Can Handbrake deal with protected DVDs? Many users may be very familiar with the swiss army knife of video and DVD conversion tools. Typically, Handbrake can rip any DVD that isn't copy protected…but almost all DVDs you buy in the store are copy protected via DRM or AAC. And that's why an alert box with "HandBrake does not support the removal of copy-protection from DVD discs" will show up if it is a commercial DVD. Fortunately, there are always solutions out there. And in this article, we'll show you how to rip your protected DVDs using Handbrake.
- Part 1: Install libdvdcss for Handbrake on Windows and Mac
- Part 2: Detailed Steps to Rip (Protected) DVDs using Handbrake
- Part 3: How to Solve "HandBrake won't Rip DVDs"
- Part 4: Best HandBrake Alternative for Ripping Copy-Protected DVDs (Easier and Faster)
Click one of the links below to jump straight to your most interested part.
Part 1: Install libdvdcss for Handbrake on Windows and Mac
To get Handbrake to decrypt copy protected DVDs, what you need to download and use is a free DVD playback librabry called libdvdcss. This will let Handbrake read your encrypted DVDs and rip them to your computer. The process for installing the decoder is slightly different for Windows users versus Mac. Follow the instructions below, and then we will be ready to start ripping.
Once yo've installed Handbrake and the decoder; you won't have to do these steps again. And don't forget to download Handbrake according to your computer OS before installing the decoder.
How to Install libdvdcss on Windows
Download the library file from here, then navigate to your downloads folder and copy and paste the file into your C:/Program Files/Handbrake directory. It should look like the image below.
After this, Handbrake will be able to read your encrypted DVDs.
How to Install libdvdcss on Mac
The security protocols on macOS prevent you from installing the library file using an installer. Thankfully, there is a very easy way to do it using Terminal and an add-on called Homebrew.
1. Open Terminal on the Mac.
2. Copy and paste the text below into the Terminal window and press Return
/usr/bin/ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/master/install)"
3. You will be prompted to click Return and type in your administrator password.
4. The process will also download and install some portions of Apple's Xcode developer software. Approve this when the pop-up prompts you to do so.
5. Once the process is complete and you see the normal prompt, copy and paste the code below into the Terminal window and press Return.
6. Once complete, close the Terminal window and you're ready to begin.
brew install libdvdcss
Part 2: Detailed Steps to Rip (Protected) DVDs using Handbrake
Note that when you first open Handbrake, the interface may seem intimidating because there are a lot of settings, but don't worry. The default settings will work perfectly for most users. The process for ripping copy-right protected DVD is virtually the same with Windows and Mac. Here I will take the Windows process for example to show you how to decrypt and rip your protected DVDs.
Step 1. Open Your DVD in Handbrake
Insert the DVD into the DVD drive on your computer. Open Handbrake and choose your DVD drive from the sidebar that appears.
Handbrake will take a moment to scan the titles on your DVD. Wait until this process is finished. It should only take a moment. If libdvdcss wasn't installed incorrectly, you'll see an error saying that the disc can't be read here instead.
Once your DVD is open, head to the "Title" dropdown box and choose which title you want to rip. By default, Handbrake will choose the movie, but if you want to rip any special features or deleted scenes, you can change the target you want to rip here. You can also change which chapters you want to rip, if you only want part of the movie.
Under Destination, click Browse to pick where you want to place the movie after you've ripped it.
Step 2. Choose Your Quality Preset
Next, you'll need to decide the quality of your output file. The higher quality the movie, the more space it will take on your hard drive. If you're technical, you can use the Picture, Video, and Audio tabs to adjust these settings, but most people only need to click one thing: a Preset.
Along the right side of the Handbrake window, you'll see a selection of Presets (if you don't see it, drag the corner of Handbrake's window and expand it until you do). There are presets for nearly anything you could need: Apple TV, Android phones, PlayStation, and lots more. If you're watching on your computer, use one of the "General" presets - "Fast" and "Very Fast" will be low quality but small in size, while "HQ" and "Super HQ" will have higher quality but take up more space.
If you're ripping a DVD sold in the US, choose the 480p preset. European DVDs are usually 576p. Don't choose larger presets like 720p or 1080p for DVDs—they won't make your video look any better, they'll just make the file bigger.
Step 2. Start Ripping Protected DVD using Handbrake
Once you've chosen your Title and Preset, click Start Encode at the top of the window. Then, grab a snack.
You'll see a progress bar along the bottom that will let you know how much time you have left in the rip. Higher quality rips will take longer, so you'll want to let your computer run for a while.
Once the rip is done, you should be able to double-click on it to watch it! Or, if you're using a movie library program like Plex, Emby or Rodi, just add the movie to your library for enjoyment.
Part 3: How to Solve "HandBrake won't Rip DVDs"
Various problems may occur when we use free HandBrake to rip DVDs. Here, we pick out several common issues and the possible solutions if you failed to rip DVD with Handbrake.
Case 1: No valid source or titles found
This error pops up after you attempt to open the source of DVD. This is probably because your source file format isn't supported by HandBrake or copy-protected. If the error message shows: No Valid Source Found, try the following methods to solve HandBrake No Valid Source Found Error:
1. Make sure you have installed VLC (properly) which includes libdvdcss by nature;
2. Make sure the bit number of VLC is corresponding to that of HandBrake. That means, 32 bit VLC for 32 bit HandBrake, and 64 bit VLC player for 64 bit Handbrake;
3. If your HandBrake is totally out of date, please download the latest version 1.2.0;
4. Check whether your source file is in MKV format, if yes, you must remux it (with mkvmerge GUI). FYI, MKV problem appears from time to time. So you may also need to get an alternative to avoid and solve such HandBrake error.
5. Check whether it is the reason of file permissions. Try "get info" -> Add yourself under "sharing & permissions". This may help HandBrake reading the source.
Case 2: HandBrake only rip part of DVD
Reportedly, if you have some DVDs that can not use Handbrake to get it 100% converted, then this DVD is mostly encrypted with DVD copy protections. To solve this Handbrake not finish the whole DVD converting trouble, you can give the Handbrake 64 bit a try. Cooperating with VLC media player 64 bit, you can work through with some of encrypted DVDs (make sure your have the full copy rights of them).
However, when you using Handbrake to rip protected DVDs on Mac OS, you will get an error message says: "This version of handbrake is 64 bit, VLC found but not 64 bit!" It is one of the biggest trouble for Handbrake Mac users. On one hand, though they followed the instructions as that message said, they would still get it from time to time. On the other hand, Handbrake Mac users need to get VLC 64 bit installed firstly, which is reported as buggy software sometimes.
Therefore, before managing to backup copy protected DVDs, you need to know how to defeat Handbrake 64 VLC error. Otherwise, you can also find a Handbrake alternative when handling with encrypted DVDs.
※ Note: HandBrake can't handle copy protection. Even with libdvdcss being installed, HandBrake only decrypts and rips some certain DVDs with CSS. To rip any copy protected DVD freely, you need a more powerful alternative.
Part 4: Best HandBrake Alternative for Ripping Copy-Protected DVDs
Installing libdvdcss can solve part of the problems, but you have to resort to another DVD ripping tool when dealing with strictly encrypted ones (like the Disney DVDs). If you failed to open a commercial DVD with Handbrake (even the descoder installed) and want to find a more efficient and easier way to rip and copy your DVD collections, I highly recommend you another top-ranked tool - EaseFab DVD Ripper (available for Windows and Mac users), which is constantly updated and hardware accelerated. The program accepts various types of DVDs, be them non-commercial, region-coded, 99-title, etc. The well-rounded features in DVD decrypting, editing and re-encoding are what sets EaseFab DVD Ripper apart.
Moreover, EaseFab provides timely and excellent customer support service, including lifetime free upgrade of product and technical support. Once you get it, DVD movie enjoyment can't be more simpler than ever.
The proecess of ripping protected DVD with the best Handbrake alternative is very straightforward. Pop in your disc, choose an output profile and click the "Convert" to start ripping.
EaseFab DVD Ripper not only supports various prevailed video and audio formats with excellent output video quality, but also offers a library of preprogrammed optimization profiles for specific devices such as smartphones, tablets, gaming systems, smart TVs, VR and more.