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How to rip DVD movies using freeware HandBrake

HandBrake is a free tool which comes with plenty of features for beginners and intermediate users alike. This free cross platform, open source program can *convert a DVD into formats such as MP4, MKV, AVI or OGM that can be played on your PC, Mac, Linux box, iPod, PSP, Apple TV, Television, iPhone, or mobile phone. Just follow this guide.


Step1. Download and install Handbrake

To get started you'll have to install the software. At the time of writing the software was up to version 0.9 and available free at the HandBrake Web site. Once installed open the HandBrake application. The application should default to a simple interface like the screenshot below.



Step 2, Insert DVD movie

Once you've selected the DVD you want to copy or back up insert it into your Mac. Now click on the icon that says "Source" and click your DVD drive.

Click Open and you will be able to see many titles included in this DVD disk. Choose the longest title if this is a movie DVD, or choose your favorite chapter if this is an episode.

Step 3, Set the output format

In this example I've selected MKV files as output format but the principle is the same for other formats. Once the format is selected you can select other settings such as video quality, audio track, Audio Sample Rate, bitrate, Picture Settings, etc.

Step 4, Rip DVD

Check all settings and click Start. A progress bar will show its ripping speed; depends on many factors like machine speed  filesize, etc.


*Please note that only CSS encryption is supported. Users with DVD's encrypted with another method will need to use a third party decrypter such as DVDShrink first. We were also informed of another option using DVDFab via this anonymous post:

"Open up DVDFab and choose HD Decrypter at startup. This is the free option; it will automatically start counting down your trial for the Blu-Ray section when you first start ripping, but once that expires you should still be able to choose HD Decrypter at startup, which will rip full discs to your hard drive."

If anyone has other information relevant to this please let us know.


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by Rider (not verified) on 6. September 2012 - 3:00  (98846)

When source scans the DVD, it shows 28 chapters but title only shows only 3 which it tries to download. How can I get source to show in title all 28 chapters?

by edna Mitchell (not verified) on 12. March 2012 - 17:47  (90293)

I'm struggling to edit my home videos -- I have copied from VHS to DVDs and want to select and re-compose with windows live movie maker. I was successful with one dvd, but any others I have tried to rip and no recognized by moviemaker. I've looked all over the web for help... this is my last resort and I hope someone can tell me what I am doing wrong.... or what to do "right"!

by neanbean on 10. September 2013 - 15:52  (110645)

same for me edna

by Robopop (not verified) on 18. January 2012 - 13:54  (87351)

Handbrake now only converts to MP4 and MKV formats.

by Damodar on 17. January 2012 - 13:56  (87307)

I'm hoping some one can help me to find freeware for making a-v files for uploading to youtube. It would be great if I could create a-v files that are as small as possible, and that have great audio quality. The video quality is only a secondary consideration for the projects I'm currently working on. Any help I can get will be highly appreciated.

by Noblejoker on 15. February 2012 - 6:15  (88895)

I find the Freemake products good for encoding/converting audio & video
They also have an option to convert and upload automatically to YouTube
Totally free
I am not too fussy about quality but comes with many pre-sets for devices and is very easy to use

by Anupam on 17. January 2012 - 14:22  (87309)

Please post the request in the forum :

by Kathy Putman (not verified) on 6. December 2011 - 16:01  (84514)

will this program work easily to just rip to external hard drive and be able to play it from there? I can backup anything with clone dvd, encryption is not an issue for me. Ease of operation, default settings for quality, bit rate, video settings etc, are a must as I don't know what is best or recommended. Do like the feature to selectively rip; though most of my movies, 500 or so have already been backed up on disk deleting trailers, multiple audio files in different languages, pesky FBI warnings etc.

by Renzo (not verified) on 17. May 2011 - 11:53  (72084)

Handbrake it's ok with dvdfab passkey...

by syntax_error on 16. June 2010 - 0:29  (52202)

If you like using Handbrake, you just need to have other software running to stop the decrypt security of dvds. Such as DVD43 or DVD Fab Passkey which is also free whilst in beta.

by MidnightCowboy on 16. June 2010 - 9:23  (52227)

Thanks for the links

by Anonymous on 15. June 2010 - 15:36  (52172)

For decrypting I got this from the Lifehacker site:

"Open up DVDFab and choose "HD Decrypter" at startup. This is the free option; it will automatically start counting down your trial for the Blu-Ray section when you first start ripping, but once that expires you should still be able to choose HD Decrypter at startup, which will rip full discs to your hard drive."

You can download HD Decrypter here:

by MidnightCowboy on 15. June 2010 - 19:08  (52190)

Thanks for this which has now been added to the article.

by Anonymous on 9. June 2010 - 19:48  (51763)

Dear Gizmo's editors,
This "How-to" should probably be pulled & excluded from your archives. Handbrake does NOT decrypt!! (At least, it doesn't any longer).

by Anonymous on 4. December 2009 - 1:11  (37793)

Handbrake has not done decryption for some time now.