"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. Is there 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. But 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 DVDs, here is the best Mac DVD copier that can help. Check how to download the DVD to a MacBook Pro/Air, iMac, Mac Mini, etc.

Easily Copy any Protected & Homemade DVDs to Mac

MacX DVD Ripper Pro - best DVD copying software for Macintosh running Sonoma, Ventura, Monterey, Big Sur, Catalina, and earlier. Remove copy protections from DVDs, such as CSS, region code, UOPs, Sony ARccOS, Disney X-project protection, etc. Make copies of DVDs on MacBook/iMac with original quality in ISO image, MPEG-2, or MKV; or save a digital DVD copy on Mac harddrive in MP4, MOV, M4V, H.264, HEVC, and 350+ formats. No.1 fast DVD copying speed on Macs.

Part 1. How to Copy Protected DVDs to Mac

Option 1: Copy protected DVDs to Mac using MacX DVD Ripper Pro

Need to make an exact copy of your DVD on Mac for safe backup or copy DVDs to MP4, etc. on Mac for easier playback? Try MacX DVD Ripper Pro. It will easily copy encrypted DVDs to Mac running Sonoma, Ventura, Monterey, Big Sur, Catalina, and earlier:

  • Copy DVD to Mac with 100% original quality: copy DVDs to Mac in ISO image, MPEG-2, MKV for a safe backup with 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.
  • Copy protected DVDs to Mac and remove any copy encryptions (CSS, region code, UOPs, Sony ARccOS, Disney X-project protection, Lionsgate fake playlist tech, etc), no libdvdcss needed.
  • The fastest copying speed powered by Intel, Nvidia, and AMD hardware acceleration tech. Less than 5 minutes to copy a full DVD to Mac. Ideal option to save a massive DVD collection to Mac.

How to Copy a DVD on Mac with MacX DVD Ripper Pro

Step 1: Free download and install MacX DVD Ripper Pro on your Mac. The latest macOS Sonoma and M1/M2 Macs are all supported.

Step 2: Import the DVD you want to copy into the optical drive. Then, launch MacX DVD Ripper Pro and click "DVD Disc" to load the disc.

Then, this software will scan and analyze your DVD. It will bypass the DVD copy protections on its own and detect the correct main movie title for you.

DVD copy software for Mac
DVD Copying software for mac

Step 3: Within the auto popup Output Profile window, specify which format you want to convert your DVD to.

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. Then you can download a DVD to Mac with all the DVD video, audio,  chapter menus, subtitles, bonus materials, etc. without re-encoding.

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 download, make sure there is enough free space to import the DVD to Mac. Additionally, the DVD ISO copies are not supported by TV or mobiles.

Tips: If you want to copy DVD to DVD, you can clone DVD to ISO with MacX DVD Ripper Pro first and then burn the ISO file to DVD using Disk Utility or Burn for Mac software.

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

To copy DVD on Mac for easier playback, select Mac General Video mode > opt for MP4 (H264) or (HEVC) if you intend to download DVD on Mac in 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 on Mac
Copy DVD on Mac in MP4

Step 4: Click the "Browse" button and select a destination folder to save the digital copy of the DVD movie on Mac.

Step 6. Click "RUN" to start converting and copying your DVD to Mac.

Option 2: Copy protected DVDs to Mac using Handbrake + libdvdcss

Handbrake is another free option to save the DVD copy on Mac in MP4 or MKV format. Handbrake can't handle DVD protections on its own. However, most DVDs that you buy from a store are copy protected. Luckily, there is third-party software to help. Download libdvdcss for Handbrake, and then you can copy a protected DVD onto your Mac.

Step 1: Free download the DVD copying software on your iMac 5K, MacBook, MacBook Air/Pro, etc. The latest version works on 64-bit Macintosh running OS X 10.6 or later. If you need to rip a copy-protected DVD, you need to download and install libdvdcss on your Mac.  

Start Terminal and enter "brew install libdvdcss" to get libdvdcss for Handbrake. Here is a more detailed guide on how to download libdvdcss for Handbrake.

Download DVD to Mac Handbrake
Download libdvdcss for copying protected DVDs on Mac

Step 2: Now insert the disc to DVD drive and launch HandBrake. You should see your DVD drive in the software. Handbrake may take several seconds to scan the DVD. Once finished, open the Preset drop-down menu and select a quality preset. Normally, to copy a DVD, you can use the  480p or 576p preset.

Step 3: If you need more settings, you can click on the Summary, Filters, and Video tabs to customize the DVD ripping. In most cases, you simply need to choose whether you want to copy the DVD to Mac in MP4, MKV, or WebM. (MP4 H.264 is the format for almost all iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple TV, and other devices)

Step 4: Next, select an output folder on the Mac to save the DVD video copy. Then click Start Encode at the top of the window to copy DVD content to your Macbook or iMac.

Copy DVD to Mac Handbrake
Copy DVD on Mac with Handbrake

Option 3: Copy DVD and Blu-ray Discs to Mac using MakeMKV

If you have some DVD and Blu-ray discs that you'd like to copy to your Mac, the best DVD copying software for Mac is MakeMKV. MakeMKV is able to make copies of DVDs and Blu-ray discs on Mac in MKV with high quality. More importantly, it's able to bypass the protections on the discs without using a third-party tool. It's free for DVD discs, and for Blu-Ray discs, you'll need to activate it after 30 days (or re-download it to restart the 30-day free trial).

Step 1: Download MakeMKV on your Mac and insert the DVD or Blu-ray disc into the disc drive of your Mac. Open MakeMKV and it should detect it and automatically show it. 

Step 2: Next, click on the large DVD drive icon to scan the disc. It may take several minutes to analyze the DVD data, detect and remove the copy protection, find the movie titles, etc.

Step 3: Once finished, you will see all the chapters of the DVD or Blu-ray disc. Select the movie you'd like to copy (normally the largest file) and choose the audio/subtitle track you'd like to download. Otherwise, it will copy all the DVD data to your Macintosh.

Step 4: Select an output folder on the Mac to save the copied MKV file. Then click on the MakeMKV button and wait for it to finish.

Copy DVD/Blu-ray discs on Mac with MakeMKV
Copy DVD/Blu-ray discs on Mac with MakeMKV

Well, this is how to skirt copyright protections from DVDs and save a digital copy of DVD on MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, iMac, etc.

Part 2. How to Copy Unprotected DVDs on Mac

Below are methods for duplicating DVDs on Mac for free. The methods work with unprotected DVDs only. If you need to duplicate a protected DVD to Mac or a blank DVD, you will need a dedicated ripper to download the DVD to your Mac.

[Option 1] Copy a DVD on Mac Directly

After you insert the DVD into your Mac, you may see the icon of the DVD disc on your desktop. If you don't see the DVD icon on the Desktop, click on Finder > select Preference > General. Under Show these items on the Desktop, make sure the CDs DVDs is seleted. Then double-click on the DVD icon. Inside the DVD, you should see a Video_TS folder and an Audio_TS folder. Drag and copy the DVD Folder to your Mac. Inside the Video_TS folder, the VOB files will be the DVD videos you need.

How to Copy dvd to Mac
Copy DVD on Mac directly

However, copying DVDs to Mac may not always work using this method. This method is not suitable for copying copy-protected DVDs and may not maintain the original DVD structure. Then you will need to use Mac's Disk Utility to make copies of unprotected DVDs on your Macintosh.

[Option 2] Download a DVD to Mac using Disk Utility

For Mac users, the built-in 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. 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 of your Mac. 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." Set Encryption to None. Then click "Save". Disk Utility will start to copy the DVD to the destination on Mac.

Warm prompt: Your new DVD copy should have a minimum of 4 GB of storage space, depending on the type of your DVD. If your goal is solely to create a digital DVD copy on your Mac, you can stop here. However, if you wish to copy your DVD to another DVD on Mac, let's proceed.

Copy dvd to Mac with Disk Utility
Copy DVD on Mac with Disk Utility

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

Step 4. To copy DVDs on Macintosh running OS X 10.10 and earlier, click on the disc image, and 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). Burn the disk image to disk at the slowest speed available (2x-4x) to assure the best burn quality. Then click "Burn" to copy the image to a DVD on Mac.

Disk Utility no longer supports copying DVD to DVD since Mac OS X 10.11 El Capitan. To duplicate DVDs on Mac El Capitan and later, you can use Finder and follow these steps:

1. From the Finder Menu bar, click File, then New Burn Folder > drag and drop the DVD 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 [your DVD copied file] to Disc and select the copied DVD videos from Mac. iTunes and iPhoto will also help s a DVD on Mac.

Copy DVD to DVD on Mac with Finder
Duplicating DVDs on Mac with Finder

[Option 3] Copy and Burn a DVD on Mac using Burn for Mac

The free app Burn for Mac works on macOS Ventura, Monterey, Catalina, and earlier to copy a DVD video (MPG format) to a disc on Mac. It's easy to use with a lot of advanced settings like file permissions, dates, etc. to personalize your DVD. Before you transfer 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 (the slowest speed available (2x-4x) will assure the best burn quality). Once set, click Burn and wait. It will make a DVD copy for you.

note icon
Copying DVDs on Mac this way 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 transfer 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 transfer the DVD copies from Mac to your iPhone iPad.

Part 4. FAQ about DVD Duplication on Mac

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 copy of DVD on Macbook, MacBook Air Retina, MacBook Pro, or iMac 5K with no drive? You will need to get an external Mac DVD drive first. Then you can follow the guide above to download DVDs onto Mac.

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

Besides the above methods for DVD copying 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 on Mac in MP4, MKV, and WebM. 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 save DVDs on Mac in 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 copying software for Macintosh. 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. 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 download DVDs on Mac for easier playback, H.264 is the best way to go.

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. How to copy Blu-ray discs on Mac?

Copying Blu-ray discs on a Mac requires specialized software and, in some cases, additional hardware. Please note that copying copyrighted Blu-ray discs on Mac without permission may violate copyright laws in your country. Ensure you have the legal right to make copies before proceeding.

First, you need a Blu-ray drive for your Mac, the source Blu-ray disc, a Blu-ray DVD copy software for Mac, and a blank Blu-ray disc if needed. MakeMKV is a popular option to copy the content from the Blu-ray disc onto your Mac computer.

Then follow the steps below on how to copy Blu-ray discs on a Mac:

Step 1. Connect the external Blu-ray drive to your Mac and insert the Blu-ray disc you want to copy into the external Blu-ray drive. Download and install MakeMKV or another Blu-ray copying software compatible with macOS.

Step 2. Open MakeMKV. In MakeMKV, click "File" > "Open Disc" and select the Blu-ray drive as the source.

Step 3. The software will analyze the disc and display a list of titles. Choose the titles you want to copy. Typically, you'll want to select the main movie or the content you want to duplicate.

Step 4. Choose where you want to save the copied DVD video on your Mac. Make sure you have enough free storage space on your Mac as the MKV file from a Blu-ray disc can be as large as 30GB.

Step 5. Click "Make MKV" to begin the DVD download process on Mac. This may take some time depending on the disc's size and your Mac's performance.

Burn to Blank Blu-ray Disc (Optional):

If you want to create a copy on a blank Blu-ray disc, you'll need Blu-ray burning software like Toast Titanium. Follow the software's instructions to burn the content to the blank disc.

Step 6. After copying or burning, test the resulting disc to ensure it works as expected.

Step 7. Safely eject the original and copied Blu-ray discs and store them appropriately.

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.

8. How to copy a DVD to an ISO on a Mac?

You can install MacX DVD Ripper Pro and follow the steps below to copy DVD to ISO on Mac.

Step 1. Open MacX DVD Ripper Pro and click DVD Disc button to import the DVD you want to copy.

Step 2. On the Output Profile panel, click DVD Backup and select Clone DVD to ISO Image. Then, click Done.

Step 3. Click RUN button to export the ISO file to your Mac.

9. How to copy a DVD to another DVD on a Mac?

Firstly, you need to convert DVD to ISO.

If the DVD is copy-protected, you'll need to convert it to an ISO image file first. Refer to question 8 for instructions on using MacX DVD Ripper Pro for this step.

If the DVD isn't copy-protected, you can directly create a disk image using Disk Utility.

Step 1. Insert the DVD and open Disk Utility.

Step 2. Select the DVD in the sidebar.

Step 3. Go to "File" menu and choose "New Image" > "Image from [DVD name]".

Step 4. Choose a name and location for the disk image file.

Step 5. Set the "Format" to "DVD/CD Master".

Step 6. Click "Save" to create the disk image.

After you get the ISO file, burn it to a DVD.

Step 1. Right-click on the created ISO file and select "Burn to Disc" from the menu.

Step 2. Insert a blank, high-quality DVD-R (Verbatim, Maxell, or Taiyo Yuden are recommended).

Step 3. In the burn settings, choose the slowest speed available (2x-4x) for optimal burning.

Step 4. Click "Burn" to start copying the DVD.

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.

Have any problem on how to make a copy of a DVD on a Macintosh, just email us >>

author- bella
Bella Brown

Bella has been working with DVD digitization for over 12 years. She writes articles about everything related to DVD, from disc drive, DVD copyright protection, physical structure, burning and backup tips. The unceasing passion of DVD movies helps her build a rich DVD library and ensure a practical solution to address almost all possible DVD issues. Bella is also a crazy fan for Apple products.