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How to Copy a DVD (Protected/Homemade) on a Mac with Best Quality

"I have some store-bought DVDs and homemade wedding and holiday discs. I want to save a copy of these DVDs on my Mac to protect both my investment and precious memories. Someone said I need a DVD copy program. It all sounds so easy but I just don't know any DVD copy software for Mac that will allow me to do this."

It's a daily job to make a copy of a DVD on Mac to safeguard it against any damage. Have no idea how to copy a DVD on a mac with the best quality? Whether you want to duplicate a DVD to a physical disc or save a digital DVD copy to Mac, including unprotected homemade and protected commercial discs, here is the best Mac DVD copier that can help. Check and start to make a perfect 1:1 replica of a disc or download the DVD to Mac hard drive. 

Part 1. How to Copy a DVD to Mac [Protected & Homemade]

You may need to make an exact copy of your DVD on Mac for backup or copy DVDs to MP4, etc. on Mac for easier playback. MacX DVD Ripper Pro will help! It will not only copy DVD 1:1 without quality loss; but also ensure 98% original quality when copy DVD to HEVC, H.264, or other formats. Unprotected & encrypted DVDs are supported on macOS:

  • Copy DVD 1:1 ratio in 4 modes: copy DVD full title or main title to ISO image, MPEG-2, MKV for a safe backup with 100% original PCM, DTS, MPEG-1 Audio Layer II (MP2), or Dolby Digital AC3 audio;
  • Make digital DVD copy on Mac in MP4, MOV, M4V, H.264, HEVC, iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, 420+ presets with 98% quality.
  • Homemade or commercial DVDs protected by any copy encryptions (CSS, region code, UOPs, Sony ARccOS, Disney X-project protection, Lionsgate fake playlist tech, etc) are all supported, no libdvdcss needed.
  • The fastest copying speed powered by Intel, Nvidia, and AMD hardware acceleration tech. Less than 5 minutes to copy a 2-hour full DVD main title to Mac. Ideal option to duplicate a massive DVD collection.
  • Auto repair slightly damaged/corrupted DVD disc and constantly updated to cope with newly released DVDs.

How to Copy a DVD on Mac with Original Quality

Step 1: Free download the DVD copier on Mac. The latest macOS Ventura and M1/M2 Macs are all supported. Import a DVD into the optical drive and launch the DVD copying software. Then click "DVD Disc" to load the disc.

Step 2: It start to detect the correct title and remove any protection on the disc. Then an output window will pop up automatically. Choose a mode you want to copy DVD on Macintosh (MacBook Air/Pro, iMac 5K, Mac Mini).

DVD copy software for Mac
DVD Copying software for mac

2.1 To save a DVD copy on Mac for backup, select DVD Backup mode > choose Main Title Copy, Full Title Copy, ISO image, or MKV. It will 1:1 copy DVD to MacBook Pro, Air, iMac, Mac Mini, hard drive, or flash drive. This will copy the exact DVD video, audio,  chapter menus, subtitles, bonus materials, etc. from the disc without re-encoding (DVD MPEG-2 format kept).

Note: If you make copies of DVDs in ISO image or MKV, the DVD video contains 100% original quality. That also means the copied videos are very large in size (a commercial protected DVD movie is 5–8GB). If you have a lot of DVDs to backup, make sure there is enough free space to import the DVD to Mac. The DVD ISO copies are not supported by TV or mobiles.

make a digital copy of DVD on Mac
make a digital copy of DVD on Mac

2.2 To copy DVD on Mac for easier playback, select Mac General Video mode > opt for MP4 (H264) or (HEVC) if you intend to copy DVDs to MP4 or others for QuickTime, iMovie, FCPX, mobiles, etc. The High Quality Engine will use entropy encoding, inter-frame compression, and intra-frame compression to reduce the redundancy in data representation to reduce the size but also maintain the maximum quality (98%) via higher efficiency video coding.

How to rip DVD to digital copy
Copy DVD on Mac in MP4

2.3 To burn a DVD to a writable DVD disc after 1:1 DVD copy on Macintosh, skip to Part 2. To duplicate a DVD to a blank DVD on Mac, it requires ISO Image or MPG files. And you need to get assistance from Disk Utility or Burn for Mac software.

Step 5. Click the "Browse" button and s elect a destination folder to save the digital copy of the DVD movie on Mac.

Step 6. Click "Run" to start importing DVDs on Mac with this DVD copying software for macOS. You are free to copy any new movie DVD this way.

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You can stop here if you simply want to skirt copyright protections from DVDs and save a digital copy of DVD on MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, iMac, etc. If you want to make a disc copy of a DVD on Macintosh, follow Part 2 to learn how to copy a DVD to a blank DVD on Mac computers.

Part 2. How to Copy a DVD to a DVD on a Mac

Below are two methods to help you copy a DVD to a disc on Mac for free. Both methods work with unprotected DVDs only. If you need to duplicate a protected DVD to DVD, use the above ripper to create an unprotected DVD copy first.

[Option 1] Copy a DVD on Mac using Disk Utility

For Mac users, the built-in feature Disk Utility is a useful and free tool for copying CDs/DVDs and creating virtual images of physical discs. But Disk Utility will NOT copy all DVDs. Namely, most commercial DVDs with copy-protection mechanisms are not applicable and the output file is a virtual image only. Below is a simple guide:

Step 1. Insert the DVD into the DVD drive. Click "Applications" > tap "Utilities" > choose "Disk Utility". Then, there should be two discs displayed on your MacBook or iMac: the DVD disc itself and the drive.

Step 2. Click on the icon for the DVD in the left-hand pane. Click "File" >"New" > "New Image from [your DVD's name]". Type a name for the image and select "DVD/CD Master" under "Image Format." Click "Save" to create the disc image.

Warm prompt: your new DVD copy is supposed to have 4 GB or larger in space to accommodate based on the type of your DVD. You can stop here if you just need a copy of an unprotected DVD on Mac. If you want to copy your DVD to another DVD on Mac, let's continue.

Copy dvd with Disk Utility
Copy dvd with Disk Utility

Step 3. After copying DVDs to Mac computer in an image file, take out the original DVD.

Step 4. Click on the name you chose for the disc image, then click "Burn" at the top of the window. Insert a blank writable DVD (a single-layer DVD if the ISO image file is less than 4.7GB, or a dual-layer DVD if the copied file is large than 4.7GB). Then click "Burn" to copy the image to a DVD on Mac.

Well, Mac shop said this can also be applied to data discs (generally refers to a record label). Copy your content to data discs using the same steps if needed.

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Disk Utility no longer supports copying DVD to DVD since Mac OS X 10.11 El Capitan. But you can burn DVD video folder to DVD with Finder with the steps:

1. From the Finder Menu bar, click File, then New Burn Folder > drag and drop the files to the burn folder and click the burn button in the upper-right corner of the Window.
2. Or from the Finder Menu bar, click File, then Burn DVD VIDEO to Disc and select the copied DVD video folder from Mac. iTunes and iPhoto will also help make a DVD on Mac.

Copy DVD to DVD on Mac with Finder
Copy DVD to DVD on Mac with Finder

[Option 2] Copy a DVD on Mac using Burn for Mac

The free app Burn for Mac works on the latest macOS Ventura to copy a DVD video (MPG format) to a disc on Mac. It's totally free and works with the latest macOS systems. It's easy to use with a lot of advanced settings like file permissions, dates, etc. to personalize your DVD. Before you copy a DVD to DVD using the Burn app, you need to copy the DVD on Mac to an MPG file.

Step 1. Download Burn for Mac and run it. Then click the Video button at the top menu bar of the interface. Now insert a blank disc into the drive.

Step 2. Drag the copied DVD MPG video into the window for later burning.

Copy DVD to DVD on Mac with Burn
Copy dvd with Burn for Mac

Step 3. Give it a name and click the Burn button. Then a window will pop up asking you to set the burning preferences like the burning speed. Once set, click Burn and wait. It will make a DVD copy for you.

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The video DVD burning requires converting your DVD video to .mpg before you can copy it to DVD.

Part 3. How to Copy DVD from Mac to iPhone, iPad

After you make a digital copy of a protected DVD in MP4, MOV, etc. on Mac, you may want to download the DVD movie from your Mac to iPhone or iPad to watch on the go. Below are the steps to sync the DVD copied files from Mac to iPhone and iPad.

Note: On Windows and macOS before Catalina, you can use iTunes to import the DVD movie from Mac to iDevices. But on macOS Ventura and newer systems, you need to sync the data via Finder.

  1. Connect your device to your Mac via a USB or USB-C cable. Then click on the Finder app on the Mac Dock.
  2. Select your device on the left side of the screen under Devices.
  3. Click on the Movies tab and then enable the box Sync Movies onto your device.
  4. Under Sync, click the Automatically include box. Use the pull-down menu to select the DVD movie copies from your Mac.
  5. Click Apply and sync the DVD copies from Mac to your iPhone iPad.

Part 4. FAQ about DVD Duplication

1. How to copy a DVD on Mac without a disc drive?

Not all Macs have a built-in optical drive. How to save a solid copy of the whole disc on Mac Macbook, MacBook Air Retina, MacBook Pro, or iMac 5K with no drive? You will need to get an external Mac DVD drive first.

2. What programs can I use to copy DVDs on Mac?

Besides the above methods to copy DVDs on macintosh, there is some other paid and free DVD copying software for macOS that may work to make a DVD copy on Mac.

  • Handbrake (free) - Handbrake can copy a DVD to MP4, MKV, and WebM on Mac. It's free and fast. But it only supports copying unprotected DVDs on Mac. It requires the third-party library libdvdcss in order to deal with DVDs with copy protections.
  • MakeMKV (free) - Makemkv is very helpful to copy a DVD on Mac when the disc is copy-protected. The copied DVD video will be saved on Mac in MKV format. It means high quality but also very large size. For example, a typical DVD movie MKV will be around 3-4GB or 6-7GB in size depending on the DVD being 4.7GB or around 8GB. 
  • VLC (free) - The popular free media player has the ability to copy DVDs to several formats like MP4, Webm, and WMV. There are not many options to choose exactly the format or quality that you'd like to copy the DVD. VLC doesn't support protected DVDs. But you can play the protected DVD using VLC, mark down the correct title, and manually enter the title during the copy process.
  • DVD Cloner ($59.99) - One of the best DVD copy software for Mac. Aimed at making 1:1 DVD copy on Mac, it will directly copy a DVD into a blank DVD or copy DVD to Mac as an ISO file or DVD movie folder. You can even save DVD in MKV H.264/h.265 on Mac hard drive. DVD copy protections are supported.
  • Ripit ($20) - Ripit supports protected DVDs and is able to create digital DVD copies on Mac in MP4, AppleTV and iPhone/iTouch. It's free and easy to use. Though it has been discontinued, you can find it on software sites like Macupdate.
  • MacTheRipper (free) - MTR can remove Macrovision and CSS protections and make copies of DVDs on Mac in VIDEO_TS folder. It's an extremely simple DVD copy software for macOS. The versions before V2.6.6 are free while later versions require sending Gift to get a license code.

3. How to copy a DVD with Handbrake on Mac?

Many other Mac DVD copiers, though don't live up with their claims to rip copy protection DVD, do an excellent job to copy DVD to computer as long the disc is not copy-protected. Handbrake is able to backup and copy a homemade DVD to Mac hard drive in MP4 or MKV. The steps are below:

  1. Step 1: Free download the DVD copying software on your iMac 5K, MacBook, MacBook Air/Pro, etc. The latest version works on 64-bit Macs running OS X 10.6 or later. To copy a DVD with protections on Mac, get Handbrake libdvdcss on Mac here.
  2. Step 2:Now insert the disc to DVD drive and launch HandBrake. Once the scan is complete, HandBrake chooses what it thinks is the main title, but you can click the pop-up menu next to Title and choose the item you want to encode.
  3. Step 3:Choose a preset. Choose a preset like an iPhone or an Android tablet.
  4. Step 4: Once you pick your preset, there are a few settings you might want to tweak, depending on your specific needs. When you're all set, click the Start button to copy DVD content to your Macbook or iMac.

4. What is the best format to copy a DVD on Mac?

If you want to make an exact copy of a DVD on Mac with original quality and data, ISO image is the best choice. But make sure you have a hard drive with large storage. For a more playable DVD copy, also consider copying DVDs to MKV. If you're copying the DVD on Mac for later burning, both ISO Image and MPG will work. To copy DVD on Mac for easier playback, H.264 is the best way to go.

5. What are the differences between DVD copy and DVD rip?

Copying a DVD means you use a DVD copy program to remove the copying limits on the DVD, and copy the contents from the DVD and save it to another place. The file format, structure, contained data, etc. all remain unchanged. The copied file can be saved in MPG or ISO image. Therefore, the copied DVD video can be as large as the original DVD, and so is the quality.

Ripping a DVD involves compressing the DVD data to make it smaller and formatting it in a more convenient format like MP4. You can play the ripped DVD video on smartphones, tablets, Plex, Chromecast, game consoles, etc.

6. Can all DVDs be copied?

Legality issues aside, yes, you can copy all DVDs on Mac with proper tools. It's easy to download and import DVDs on Mac when there is no DRM. However, nearly all the commercial DVDs have copy protections to prevent you from doing so. Some free tools such as Handbrake and MakeMKV can help copy DVDs with CSS and region codes. But there are Sony ARccOS, Disney's x-project Burst Cutting Area, and more newer scheme. You need a powerful DVD copying software for Mac.

7. Is it legal to copy a DVD on Mac?

It's worth noting that the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and most media companies argue that commercial DVD copying and ripping is illegal and you shouldn't copy or convert any bought DVDs and Blu-ray Discs for any reason. If you ask "Can I copy a DVD I purchased on Mac?", it is widely regarded as OK to copy a DVD for personal use only.

Note: The MacXDVD software calls for copying or ripping DVD under the concept of Fair Use and does not encourage any illegal reproduction or distribution of copyrighted content. Please abide by the local DVD copyright law before doing it.

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