How to convert/rip DVD to videos with HandBrake

This guide will show you how to convert/rip DVD to video files like .mp4 for free with HandBrake DVD ripping software.


Step One: Install the program

To be able to convert a DVD with HandBrake, you should download the free software. This kind of open-source video transcoder is free and designed for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Tips: In case you have a Mac with a Core 2 Duo or later processor, ensure that you get the 64-bit version of the program. It can quicken the ripping time over the 32-bit version of HandBrake. (Remember that the newest version of HandBrake, 0.9.5, is Intel-only. In case you also have a Power PC-based Mac, you may still download version 0.9.4.)

Step Two: Put a DVD and select what you want to convert

Right now insert the DVD into your DVD drive and start HandBrake. Automatically, the software will start a dialog box and you need to choose the DVD installed on your own computer -select it and click on Open. HandBrake will scan the DVD for that titles it includes, which could take a few minutes. After the scan is finished, simply click on the box near to Title and in the pop-up menu that appears, select the longest title.

When you encounter a DVD with 99 titles of just about the same length, you’ve come across a copy-protection scheme meant to stop ripping. If so, you might need to purchase different DVD-ripping software for better results.


Step Three: Select a preset

Since you’ve chosen the title to copy, you will ought to select your encoding configurations according to the product(s) on which you intend to enjoy the content. Though you will be able to adjust every aspect of encoding, HandBrake contains helpful presets which make it much simpler.

In case the Presets Drawer isn’t already open, press the Toggle Presets button on top of the HandBrake window (or press command-T). Inside the drawer, you’ll notice three sets of presets: Apple, Regular, and Legacy. Generally, you will be able to just concentrate on the Apple part. Right now there you’ll see Universal, iPod, iPhone & iPod Touch, iPhone4, iPad, Apple TV, and AppleTV2.

If you would like enjoy your own movie on the newest iPhone, for instance, opt for iPhone4 for the best quality settings that can work with that product. It is suitable for other gadgets, according to their playback limitations. The Universal preset is useful prefer a content that can work with all present Apple products.
In case you’re ripping TV program episodes, you’ll need to opt for the settings for every file just before adding it to the line. To quicken the process, you could choose a preset as the default. Highlight the preset you would like, and then in the bottom of the Preset Drawer, press the gear icon and select Make Default in the drop-down menu.

Step Four: Adjust the settings

Normal (top) and deinterlaced (bottom)

After you’ve chosen your preset, there are some settings you would like to pay additional attention to, based on your particular demands.

Deinterlacing Some TV shows you can get on DVD are interlaced that is, shot as some half frames of even lines and odd lines, which usually can cause jagged video when watched in your own computer or portable product. To get over this, HandBrake could deinterlace while it copy to get things easy. To know if your own DVD has interlaced video, click on the Preview Window button in HandBrake and browse through the still images for indication of interlacing jaggedness. If it doesn’t inform you enough, select a time from the Duration (Sec) pop-up menu you can see as the cursor is floating in the Preview window, and after that press Live Preview. HandBrake could encode a short portion of your own video while using current settings and after that play it back so that you can examine the video much more closely. If you notice signs of interlacing, click on the Settings button (in the same window) and it’ll start a new window called Picture Settings. Press the Filters tab, making sure the slider between Decomb and Deinterlace is to the best. In the drop-down menu near to Deinterlace, choose Fast and after that redo the preview to see if that makes a difference. Or, you can attempt Slow or Slower to find just how much work is required.

Ensure Handbrake has chosen the correct title. Titles and chapters are just like headings and sub-headings, as well as your average DVD will most likely have several titles — one for that main movie, and one or more for any specific features. Handbrake screens the size of the chosen title, making it simple to tell if you’ve found the correct one. If you don’t, click on the Title menu and choose the right title. It ought to be the longest title accessible. 

Step Five: Tag the video with metadata

As the final step is optional, adding cover art, cast, summaries, and the like can make your own videos or TV shows look and act much more those purchased in the iTunes Store.


There are many programs that are able to look up metadata online and load it to the files. Rodney Kerstetter’s totally free MetaX is made especially for that purpose.


How you can cut down the Size of Ripped Files

Ripping files at full-quality is excellent if you have found plenty of storage space. A entire movie, copy fully-quality, can land at a gig of hard disk space or much more! Often, you simply can’t find a way to use that much space, particularly if you’re ripping for your own iPod.

In Handbrake, there a few simple methods to slim down your files:

  • 1. Cut the Credits. Tell the truth. Would you often enjoy the whole credit reel? A lot of people don’t. You will be able to remove the credits quickly by the Chapters selection in the Source section of Handbrake. This demands some work outside the software. Keep in mind exactly how Apple’s DVD Player works automatically once you insert your DVD? You can make use of that player to find out what chapter the credits run in. It really is often the last one. In Handbrake, you could reduce that chapter in the chapters fields.
  • 2. Trim Down the Video. Movies, by their very nature, are made to be seen by many people at once. Film creators devote considerable time and resources having the picture quality just right. Nevertheless, if you’re importing your own video in your iPod, it’s likely to be enjoyed by just one person, as well as on a fairly small screen, to boot. Do you want anything super-high quality? Most likely not. Handbrake’s Video section come with two methods of monkeying around along with the video quality of your file. 
    • 3. Target Size: you should use Target Size to choose a preferred size for the ultimate product. This size is measured in megabytes (MB). You could choose any size you prefer, but don’t forget: the longer the film, the lesser the result as you try and squeeze the file under 300MB.
    • 4. Constant Quality: you could lower the quality of the file by a certain percentage. Apply the slider to determine exactly what you would like that percentage to be.
    • You could fiddle with all these options until you’ve satisfied the quality-to-file size conundrum.
    • 5. Slim Down the Audio. Along with adjusting the movie quality, additionally you can lower the quality of the audio part of your file in Handbrake’s Audio part.

  • All these controls function very similar as they would if you are ripping an audio CD. Click on Bitrate to adjust the bitrate of the audio. The lower the bitrate, the lower the quality — and the smaller the file. Most MP3s are secured with a bitrate of 156-192bps, however for a movie, you will get along fine with a bitrate of 128bps. Modifications to the audio quality could be a little more subtle than changes to the video, therefore play around until you get something you prefer.
  • 6. Chop the Screen. The step is a wonderful tool for for anybody ripping to an iPod. You can see, Handbrake quickly creates videos with a picture size near to that of the source you are ripping from. For a lot of programs, that’s fine — if you’re converting for the latest Apple TV, you’ll need that resolution. But when you’re going to import the videos to your iPod, there is certainly no sense in tearing a movie having a screen size twice the size of that in the product. With Handbrake, it is simple to adjust the height and width of the picture to suit the destination. This continues your own file size down, particularly when combined with the other three tips.

To get this done, simply click Picture Settings to open up the image dialog. 
Press the arrows near to the height and width to alter the picture size. Apply the Previous and Next buttons to boost through the chapters of the source and have a preview the screen dimensions.

This advice generally perform best as  all used together. Even though you drop the image size of a movie down to the iPod’s display, it’s still likely to be a large file in case you rip it at 100% quality. Alter the settings until you know very well what you prefer, and ensure to verify the work by launching samples to your iPod.

Want a simple way to convert DVD? Try this professional DVD ripper here.

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Michael writes for and may earn a modest commission for any purchases made via links in his content. Despite this, all opinions and analyses he provides are entirely his own, stemming from thorough independent research and personal evaluation.



My name is Michael Thompson, and I'm a passionate music lover with a knack for all things tech. I know that tech can be overwhelming, especially for those just starting out, so I'm here to bridge the gap with easy-to-understand guides and tutorials. I believe everyone deserves access to the wonderful world of technology, regardless of their experience level. My goal is to demystify complex topics and break them down into simple, actionable steps that anyone can follow. Whether you want to learn how to use your new computer, fix a software issue, or explore the latest tech trends, I'm here to help you navigate the digital landscape with confidence. When I'm not writing or tinkering with gadgets, you can find me lost in a good song or discovering new music. I'm a firm believer that music has the power to uplift and inspire, and I love sharing that passion with others. So, come on in, pull up a chair, and let's explore the tech world together! I'm excited to be your guide and partner in this digital journey.