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How to Rip DVDs with Copy Protections using Handbrake

"Handbrake and copy protection - Hi everyone, Handbrake can't unlock copy protections. Could someone suggest a Handbrake copy protection plugin/add-on that enables me to copy-protected discs to MP4 digital video format?"

When I tried to rip protected DVDs using Handbrake, it gave me an error message. I have not upgraded my OS, Handbrake, or the libdvdcss library. Any ideas? I finished the job using MakeMkv and then Handbrake but it's nice when I can just use the Handbrake.

Handbrake is only capable of copying unprotected homemade DVDs. When attempting to rip DVDs with copy protections using Handbrake, such as DVDs from Disney, Marvel, Paramount, and others, Handbrake encounters difficulties. These difficulties may manifest as read errors, the ripping process stalling at 0.01%, the resulting video and audio being distorted, or other errors specific to Handbrake. Oops, Handbrake can't copy protected DVDs itself. How to bypass copy protection with Handbrake and rip copy-protected DVDs?

Copy Protected DVDs without Handbrake Copy Protection Limits

Handbrake only rip DVDs protected by CSS or Region Code with Libdvdcss and ripping errors still occur often.

MacX DVD Ripper Pro can remove Handbrake libdvdcss copy protection limits on Mac (macOS Sonoma) and Windows (11/10). Easily copy DVDs protected with Region Code (1-6), RCE, UOP, Disney DRM, CSS, Sony ArccOS, struction protections, etc. No libdvdcss or other 3rd-party tool is required. Rip protected DVDs 5x faster than Handbrake with high output quality!

How to Rip Copy-Protected DVDs with Handbrake on Mac & Windows

To remove copy protections on DVDs using Handbrake, you will need the Handbrake copy protection plugin called Libdvdcss. Libdvdcss is a free and open-source software library developed for decoding DVDs with CSS (Content Scramble System). It is specifically used by Handbrake to copy DVDs protected by CSS and region codes. Now, let's learn how to use Handbrake to decrypt DVDs on both Mac and Windows operating systems.

First, install and download libdvdcss to copy protected DVDs with Handbrake

On Windows:

Step 1: To download libdvdcss for Handbrake protection removal on Windows (Win 11/10 incl.), click here and choose to download libdvdcss for 32-bit or download libdvdcss for 64-bit.

Step 2: Copy the libdvdcss-2.dll to the Handbrake program folder, which is normally located at C:\Program Files\Handbrake. Please don't rename the libdvdcss file.

Download libdvdcss for Handbrake copy protection
Download libdvdcss on Windows

On macOS:

To download Handbrake Libdvdcss Mac for protection removal on Mac, you can install Homebrew and use it to automatically download libdvdcss (Learn detailed steps to download libdvdcss on Mac). You can also manually download libdvdcss on Mac. Simply note to place the library in placing the folder /usr/local/lib instead of /usr/lib. Handbrake can then detect it and use it to rip copy-protected DVDs.

Just open a Terminal and run the following commands:

cd /usr/local/lib
sudo curl -O https://download.videolan.org/libdvdcss/1.2.12/macosx/libdvdcss.2.dylib

Tips: If that won't work, run the command sudo mkdir -p /usr/local/lib to install the libdvdcss. You'd better download both the latest version of Handbrake (1.6.1) and Libdvdcss. To fix Handbrake copy protection removal failed on Mac Sonoma, you can either leave SIP that removes Libdvdcss disabled and reinstall Libdvdcss or move the downloaded Libdvdcss to /usr/local/lib.

Download libdvdcss for Handbrake
Download libdvdcss on Mac

Step 1. Load the copy-protected DVD to Handbrake

With libdvdcss installed on your Mac (or Windows), you can use Handbrake to rip DVDs with copy protections. Insert DVD, click "Open Source" to load the DVD. The libdvdcss library will run in the background to help Handbrake remove the copy protection and identify the correct title of an encrypted DVD. This process may take several seconds.

Note: If it fails to read the DVD, check if the libdvdcss is installed correctly. Here's this Handbrake Libdvdcss errors fix can help when you have problems. Even with libdvdcss installed correctly, Handbrake may still fail to handle a DVD protected by modern encryption schemes.

Load protected DVD to Handbrake
Load protected DVD to Handbrake

Step 2. Select the quality preset

Next, you need to specify the quality of the ripped DVD. Open the dropdown menu of Preset, Handbrake offers presets for General, Web, Devies, Makoska, and Production. Generally, when you try to rip a DVD, you'd better choose the 480P or 576P preset for the best result.

Adjust Handbrake settings for protected DVDs
Set Handbrake settings for protected DVDs

Step 3. Set the output video

Now, under the Video option, choose a format from the Video Encoder dropdown menu. Handbrake can convert the protected DVD to H.264, H.265, MPEG-4, etc. There are also options to set the ripping quality, adjust the resolutions, deinterlace, crop, change the bitrate, etc.

Rip protected DVD to MP4 Handbrake
Rip protected DVD to MP4 with Handbrake

Step 4. Start to rip protected DVD with Handbrake

Continue to click on "Browse", choose a destination folder for the output copy protected DVD file storage. Once everything is ready, click the Start button on the top menu bar to let Handbrake copy protected DVDs. You can see the progress bar at the button of the interface. You can stop or pause anytime you need.

Handbrake copy protection
Start to rip the DVD

Most Reliable Solution when Handbrake can't Remove Copy Protection

note icon

Even with libdvdcss downloaded and installed, you may still meet errors when ripping DVDs with copy protections using Handbrake. That is because the libdvdcss was designed to access DVDs encrypted with the Content Scramble System (CSS). Handbrake can't handle DVD copy protections other than CSS with libdvdcss and may produce errors like:

* Handbrake can't find the correct title saying no valid source found;
* The conversion is incomplete as Handbrake rips only part of the DVDs;
* The output MP4 video is blocky, pixellated, and otherwise distorted;
* Handbrake freezes, stutters, or crashes when ripping the DVD;
* The ripped subtitles appear faint and barely readable and foreign audio subtitles won't work;
 * The resulting file is double the size and the rip itself takes twice as long;
 * The ripped DVD video contains several KBs only and won't play;
* After the rip, the encoded videos turn out badly pixilated...

In this case, you can first check and try:

● Check if your DVD or the DVD drive is damaged or outdated.
● Check if there is a technical issue or bug with your HandBrake installation and re-download Handbrake.
● Disable any third-party software in the background when ripping DVDs with Handbrake to avoid high CPU usage.
● Try the Handbrake hardware encoder for the DVD ripping.
● HandBrake supports a variety of formats, but if your DVD is in a format that is not supported, it might not be able to rip it.

If libdvdcss and Handbrake still can't remove copy protection, try MacX DVD Ripper Pro. Unlike Handbrake, it can bypass DVD copy protection restrictions like CSS, Region Code (1-6), Disney DRM, Sony ArccOS, UOPs, and almost all the copy protections on the market. You can rip copy-protected DVDs without Handbrake libdvdcss to MP4, HEVC, MPEG4, MOV, M4V, WMV, AVI, iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, webs, and 350+ formats. There are unique features to copy protected DVDs to ISO image, MKV, MPG with original output quality.

No more Handbrake copy protection removal hassles and no extra plugin is required to copy protected DVDs.

How to Remove Handbrake Copy Protection Limits

Step 1: Download Handbrake copy protection removal alternative Mac version, or Window version. Install and run it. Insert your DVD and click the "DVD" icon to load DVD disc. It will automatically remove any protections on the DVD and find the correct title.

Handbrake alternative to rip protected DVD
Handbrake alternative to rip protected DVD

The Handbrake alternative can pick out the right movie title from the copy protected DVD and avoid Handbrake 99 title copy protection errors and the like caused by Handbrake copy protection restrictions.

Step 2: Once the DVD is loaded, select output format from the popping up Output Profile window. You can convert DVD to MP4, MKV, AVI, WMV, etc. from General Profiles, or copy DVD to Android, Apple iPhone iPad, Apple TV, Sony Devices, etc.

Step 3: Back on the interface, click the Edit button next to the selected profile to further edit the ripped video.

Step 4: Click "Browse" to select a destination folder to save DVD movies. Then click "RUN" to rip the protected DVDs. You won't experience the errors like Handbrake can't copy protected DVD.

Alternative to Handbrake copy protection
Copy protected DVD with Handbrake alternative


Handbrake is a popular software used for ripping DVDs and converting them to digital formats. However, it is important to note that Handbrake cannot bypass copy protection on DVDs. If you have a Handbrake protected DVD, you may encounter difficulties in ripping it. Luckily, libdvdcss helps Handbrake remove certain DVD copy protections, namely CSS and region codes. However, installing libdvdcss on computer, especially on Mac, can be chanllenging for non-tech users.

In this case, you can always choose another more powerful protected DVD ripper, such as MacX DVD Ripper Pro. It has a DVD decrypter inside so you don't need to experience the complicated process with Handbrake and libdvdcss.

Notice: We only advocate copying and ripping DVDs under the concept of Fair Use and don't encourage any illegal reproduction or distribution of copyrighted content. Please abide by the local DVD copyright law before doing it.


1. Will HandBrake rip protected DVDs?

No, Handbrake has removed the internal DVD decryption ability since 2008. Now you can't use Handbrake to copy protected DVD independently.

2. How do I bypass copy protection in HandBrake?

To rip copy-protected DVD using Handbrake, you need to install libdvdcss first. However, even with libdvdcss, Handbrake can only remove protections CSS and region codes.

3. Why won't my HandBrake rip my DVD?

There could be several reasons. The major reason is that the DVD is copy-protected. HandBrake is not designed to bypass copy protection, so if your DVD has copy protection, HandBrake will not be able to rip it directly. In such cases, you may need to use other software or methods to bypass the copy protection before using HandBrake. Other reasons include issues with the DVD drive or the disc as well as HandBrake's incompatibility with certain DVD formats or codecs.

If none of these reasons apply to your situation, it's always a good idea to try another DVD ripper.

4. How do I rip a copy protected DVD with HandBrake and VLC?

HandBrake will dynamically load VLC's copy of libdvdcss if you have it in your Applications folder in macOS. That means, if you have VLC installed on your computer, you don't need to manually install the libdvdcss library anymore. You can open Handbrake, load a copy protected DVD, and rip it as usual.