How to Rip a DVD on Mac

Kyle Wood

Mac, Tutorials

Ripping a DVD on Mac is a useful skill to have, especially if you want to digitize your DVD collection or create backups. In this tutorial, we will guide you through the process of ripping a DVD on your Mac using the popular HandBrake software. Let’s get started!

Step 1: Download and Install HandBrake
First, head over to the official HandBrake website at and download the latest version of HandBrake for Mac. Once the download is complete, open the installer and follow the on-screen instructions to install HandBrake.

Step 2: Launch HandBrake
After installing HandBrake, locate it in your Applications folder and launch the application.

Step 3: Insert the DVD
Insert the DVD you want to rip into your Mac’s optical drive. Wait for a few seconds until your Mac recognizes the disc.

Step 4: Choose the Source
In HandBrake, click on “Source” in the top menu bar and select your DVD from the list of available sources. You might see multiple titles listed if there are multiple videos on your DVD. Select the title that corresponds to the main video you want to rip.

Note: If you’re unsure which title contains the main video, you can preview each title by clicking on it and using the “Preview” button in HandBrake.

Step 5: Choose Output Settings
Next, click on “Browse” next to “Destination” to choose where you want to save your ripped video file. Give it a descriptive name and select a location on your Mac.

Now it’s time to configure some output settings:

  • Format: Choose a format for your ripped video file. HandBrake offers various options such as MP4, MKV, and more.

    MP4 is a widely supported format and a good choice in most cases.

  • Video Codec: Select the video codec you want to use. H.264 is a popular choice as it provides good video quality and compression.
  • Audio Tracks: If your DVD has multiple audio tracks, select the one you want to include in your ripped video file.
  • Subtitles: Similarly, if your DVD has subtitles, choose the subtitle track you want to include in your ripped video file.

Step 6: Start the Ripping Process
Once you have configured all the necessary settings, click on the “Start” button at the top of HandBrake’s window to begin ripping your DVD. The ripping process might take some time depending on the length of the video and the speed of your Mac.

Tips and Troubleshooting

TIP: Preview Video Before Ripping

Before starting the ripping process, make sure to preview your selected title using HandBrake’s built-in preview feature. This will help ensure that you’re ripping the correct video.

TIP: Adjust Quality Settings

If you’re not satisfied with the default output quality, you can adjust various settings in HandBrake to achieve better results. Experiment with different settings until you find a balance between file size and video quality that suits your needs.


In some cases, HandBrake may not be able to rip certain DVDs due to encryption or other restrictions. To overcome this issue, you can use third-party software like MacX DVD Ripper Pro or MakeMKV, which are designed to handle more complex DVD structures.


Ripping a DVD on Mac is a straightforward process with the help of HandBrake. By following the steps outlined in this tutorial, you can easily create digital copies of your DVDs or backup your favorite movies to enjoy on various devices.

Remember to respect copyright laws and only rip DVDs that you own or have the necessary permissions for. Enjoy your digital video library!

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