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Handbrake Tutorial: How to Use Handbrake to Rip DVD to MP4/MKV

Handbrake has built up a cult following, for sure, due to its open source and cross-platform compatibility. Until now Handbrake 0.10.5 for both Windows and Mac, though made its debut on Feb 11, 2016, has been all together downloaded in excess of 1,458,000 times on CNET, making it the most favored DVD ripper Mac and Windows users love in the market.

As it claims, Handbrake emancipates movies from the constraints of plastic-and-metal prison. It helps to convert DVD to MP4 or MKV and enables to put DVD movie to iPhone iPad iPod for on-the-move enjoyment. Its interface holds all the tools you need but the wide variety of options confuse users, especially beginners, to some degree. How to use Handbrake to rip DVD becomes a Gordian knot. Some people are even in the mood for a detailed Handbrake tutorial. Luckily, this article serves as the Handbrake user guide and lists the generous steps for users to rip DVD with Handbrake.

Step 1: Install the Free DVD Ripper

Only if you make Handbrake download on your platform can you rip a DVD with this free DVD ripper for Mac and Windows software. Generally, Handbrake is compatible with both Windows and Mac. So make sure the Handbrake version to be downloaded is made for your operating system. See Handbrake Mac version.

Tips: For various reasons, Handbrake won't work well during DVD ripping, either due to the inability to rip commercial DVDs like the Disney movie Inside Out, or due to the OS compatibility issue, e.g. it cracks when you update your Mac to El Capitan, let alone macOS Sierra. So for a smooth DVD ripping, please turn to a Handbrake alternative, like MacX DVD Ripper Pro (or Windows version), for your PC/Mac DVD ripping needs.

Take Mac for example, if you are running a Mac with a Core 2 Duo or later processor, the 64-bit version of Handbrake is more preferred than the 32-bit version as the former is about 10% faster than the latter. But for those who have the original "Intel Core Duo" processor, you can only download the 32bit version. Below is the pic of the step-by-step Handbrake tutorial. If you are working on a PC, please follow the tutorial about how to use Handbrake to rip DVD on PC.

How to Use Handbrake to Rip DVD

Step 2: Select a Source DVD You Want to Rip

After you launch HandBrake, you will be asked to locate a source. Specifically, there are three options listed including Video File, Folder and DVD Drive Option. In order to employ Handbrake to rip a DVD on Mac, you can insert the DVD into your Mac's DVD drive and simply choose the DVD you wish to rip from the drop down menu.

Warning: Handbrake only works with the DVDs that DO NOT contain any form of copy protection. If you run into a DVD with 99 titles of almost the same length, you are probably thwarted by a copy-protection scheme. To solve the problem, you can turn to VLC. If all else fails, you are advised to find a DVD ripper for Mac with DVD decryption ability for better results.

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Step 3: Choose a Title and Chapters

Handbrake Choose when rip DVD

Once the source data has been loaded by Handbrake, you will see the Title drop-down menu at the upper left-hand corner. For non-commercial DVDs, Handbrake will select the main title for your source by default. Personally, if you want to rip the entire movie, the track with the longest duration is usually the one you shall choose.

And the same goes for TV episodes. But unless you wish to encode a specific range of chapters, you are suggested to leave the chapter drop-down menus at their default values.

Step 4: Select the Destination Folder.

Click the "Browse" button to choose the path where you want to save the output file in. Then Click "Save".

Tips: You can enable/disable and configure automatic file naming in the program options.

Step 5: Choose Preset for Your Device or Output Format

Handbrake Choose device profiles when rip DVD

To be frank, Handbrake provides handy presets for iPhone, iPad, iPod, Apple TV, etc, making it pretty easier. In case the Presets Drawer fails to open, simple hit the "Toggle Presets" button at the top, then presets for Apple, Regular and Legacy will appear. Choose the one you prefer. For example, if you'd like to play DVD on iPod, simply move the mouse to iPod and hit it, then you are allowed to rip DVD to iPod on Mac with Handbrake. The same goes on other devices. Meanwhile, "Universal" is better for outputting videos for enjoying on mobile devices while "Normal" and "High Profile" are especially provided for watching on computer or TV.

Besides, Handbrake gives you a hand to rip DVD to MP4 and MKV for free. You can set your encoding settings manually based on the device on which you plan to view the content.

Step 6: Tweak Your Settings

This can be a nuisance for new beginners, but for advancers it is really a boon. You can adjust the output parameters of picture, video filters, video, audio, subtitles, chapters, etc. to make the output videos more personalized and suitable. In this Handbrake user guide, Handbrake video settings, audio settings and picture settings will be specified here to best suit your demand.

1). Handbrake Video Settings

This section allows you to adjust Framerate and Video Codec you prefer. when using Handbrake to rip DVD, keep in mind that the output quality lies on the size you specify. You can also alter the bitrate of your choice. Remember: the higher bitrate you choose, the better quality you will get but the bigger size the output file will be, hence more time it will take to rip DVD with Handbrake. >> Check the Handbrake iPhone setting if you need to rip DVD to iPhone using Handbrake.

 MacX DVD Ripper Pro

2). Handbrake Audio settings

This section is where you can adjust audio tracks and movie subtitle of your ripped content, as shown in the above figure. Generally speaking, you can leave this alone. But if you do want to change it, note that the audio bit rate shall be below 160kbps if you are ripping a DVD for your iDevices.

 MacX DVD Ripper Pro

3). Picture Settings

It's often the case you find horizontal lines in many TV shows of DVD forms. Technically, these DVDs are interlaced, making them fuzzy to watch. The "Picture Settings" button on the top of Handbrake interface is especially designed to get rid of interlacing and makes DVD ripping smooth. What's more, this section also lets you set video resolution and crop video. For example, as 640*480 resolution is the optimized one for iPod Touch, so you can either set up to the same resolution as the original for the lower resolution of the original or set up to 640*480 resolution for the output for the higher resolution of the original. As far as I'm concerned, the crop function of handbrake for Mac is not so practical. Instead, it's just a kind of ornament here.

 MacX DVD Ripper Pro

Step 7: Commence DVD ripping with Mac Handbrake

Once you finish all the settings, you can go ahead to rip DVD on your Mac computer by simply pressing the "Start" button on the left top of Handbrake for Mac version. Alternatively, if you have a source with multiple titles, you can queue these up using "Add to Queue" button. Once your queue is accomplished, click the "Start" button to begin batch DVD ripping process on Mac with Handbrake.

Note: As is mentioned in the above Handbrake tutorial, Handbrake doesn't work well with copy protected DVDs, not to mention the limited output formats, say MP4 and MKV. So if you intend to rip commercial DVD movies and convert DVD to more output formats and devices like FLV, AVI, MOV, Kindle Fire HD, Galaxy S7, HTC One 10, etc, Handbrake will let you down.

Handbrake Problems and Troubleshootings during DVD Ripping:

Even with all the steps mentioned above finished carefully, you may also encounter Handbrake not working problems while ripping DVDs, especially the new DVD movies, since they are bogged down with copy protections. Below are the most comment Handbrake issues reported among users and the typical Handbrake errors from video forums.

Handbrake no valid source to find error: Find the solution to fix "No Valid Source Found Error" in Handbrake
Handbrake cann't rip DVD without libdvdcss: How do I rip copy protected DVDs without libdvdcss. Problems solved.
Cannot rip DVD to AVI with Handbrake: Handbrake doesn't output video in AVI? Here is the solution
Handbrake won't work on El Capitan: Handbrake won't work on El Capitan, check the page to solve the problem
VLC 2.0 breaks Handbrake DVD Ripping: Fail to rip DVD using Handbrake after upgrading VLC to 2.0? Here is the answer.
Handbrake cannot read DVD: Learn how to rip DVD without reading error using Handbrake
Handbrake cannot scan right title: Follow the guide to learn how to scan the right title from 99-title DVD

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• DVD encryption revomal: Remove latest copy protections that Handbrake won't do, like CSS, Region Code, UOPs, Sony ARccOS, Disney new X-project DRM, etc.
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