GB of free space. The size of the full hard drive was 1TB. We created and deleted three test files for our partition scan testing, which included a Word document, a MP4 video file and a .jpg image file. We also created a 10GB test partition, loaded it with data, and deleted it.

Here are the results of our testing:

We were impressed by Disk Drill’s overall speed, which outran most other data recovery tools handily. Of course, fast speeds don’t necessarily equate to a thorough scan. In Disk Drill’s case, though, we were able to recover all three test files.

Our efforts to recover our deleted test partition were a success.

Customer Support

85 % – Very Good

Live chat support for Disk Drill and other CleverFiles programs is available. Chat can be initiated 24/7 though you may end up waiting several hours for a response during non-business hours. You can leave your email address if you don’t feel like waiting.

You can also just file an email ticket directly. We tested both options. During business hours, we got a chat response back in about 15 minutes. Email responses consistently back in under 24 hours.

If you’re a DIY tech support type, CleverFiles maintains a rich knowledge portal that will answer most common questions. Categories along the left margin of the portal can be used to browse content or you can use the search option if you you have something specific in mind. There’s also a FAQ section.

The CleverFiles user forum provides another nice avenue for getting questions answered and resolving problems. You can also visit the forum to find out about Disk Drill updates and make feature suggestions.

Final Thoughts

We can into this review prepared for another run-of-the-mill data recovery tool that couldn’t quite match the capabilities of professional data recovery tools like produced by Stellar, EaseUS and Prosoft Engineering. What we found was a budget-friendly tool that delivered in just about every way.

CleverFiles Disk Drill provides a clean, intuitive user interface. Options are excellent and scans are both fast and thorough. This is a tool that will appeal to ordinary consumers and impress IT professionals at the same time. Have experience with CleverFiles Disk Drill? We’d love to hear your take, so please let us know in the comments below. Thank you for reading.

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9 thoughts on “CleverFiles Disk Drill”

  1. Disk Drill is okay. The software is a bit cheaper than other methods (going to an actual Data Recovery store), so if you are trying to do some SIMPLE data recovery this is an okay solution.

    For ANYTHING else, I do NOT recommend using the software. It has been a week that I have been trying to reach and find a solution to an issue I had but their customer service is REALLY BAD and takes days to reply to an e-mail with very unsatisfactory answers. Perhaps this company became too big to care about its clients.

  2. Not recommended over other solutions. Poor recovery results and customer support.

  3. There are so many reasons not to buy the “Pro” version of this software, it’s difficult to list them all in one review but here we go:
    – First, the software is sold out of the UK so if you’re a US user (or anyplace else user for that matter), you will have to wait an indeterminate amount of time before you receive an answer to any questions or issues you may have. Virtually no manufacturer support.
    – Second, the software is sold by a third-party marketing company (Paddle) which has no idea how this software works and all they can do is refer you to the manufacturer (Clever/508 software). Again, virtually no support.
    – Third, there is no guarantee or warrantee that this software will actually work.
    – Fourth, the software doesn’t work to expectations. I tried “full Recovery” on my crashed hard drive only to find out fourteen hours later (The length of the scan) that Disk Drill had recovered 3.2 terabytes of information off of a one terabyte drive (A physical impossibility) of which only 90 gigabytes had been actually populated! The “User” files which were the files I wished to recover were nowhere to be found. I took the HDD to my local computer shop and they recovered all of my user files with no problem. Incidentally, they never heard of Disk Drill.
    In conclusion, do not buy this software! You will greatly disappointed as I was.

  4. This application is of no good and the support team is useless. I bought the full license in a rush to recover my data however the application didn’t make any significant recovery. When I got in touch with the support they kept on repeating the same thing again and again to me.

  5. SCAM program. Tells you to upgrade for preview and recovery – does not deliver. Wont refund –THEIVES!!! DO NOT PURCHASE.

  6. Disk Drill works fine for me. Before switching, I’d tried one of its closest rivals, and when the recovery process finished, it brought me back only partially fixed files — none of them were useful anyway.

    On the same hard disk, Disk Drill found and marked as recoverable the same amount of files (photos, ppt files, pdfs, etc) the previous program did, yet the scanning process was faster – about 2 mins instead of 10. Though the disk wasn’t formatted, it had been about weeks since the files had been deleted, so I was impressed to find out that it recovers most of the names, and there was a preview pane for all of the graphics.

    It took Disk Drill about an hour to recover 10 GB of files. The bad thing is, it doesn’t save it to the same drive by default. However, the program recovered about 90% of files, I needed only the photos, and it got all of the previewable ones back. Its free trial is too limited (just 500 MB), but the full version is cheaper than as for its rivals, it is easy to use and it works well.

  7. The only thing you’ll want to recover after using this is your money! SCAM SCAM SCAM!!!

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