This entry was posted in Basics, Troubleshooting. Bookmark the permalink.

To simplify data recovery from system-protected areas of your storage devices and avoid any of the previously required lengthy actions to grant access to those areas, starting with Disk Drill 3.7 you might need to allow Disk Drill’s system extension first. It’s a completely safe operation, and takes 5 clicks. This action is only required on macOS 10.13 High Sierra and 10.14 Mojave.

Disk Drill is very informative when it comes to user interaction and tutorials. If for any reason the on-screen hints are not enough, here’s a quick video tutorial that explains how you can grant Disk Drill direct device access:


  1. Run Disk Drill 3.7 (or newer) on your Mac.
  2. Open System Preferences from the Apple menu or your dock.
  3. Navigate to Security & Privacy.
  4. Choose General tab.
  5. In the bottom of the General tab locate the “Allow” button next to the system notice about system extension by “Justin Johnson”. Press “Allow”.
  6. Go back to Disk Drill: you successfully allowed its system extension to proceed with the data recovery.

And yes, the system extension is absolutely safe and signed by Apple.

You will only need to do this once, as your Mac will remember your choice until the next system update. Also, this is only relevant if you are planning to scan your internal startup drive or other system locations that are restricted by macOS for third-party app access. If you are recovering from a memory card, or an external hard drive, these extra steps are usually not required.

If you still want to try alternative routes, you may lower your System Integrity Protection for the time of your data recovery operation, or use Target Disk Mode, or create a bootable drive with Disk Drill.

Technical Notes:

  • Disk Drill’s system extension is not running in the background all the time, it’s only enabled when Disk Drill actually scans your storage devices for lost data. Once the scan and recovery are over, the extension is automatically unloaded.
  • If you don’t see the request to allow Disk Drill’s system extension, you may need to close System Preferences and restart our app.
.updated: May 28, 2020 author: CleverFiles Team