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With the growth of streaming services like Netflix 10 Niche Streaming Services for Those Who Hate Netflix 10 Niche Streaming Services for Those Who Hate Netflix Mainstream streaming services carry mainstream content. What can you do if you want to watch something a little less conventional? You're better off checking out these alternative streaming services packed full of niche content. Read More , DVD sales are slipping. It’s safe to assume that before too long they’ll have gone the same way as VHS and audio cassettes. Once that happens, DVD players themselves won’t be far behind.

Before we reach that point, it would be prudent to rip all your DVDs onto your hard drive. By doing so, you’ll be saving them for posterity; you’ll be able to watch them long after DVDs have been consigned to the annals of history.

Of course, ripping your DVDs also has some immediate short-term benefits; you’ll be able to cast them around your house using Plex or transfer them onto your tablet to watch while traveling 10 Summer Vacation Movies You Can Watch on Netflix 10 Summer Vacation Movies You Can Watch on Netflix If you spend your summer vacations relaxing, you may want to watch some movies to pass the time. These films, all available to watch on Netflix right now, were made to enjoy on summer vacation. Read More .

In this article, I’m going to explain how to rip an entire DVD onto your hard drive.

Choosing Your Software

Some DVD ripping software can cost upwards of $50. While it might be money well spent if you’re running a Hollywood movie studio, the average home user can find everything they need by using free software.

5 Simple Steps to Rip an Entire DVD to Your Hard Drive handbrake homepage

There are lots of free options out there 9 Tools to Easily Rip Your DVDs & Blu-Rays to Your Computer 9 Tools to Easily Rip Your DVDs & Blu-Rays to Your Computer If you still own DVDs or Blu-Rays, you should back up! Although it's a legal gray zone, the problem is those discs don't last forever. We compiled the nine best free tools. Read More , but I prefer Handbrake. Not only can it rip DVDs, but it’s also the leading tool for converting videos into other formats Hands On With WinX HD Video Converter (PC/Mac) + Unlimited License Giveaway Hands On With WinX HD Video Converter (PC/Mac) + Unlimited License Giveaway It's one of the best tools for managing diverse types of video. Read More and codecs.

The app is entirely free to download and use, and it’s available on Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Download: Handbrake

Copy-Protected DVDs

As you will probably be aware, almost all store-bought DVDs have some form of copy protection. In theory, it’s an anti-piracy measure 5 Strange Video Game Copy Protection Measures Used In History 5 Strange Video Game Copy Protection Measures Used In History DRM isn’t a recent invention. There are games twenty years old that try to throw off hackers, pirates and thieves through various means, some of which are devious or downright evil. Pirating a game is... Read More . In practice, it doesn’t really appear to have worked; pirated DVDs have been available since the format displaced VHS.

Nonetheless, copy protection is something you’ll have to deal with when ripping DVDs. It’s a legal gray area; certain uses might be illegal under U.S. law unless they comply with the Fair Use doctrine.

Because it’s a legal gray area, no DVD ripping software can include the functionality natively. You’ll need to fix the problem yourself.

If you’re using Handbrake, it’s easy. Just grab a copy of libdvdcss.dll. It’s available through the VLC Player website and comes in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions.

Download: libdvdcss (32-bit)
Download: libdvdcss (64-bit)

Once you’ve downloaded the file, move it to Handbrake’s installation folder. The default path is C:\Program Files\Handbrake.

5 Simple Steps to Rip an Entire DVD to Your Hard Drive handbrake dll

That’s it. Handbrake will now be able to read and rip any copy-protected DVD.

Ripping DVDs

Now you’re set up with the software, let’s take a closer look at how to use Handbrake to rip DVDs.

Step 1: Scan Your DVD

Before you launch the software, open your computer’s CD tray and insert your DVD. Close the tray and open Handbrake.

Once the app has loaded, you’ll see the Source Selection panel on the left-hand side of the screen. You cannot go any further into the app until you’ve made a selection.

5 Simple Steps to Rip an Entire DVD to Your Hard Drive handbrake source

You can ignore Folder and File. Instead, head straight to the DVD icon and double click on it.

5 Simple Steps to Rip an Entire DVD to Your Hard Drive handbrake scan dvd

Handbrake will take a few moments to scan the content. If you failed to install libdvdcss.dll correctly, you’ll get an error message. Otherwise, you’ll be taken to the Settings screen.

5 Simple Steps to Rip an Entire DVD to Your Hard Drive handbrake scan dvd settings

Step 2: Choose Your Content

Handbrake lets you choose exactly what content you want to rip off the DVD. You can make all these adjustments in the Source settings.

5 Simple Steps to Rip an Entire DVD to Your Hard Drive handbrake source settings

Most DVDs have a lot more content than just the movie or TV show. They might include director’s cuts, deleted scenes, interviews, special features, and so on. You can make your selection in Title. The longest video is typically the movie. Unfortunately, if you’re ripping a TV show, you will need to save each episode individually.

DVDs are also broken down into chapters – for easy navigation – and angles. Angles are traditionally used to provide different versions of the same scene, but on modern DVDs, they’re generally deployed on international copies when dubbing and/or subtitles won’t suffice (for example, in the scrolling text at the beginning of Star Wars).

Adjust the Chapters and Angles you want to retain in the associated drop-down boxes. You can change Chapters to Frames or Seconds if you’d prefer to use a different measurement for cutting your content.

Step 3: Pick Your Destination

Now you need to decide where you want Handbrake to save your file. If you’re using Plex or Kodi, it makes sense to add the DVD to your existing video library, but you can save it anywhere you want.

5 Simple Steps to Rip an Entire DVD to Your Hard Drive handbrake destination

You can also save to external sources, meaning you can add the video to an external hard drive or even a blank DVD.

Click Browse to choose your destination. Make sure you give the rip an appropriate name.

Step 4: Set the Quality

On the right-hand side of the screen, you will see several Presets. They correspond to the quality of your rip.

Not only does Handbrake offer several generic presets, but there are also device-specific presets. For example, you can choose to rip your video in a format appropriate for watching on a Chromecast with surround sound or on a Roku in 1080p definition.

5 Simple Steps to Rip an Entire DVD to Your Hard Drive handbrake presets

Scroll down through the list to see what is available. Remember, the higher the quality, the larger the end file will be and the longer the DVD will take to rip.

Step 5: Choose Your Audio and Subtitles

At the bottom of the window, you will see six tabs: Picture, Filters, Video, Audio, Subtitles, and Chapters.

Picture, Filters, Video will have been determined by the present you chose (though feel free to customize the settings further if you wish). However, it’s worth spending a few minutes on the Audio and Subtitles tab.

Why? Because that’s where you can choose which dubs and subtitles make it onto your rip. The fewer you include, the smaller your end file will be.

5 Simple Steps to Rip an Entire DVD to Your Hard Drive handbrake audio

On my example, you can see the original DVD had both English and Italian audio – but I don’t need the Italian version.

5 Simple Steps to Rip an Entire DVD to Your Hard Drive handbrake subtitles

The subtitles tab lets you choose which subtitle files to copy and whether you want to burn them into the DVD itself or leave them as a standalone subtitle file How to Add Subtitles to a Movie or TV Series How to Add Subtitles to a Movie or TV Series Unfortunately, content you download off the internet normally doesn't come with subtitles. Thankfully, it's easy enough to add subtitles to a movie or TV series. Here's how... Read More .

Rip Your DVD

Once you’re happy with all your settings, click the Start Encode button at the top of the screen.

5 Simple Steps to Rip an Entire DVD to Your Hard Drive handbrake start encode

The ripping process could take quite a while, depending on the length of the video and the quality settings you selected.

Click Activity Log to monitor the progress.

5 Simple Steps to Rip an Entire DVD to Your Hard Drive handbrake log

Which App Do You Use?

In this article, I’ve shown you how to rip DVDs using Handbrake in five easy steps. But Handbrake is not the only way to achieve the desired result.

So now it’s over to you. Which software do you use when you want to rip DVDs onto your hard drive. What do you like about it? Where does it differ from Handbrake?

As always, you can leave your input and opinions in the comments section below.

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  1. Disappointed Again
    October 3, 2017 at 2:15 am

    This rips one single title, not the "entire DVD". The great thing about AnyDVD from RedFox (formerly SlySoft) is its ability to rip the entire DVD--menus, special features, everything--while removing all the annoying crap (various copy protections, fake titles, region scripts, unskippable ads, et cetera). The horrible thing is it isn't free and only runs on Windoze.

    On Linux I use dvdbackup to rip an entire DVD, but it isn't anywhere near as nice as AnyDVD (it only removes encryption and region code). I really wish there was something like that so I wouldn't have to have a pirated copy running in a virtualbox of tinyxp for those cases when I buy a DVD and it turns out to have extra special protections to keep me from archiving it or those stupid region scripts that check the code.

    Note that despite what the MPAA would have you believe, it is perfectly legal to make a backup copy for personal use of any purchased media in the United States.

  2. Yull
    August 21, 2017 at 10:09 am

    First, I rip the DVD as mkv file using MakeMKV. Then I transcode the resulting mkv file (usually as mp4) using Handbrake.

  3. sbrogden
    July 7, 2017 at 11:27 pm

    When I insert a DVD and start Handbrake, the source selection shows the DVD in drive E but when I select it, it does not take it as the source. Any ideas? This is a Win 10 64 bit PC running the 64bit version of Handbrake with the 64bit DLL installed as described above.

  4. Anonymous
    July 29, 2016 at 2:30 am

    This article lists DVD ripper software capable of ripping and converting DVD discs, ISO image files or DVD folders to computer, mobile handsets and media players supported file formats:
    hivimoore.com/2015/03/best-dvd-ripper-copier-review

  5. Anonymous
    July 29, 2016 at 1:31 am

    Nice share! Thanks!

  6. Henry Baker
    December 26, 2014 at 4:05 pm

    Since *most* DVDs *are* copy-protected, this article is a useless waste of time. So here's how to fix that absurd omission: Get DVDdecrypter. Google it.

  7. peacewise
    April 30, 2010 at 10:00 pm

    DVDFab Decrypter is free. Give it a shot http://www.dvdfab.com/free.htm...

  8. RIC MANNW
    April 3, 2010 at 10:53 pm

    In linux and windows go to f http://www.videolan.org/vlc/
    the file you want is "libcss something"
    Sorry someone help me here for her!
    ric mannw

  9. jason
    March 29, 2010 at 6:16 am

    I must recommend Slysoft.com and the following software:

    AnyDVD - To circumvent various copy protections
    CloneDVD2 - To Burn a back-up DVD

    So...
    Could someone point me in the direction of media conversion software that is 'top notch'? I'm currently working with
    'ConvertXtoDVD 4'
    Is this really the best?

    Thanx guys and your welcome!
    +jAy-

  10. jason
    March 28, 2010 at 8:16 pm

    I must recommend Slysoft.com and the following software:

    AnyDVD - To circumvent various copy protections
    CloneDVD2 - To Burn a back-up DVD

    So...
    Could someone point me in the direction of media conversion software that is 'top notch'? I'm currently working with
    'ConvertXtoDVD 4'
    Is this really the best?

    Thanx guys and your welcome!
    +jAy-

    • Chris Chip
      March 29, 2010 at 3:08 am

      Anyone know of any freeware programs like the Slysoft products? They look pretty good, but student budgets confine me to free programs only for the next year or so.

    • Sheila
      August 21, 2017 at 11:18 am

      I bought lifetime licenses to all the Slysoft products. They weren't perfect but did the job. Then they did a "just-kidding" about the lifetime part of the licenses and asked me to buy themall again. Not cool!

  11. Doc
    March 23, 2010 at 5:05 pm

    If you want to rip a video DVD to XVID/DIVX with Handbrake,, you must use Handbrake 0.9.3, as 0.9.4 has ripped out XVID/DIVX support in favor of x264. This sucks because I have a DIVX-compatible DVD player (set top box).

  12. Boxcar
    March 22, 2010 at 6:40 am

    As was mentioned early on in the article, you must find your own way to circumvent copy protection, as that is not the focus of the article. There are any number of programs available to do exactly that. The ones I've used run in the system tray and give some kind of notice when the protection has been worked around. At that point you will be able to rip the DVD without issue.

  13. Chris0089
    March 21, 2010 at 4:33 pm

    It does not seem to work with Disney Pixar "Up"

  14. celeste
    March 21, 2010 at 11:50 am

    does this let you rip a protected disc?

    • RIC MANNW
      April 3, 2010 at 12:53 pm

      In linux and windows go to f http://www.videolan.org/vlc/
      the file you want is "libcss something"
      Sorry someone help me here for her!
      ric mannw