"As a Brit, I often want DVDs that I just can't find in the U.S. It's usually U.K. comedy shows, most of which don't take off over here for some reason. And DVD regions used to be a problem for me."
There are many occasions that we buy a DVD disc, but its region code doesn't match where we buy our DVD player and where we live. So what's are DVD region codes? Is there a way to change DVD region code or play region-locked DVDs on any PC/laptop/Xbox/PS4 in any country without errors? If you're confused about these, read on to learn details. The guide here will show you how to remove / unlock DVD region locks for US, Europe, Australia, Japan, etc without changing region code on DVD drive at all.
Table of Contents:
Part 1: What Are DVD Region Codes?
DVD region code is a digital rights management technique mainly for controlling DVD content, release date and price by the distributors. Almost all commercial DVDs that are sold have a "region code", which only allows the DVD to be played on DVD players that have this region code, and the only DVD players that typically do have this region code are those sold in that same region. For example, almost all DVDs and DVD players sold in North America have a region code of "1", and DVDs with a region code of "1" can only be played on DVD players with that same region code. Similarly, almost all DVDs and DVD players sold in Germany have a region code of "2", and DVDs with a region code of "2" can only be played on DVD players with that same region code. What this means is that if you live in North America and order a DVD from Germany, it probably will not play on your DVD player.
But it is not the main concern. What totally disappoints us is the limitation on the DVD region changing times. You can change the DVD region code on DVD Player or DVD drives for a limited number of times (mostly 5) before it's permanently locked. Once you reach 5 times, you cannot change the region unless you reinstall Windows or change a different DVD drive.
Here are the region codes in widespread use today:
◉ Region 1 (R1): U.S.A., U.S. Territories and Canada.
◉ Region 2 (R2): Europe, Japan, the Middle East, Egypt, South Africa, Greenland.
◉ Region 3 (R3): Taiwan, Korea, South Korea, Hong Kong SAR, Macau.
◉ Region 4 (R4): Mexico, South and Central America, Australia, New Zealand, Pacific Islands, Caribbean
◉ Region 5 (R5): Russia, Eastern Europe, India, Africa (excluding South Africa), North Korea, Mongolia
◉ Region 6 (R6): People's Republic of China, Hong Kong SAR
There are also region codes "7" and "8", which have special purposes. For a more detailed breakdown of where these region codes are used, see the Wikipedia article DVD region code.
DVD Region Code Map
Part 2: How to Change DVD Region in Windows/Mac Manually?
Both PC and Mac offer an option to change region code of DVD drive making it have a matching code with DVD, otherwise, you'll receive wrong region error when playing DVDs. It makes easy to watch a foreign movie DVD on computer. Now, let's follow the guides to change region protection on a DVD disc on Mac and Windows.
1. How to change DVD drive region code in Mac
The region code of DVD drive on Mac will be automatically set as the DVD you play at the first time. Once you insert a DVD with a region code which doesn't match the current one of DVD drive, it will ask you whether you want to change the region code. Learn more about how to change DVD drive region in macOS (11 Big Sur)
Step 1. Insert the DVD into the optical drive on your MacBook Pro. A dialog box will open, prompting you to select a region for your DVD drive.
Step 2. Consult the DVD package to verify which region code to use. For example, Japan, the Middle East, South Africa and Western Europe use Region 2, while China uses Region 6.
Step 3. Click the "Change Drive Region to" drop-down menu, and then click the region code.
Step 4. Click "Set Drive Region".
Step 5. Click on the "Lock" icon to save your settings.
2. How to change DVD drive region code in Windows (10)
Step 1. Open File Explorer and find DVD drive.
Step 2. Right-click the DVD drive and move to Properties.
Step 3. Click Hardware tab and select the DVD drive. Hit Properties button in Device Properties panel.
Step 4. Click DVD Region tab and choose a geographic area. Click OK.
3. How to change the region code of your DVD Player for television
Step 1. Make sure the DVD disc has already been removed from the DVD player.
Step 2. Press the following keys in succession on the remote control. Different DVD players will have different operations. This is the steps for LG DVD players.
• click "Pause".
• enter "3141590".
• enter a new region code.
• click "ok".
• click "Pause" key to exit.
Step 3. Return DVD disc to try playing again. Normally, the incorrect region code DVD can be played now.
Both Windows and Mac have a limited number - 5 - of DVD region code changes. After you have reached the maximum change, the region code will be kept as the last code you set even if you reinstall operation system. If you have reached the limit, how can you play a DVD that adopts a different region?
If you cannot "unlock" your existing DVD player or DVD drive, the most obvious and straightforward way to overcome DVD region codes is to purchase a DVD player from the same part of the world as the DVDs that you want to watch. However, this presents certain challenges. First, most foreign countries use 220V/50Hz current rather than the 110V/60Hz current used in North America. Fortunately, some manufacturers produce equipment that will run on either type of current. It is also necessary to have a plug adapter, since the electrical outlets and plugs used in many foreign countries are different from those in North American. Such plug adapters are easy to find and inexpensive. However, there is another obstacle that is not so obvious and that is more difficult to overcome, namely video encoding standards.
Another easy and efficient approach is to rip and digitize the DVD and then you will get a new file with region code removal. For details, you can refer to the part 4 of this article.
Part 3: Frequently Asked Questions about DVD Region Code
1. How can I find the region code on a DVD?
The region code number is usually printed over a small globe icon on the back of the individual DVD packaging and on the disc itself. Informal term meaning "playable in all regions". Region 0 discs will play on any DVD player.
2. Can I watch region 2 DVD in USA?
No. Region 2 DVD can only be played in Europe and other countries which are in region 2, while USA is in region 1 and can only play a DVD designated region 2 or region 0. If you need to watch region 2 DVD in USA, you can change your DVD drive's region coding or digitize the DVD.
3. Can I convert region 1 dvd to region 2?
Yes. DVD region code converter programs such as EaseFab DVD Ripper can remove region code 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 from the digital copies. You can play region 1 DVD on region 2 freely. The region code protection method on physical discs is reserved.
Part 4: How to Bypass or Remove DVD Region Code?
Ripping and copying regional DVDs is the best way to avoid resetting PC's DVD drive's counter and to play foreign region-coded DVDs without limits. Along with some help from a third-party program like EaseFab DVD Ripper, you can easily convert regional DVDs to region free. In the respect of DVD region code, this software tool can deal with all types of DVDs, from new discs, 99-title, damaged, Japanese, regional, workout to non-standard DVDs.
◆ Convert DVD to region free: EaseFab DVD Ripper gets around country code blocks and makes any regional DVDs unlocked and convertible. It can decrypt regional-playback control (RPC) encryption, Region-code Enhanced (RCE) or any other region locks.
◆ Change region codes on DVD: Acting like a region code changer seemingly, it changes regions 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 to region 0. To put it simple, the output file becomes region free and playback of the converted file is easier than ever without needing to consider region issue.
◆ Convert regional DVDs: not only a region code remover. EaseFab DVD Ripper can convert region encrypted DVDs to AVI, MP4, H.264, HEVC, MPEG, WMV, MOV, etc. After conversion, DVD owners are enabled to transfer the regional movies onto memory stick, hard drive, USB flash drive, MicroSD Memory Card and so on, or even play DVD videos on Android (Samsung, HTC, Google, Amazon, Xiaomi, Aquos, Fujitsu), iPad, iPhone, Apple TV, WP8, Surface Pro, PSP and more.
How to Remove DVD Region Codes without Resetting DVD Drive's Counter?
To begin with, you need to download and install EaseFab DVD Ripper Windows or Mac version on your computer. The guide below takes the Windows version for an example. Mac version has the same process.
Step 1: Insert a region 1/2/3/4/5/6 DVD into your DVD-ROM, launch EaseFab DVD Ripper and click "DVD Disc" button. Alternatively, you can input an ISO image or DVD folder instead of a disc itself. After that, the main movie title will be checked automatically.
Step 2: Choose an output format according to your needs. It's a good way to convert regional DVDs to MP4 for playback on mobile devices, laptops, TVs, etc.
EaseFab DVD Ripper has 350+ built-in profiles, so you can convert the region code DVD to general mobile/tablet video, PC videos or Mac videos. You can also try main title content copy that is one of the fastest solutions to copy and save the region (2) DVD with selected audio/video tracks as a MPEG2 digital file without quality loss on image and sound.
Step 3: Click "Folder" button in the Output bar, and select a destination folder to save your rip. Now you're ready to hit "Convert" button to begin ripping the region code DVD. After ripping is completed, the DVD video is totally region free.
Physical DVD discs are indeed not as convenient as digital files. If you own a big collection of old home videos, movies, and TV series on DVDs being stored on shelves, in boxes, or somewhere else in house, ripping and digitizing your DVD collection is good way to save up your local storage space, keep your discs from scratching, damaging. And after discs digitized, you can play them on any app you like without DVD region code and copy-protection limits.