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It’s tough to find a good, free, easy-to-use DVD ripper that can make digital backups of copyright protected DVDs. The rise of streaming services Canceled Cable? 8 Streaming TV Apps to Fill the Void Canceled Cable? 8 Streaming TV Apps to Fill the Void If you have canceled cable you may be wondering what to watch next. These streaming TV apps may be the answer, as they offer a traditional viewing experience. Read More has given Hollywood studios even more reason to crack down on unauthorized rips.

However, if you gather the right tools and familiarize yourself with the process, ripping DVDs is a piece of cake. Once you’ve done it once or twice, you’ll be able to digitize your entire library with ease.

Please be aware of the rules and regulations regarding DVD rips in your region. Ripping your physical copy of Lord of the Rings as a backup may seem like an innocent precaution, but it’s always best to make sure that what you’re doing is actually legal.

Getting Started

Before we rip anything, we need to collect the right tools for the job. First, we’ll need Handbrake, an open source 10 Free Open Source Windows Tools Hosted on GitHub 10 Free Open Source Windows Tools Hosted on GitHub Microsoft is the organization with the most open source contributors on GitHub. To celebrate this achievement, we have compiled a list of the best free Windows tools you can download from GitHub. Read More video transcoder that’s available here. Download the software and install it on your computer.

Next, we’ll need a utility that’s able to break through the copy protection on your DVDs. We’re going to use a tool called libdvdcss that’s available for 32-bit systems here, and for 64-bit systems What Is the Difference Between 32-bit & 64-bit Windows? What Is the Difference Between 32-bit & 64-bit Windows? Do you know whether your computer is 32-bit or 64-bit and does it even matter? Yes it does! Let's take a look at where these terms come from and what they mean for you. Read More here.

Now we need to move libdvdcss-2.dll to the Handbrake folder that was created when we installed the software. This is located at C:\Program Files\Handbrake, unless you specified otherwise.

How to Copy DVDs that You Own libdvdcss

With all that done, we’re ready to start ripping.

Ripping Your DVD

Insert a DVD into your computer and open up Handbrake. Choose your DVD drive from the Source Selection menu.

How to Copy DVDs that You Own source selection

The software will now scan your disc. This may take a little while.

How to Copy DVDs that You Own scanning title

Next, we need to tell Handbrake exactly what we want to rip. To do so, we need to tweak our Source settings.

How to Copy DVDs that You Own source settings

I used the Title dropdown to ensure that I’m ripping the whole movie. Alternatively, I could choose to rip only a single chapter. This is useful when you’re ripping individual episodes of a TV show How to Hide Spoilers and Get Random Episodes on Netflix How to Hide Spoilers and Get Random Episodes on Netflix Are you addicted to Netflix? If so, you've probably noticed that the interface could do with a few tweaks here and there. Read More from a DVD.

Proceed to the Destination section and use the Browse button to choose where the file will be saved.

How to Copy DVDs that You Own destination settings

It’s up to you where it goes, but choose a sensible name so you can find it later on. A well-organized movie library removes the hassle from movie night.

How to Copy DVDs that You Own presetsNext, make a selection from the list of Presets. It’s a compromise between image quality, resolution, and the time it takes to rip the video, so take that into account. Fast 1080p30 is the default, and it’ll suit the needs of most users. If you’re planning to watch your video on a particular device, check out the Devices section of the list.

How to Copy DVDs that You Own devices

With all that done, it’s start the process. Click the Start Encode button.

How to Copy DVDs that You Own start encode

This will probably take some time, so throw some popcorn in the microwave while Handbrake does its thing. Once the rip is complete, test your file out using your preferred media player.

What Next?

Now that you’ve learned how to rip DVDs, you can start transforming your PC into a fully fledged media center. If you own an Xbox One, it’s easy to beam video files across your home network How to Stream Video to Xbox One From Windows 10 How to Stream Video to Xbox One From Windows 10 Struggling to stream video to your Xbox One? We show you three video stream options available in Windows 10. Follow this guide for a stress-free movie night. Read More , so you can watch them on your living room TV. Alternatively, why not try setting up a Plex media server 8 Plex Tricks and Tips You Really Need to Know 8 Plex Tricks and Tips You Really Need to Know Plex is a stunning piece of software. Put simply, it lets you stream your media anywhere in the world, on any device, whenever you want. But there is so much more to it than that... Read More to keep all your movies and TV episodes in one place?

Steaming services like Netflix are great, but nothing replaces a fully stocked movie library of you’re own if you’re itching to watch a particular title. With a little bit of effort, you can set up the home theater you’ve always dreamed of.

Do you have a tip for getting the best results from a DVD rip? Or perhaps you have an advanced question about using Handbrake? Why not join the conversation in the comments section below?

Image Credit: SJ Travel Photo and Video via Shutterstock.com

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  1. Jimmy
    June 9, 2017 at 6:08 am

    Oh-oh?I read your article twice but still get lost. I have heard of handbrake but now I find it’s too complicated for me. So, I’d like to try WinX DVD Ripper recommended by my friends. They told me that this tool can remove DRM protection from DVD and the speed is fast. That sounds great to me.

  2. Leticia
    May 19, 2017 at 9:04 pm

    Could I then burn it into a new CD? I just need to change the region of my DVD. Any ideas? (I'm a rookie though so need very easy and not risky steps :)

  3. Mark
    May 13, 2017 at 8:56 pm

    Not having any problems, 30 min per disc to 1080p mp4 file. Nice.

  4. jt
    April 1, 2017 at 7:20 pm

    Im lost. What software did I download to create the handbrake file. trying to understand this process before trying it

  5. Eyesac
    March 22, 2017 at 5:38 pm

    I tried this and it still said the protection was stopping it from being scanned.

  6. Shawn
    February 27, 2017 at 1:38 am

    I have been using DVD Shrink and Auto Gordian Knot for years. The programs have always worked great for me, but both have not been released for quite a few years now.

  7. das
    February 22, 2017 at 11:42 pm

    I use clementine.
    Works fine and have support for many cloud servers.

  8. n
    February 22, 2017 at 3:06 pm

    I have problems with getting Handbrake to work on Windows 10. All the drop down menus are plain white with.
    I resorted to using MakeMKV Beta instead.