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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 weddding 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 the best Mac DVD copier can help. Check and start to make a perfect 1:1 replica of a disc or save it 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 or digital on Mac for easier playback. MacX DVD Ripper Pro will help! It 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 save 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 protections (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 Monterey and M1 Macs (Apple Silicon M1, M1 Pro, M1 Max and soon the M1 Ultra) are all supported. Import DVD movie and launch the DVD copy software. Then click "DVD Disc" to load the disc.

Step 2: Choose a mode you want to copy DVD on Macintosh (MacBook Air/Pro, iMac 5K, Mac Mini).

DVD copy software for Mac
DVD Copy 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 make 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, and 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 contain 100% original quality. That also means the copied videos are very large in size (a DVD movie is 5–8GB for a commercial release). If you have a lot of DVDs to backup, make sure your Mac hard drive has enough free space. Also, you can't play ISO on TV or any mobile devices.

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 rip DVD to digital format for QuickTime, iMovie, FCPX, mobiles, or the specific device from Mobile Video Profile. 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
How to rip DVD to digital copy

2.3 To burn a DVD to a writable DVD disc after 1:1 DVD copy on Macintosh, skip to Part 2. The ISO Image or MPG foramt is what you need. This can't happen unless you get assistance from Disk Utility or Burn for Mac software.

Step 5. Select a destination folder to save the digital copy of the DVD movie ripped on Mac by clicking the "Browse" button.

Step 6. Click "Run" to start the DVD copy process 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 protection 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

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

For Mac users, the built-in feature Disk Utility is a useful 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 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: 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 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 Monterey 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 a 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. 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. Are there any other ways to copy DVDs on Mac?

Beside the above methods to copy DVDs on macintosh, there are some other paid and free DVD copy software 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 DVD 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, 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 DVD. As a workaround, you can play the protected DVD using VLC and remember the correct title.
  • 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 to Send 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's 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, 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. 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.

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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