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Recovery Vault and Guaranteed Recovery are two different ways to protect yourself from future data loss. Recovery Vault saves the metadata (filename, file location, etc) of deleted files, making it much easier to identify and recover these files using Disk Drill. Guaranteed Recovery actually saves a complete copy of files sent to the Trash (or other specified folder). We recommend using both. To learn more about each option and how they differ, see:

Download Disk Drill data recovery app for Windows  for Mac

How Do I Enable Protection?

To enable protection, take the following steps:

  1. If you wish to protect an external drive, connect it to your Mac. 
  2. Launch Disk Drill.
  3. Review the list of drives and partitions that appear. If the drive you wish to scan is not shown, look on the bottom-left of the screen and click on “show them” to reveal any hidden items. If you still don’t see the one you need, see Scanning FAQs.
  4. Click Protect next to the drive you wish to enable protection on.
  5. On the upper-right of the next screen, click the switch for Recovery Vault to turn it On and/or click the switch for Guaranteed Recovery to turn it On. Note: By default, Recovery Vault protects the files inside the /Users folder on your internal hard drive. Guaranteed Recovery monitors the Trash folder.
  6. That’s it. Your drive is now protected. It may take awhile for Disk Drill to index the drive. The task will run in the background until it is finished. The word “On” will turn green when indexing is finished.
  7. Click the blue arrow in the upper-left corner to return to the main Disk Drill screen.

How Do I Scan For and Recover Lost Files?

You can only recover files with this method from a folder that had Recovery Vault or Guaranteed Recovery enabled (see steps above) prior to the data loss.

  1. If you wish to recover files from an external drive, connect it to your Mac.
  2. If you wish to recover files from your Mac’s internal hard drive, connect an external drive so that you have a safe place to save your recovered files.
  3. Launch Disk Drill.
  4. Click on the name of the drive that you wish to recover your deleted files from. If your drive has partitions, clicking on the drive name will reveal each of the separate partitions.
  5. Next to the drive or partition you wish to scan, click the drop-down arrow on the Recover button and select Undelete Protected Data. If you do not see the option for Undelete Protected Data, then there is no Recovery Vault or Guaranteed Recovery file associated with that particular partition or drive.
  6. Wait for the scan to finish. A list of discovered files will appear.
  7. Filter the results as needed by keyword, file type, file size and date. Go to Scanning FAQs for more information on filtering.
  8. There is no need to preview the files, since you can recover them for free with this method.
  9. Check the box next to the files you wish to retrieve and click the Recover button in the upper-right corner.
  10. Select a destination for the recovered files. Warning: We strongly suggest saving the files to a different drive than the one you are trying to recover files from. Saving to the same drive substantially lowers your chances of recovery.
  11. You’ll see the message “Finished” when the process is complete.
  12. You can now go to your selected destination folder and open the files. If you can’t open some of the files, see Troubleshooting Scan Results for an explanation.
.updated: August 13, 2016 author: Jill
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