Disk Drill: Mac Disk Protection and File Recovery

It’s not often that a new software emerges in the crowded field of Mac disk utilities, which makes the arrival of Disk Drill by Cleverfiles noteworthy. This tool is offered in several versions: a no-cost Basic edition suitable for many users, and more advanced Pro, Expert, and Enterprise options.

Disk Drill’s standout feature, Recovery Vault, tracks every file’s location on your Mac’s storage, enhancing the chances of recovery after accidental deletions or hardware issues. Additionally, all versions monitor your system’s health via S.M.A.R.T. technology and can back up failing drives to disk image files.

The Pro version, priced at US$89, introduces Quick and Deep Scan features for comprehensive file recovery across various file systems. While the Basic edition allows file discovery, actual file recovery requires an upgrade to Pro.

The Pro version also prioritizes customer support from Cleverfiles.

For individual users, both Basic and Pro editions can be used on multiple personal Macs. The Expert version, at $169, and the $299 Enterprise edition, designed for use by multiple professionals within an organization, also offer enhanced support services.

Discounts are available for non-profit organizations and users switching from competing products within the last 24 months, with proof of purchase.

Hands-On Experience

Testing the Pro edition provided by Cleverfiles revealed a user-friendly interface asking initial setup questions and offering a tutorial to become proficient in data recovery. The main interface allows users to either protect a drive with Recovery Vault or recover lost data, displaying relevant options based on the choice.

File recovery proved straightforward: after accidentally deleting a PDF from my desktop and emptying the Trash, Disk Drill quickly located the file. Using QuickLook confirmed it was the correct document before recovery to an external drive, emphasizing that recovery chances diminish when saving to the same drive where the file was deleted.

Disk Drill efficiently handles its primary tasks of data protection and recovery.

Checking the S.M.A.R.T. status of a drive is as simple as a few clicks, providing detailed health reports and usage statistics.

Limited Functionality

Despite its effectiveness, Disk Drill focuses solely on data protection and recovery, lacking broader disk management features found in other software. For instance, Drive Genius 3 from Prosoft Engineering, used by Apple’s Genius Bars, includes capabilities like drive defragmentation, directory repair, and duplicate file removal for just $10 more than Disk Drill Pro.

Drive Genius 3 offers a comprehensive suite of tools that go beyond simple recovery, such as drive initialization, repartitioning, and sector editing, making it a more versatile option for regular maintenance and advanced disk management.

Final Thoughts

When considering a disk utility, your specific needs should guide your choice. If basic protection and recovery are sufficient, Disk Drill Basic is an excellent free option, with the ability to upgrade when necessary.


Mary is a dedicated writer for TUAW, your go-to source for all things Apple. With a deep love for technology, Mary brings insightful and engaging content to the blog. She has a knack for breaking down the latest updates on the iPhone, iPad, and MacBook, making them accessible to all readers. Mary’s expertise and enthusiasm for Apple products shine through in every article, helping readers stay informed and excited about the tech world.