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How to Rip Protected DVD Movies on Mac for FREE

There are so many reasons why you might want to download a DVD ripper for Mac to rip an encrypted DVD movie. But ripping a protected DVD is not easy. The more often case is that free DVD ripping software crashes or works out of order. Worse still, the size of some DVD movies, especially those released recently, is larger than 40GB, making it impossible to rip. Why it's so hard to rip a DVD on Mac?

Copy protection, mostly known as CSS or RCE, prevents the protected DVDs from being copied illegally. Is there a truly free protected DVD ripper for Mac that is able to rip the latest commercial DVDs with copy protection?

rip protected DVD on Mac

Table of Contents

Disclaimer: Please rip protected DVDs on Mac under the concept of Fair Use and do not rip any copyrighted content for any illegal reproduction or distribution purposes. Please abide by the local DVD copyright law before doing it.

Best FREE DVD Ripper to Rip any Protected DVDs on macOS

MacX DVD Ripper Mac Free Edition - a 100% free & safe DVD ripper for macOS (Ventura and earlier). It has a unique DVD analysis tech to rip any protected DVDs free on Mac. No third-party tool (such as libdvdcss for Handbrake) is required. Freely convert protected DVD on Mac in MP4, MOV, M4V, MKV, iTunes, etc. with high quality and fast speed.

  • Rip DVD with any latest protections. Support CSS, UOP, RCE, region code, Sony ARccOS, Analog Protection System, Disney X-Project (99-title), Playlist Obfuscation (Liongate), RipGuard, and almost all the DVD copy measures.
  • Rip protected DVDs to MP4, H.264, MOV, etc. for YouTube, iPhone, mobiles, Apple TV, HDTV, etc.
  • 1:1 original quality due to High-Quality engine, special title check mechanism, and deinterlacing.
  • Rip DVD at a 5x faster speed based on multi-core CPU, super encode engine, and hyper-threading technology.

The full support for encrypted discs makes MacX DVD Ripper Free the only tool on the market that is truly able to free copy encrypted DVDs on Mac. It helps users bypass most encrypted DVD ripping errors with other free tools.

[Steps] How to Rip Protected DVD on Mac without Effort

Now let's learn how fast and easy it is to free rip copy-protected DVDs on Mac (incl. macOS 13 Ventura). First, insert the copy-protected DVD into your Mac's optical drive, or external disc drive if it doesn't contain an internal drive.

Step 1: Add DVD Disc.

Free download the free protected DVD Ripper on Mac and fire it up; click the DVD Disc button on the main interface. It will ask you to choose the source DVD. You can also rip a DVD folder or ISO image file. Then click OK. It will automatically detect the right title.

This is the most important and difficult part of ripping an encrypted DVD. Many free DVD rippers such as Handbrake can't identify the correct DVD title and therefore generate many ripping errors. For DVDs with sophisticated encryption measures, the software will automatically apply the advanced title check mechanism to ensure a smooth protected DVD ripping process.

free rip protected DVD on Mac

Step 2: Choose Output Formats.

Once the DVD data is loaded, the ripper will automatically open the output format window. Scroll down the format column and select an output format. You can freely rip the copy-protected DVD to MP4, M4V, MOV, iTunes, etc.

free protected DVD ripper on Mac

Step 3: Edit and Adjust the settings.

  • Back on the main interface, you can click the Edit button next to the selected title to crop, trim, add subtitles, etc.
  • You can also click the gear button next to the selected output profile to adjust the video parameters.
  • Click the "Browse" button and select a destination folder to save the converted protected DVD video.

Step 4: Start Ripping Protected DVDs on macOS.

Click "RUN" to start removing protections and decrypt the protected DVD movie on Mac for free. You can view the conversion progress and cancel the converting process at any time.

Note: If the free DVD ripper failed to rip an encrypted DVD, check the Safe Mode box on the right lower part of the interface and try again. The feature is specially designed to rip DVDs with tough copy protections.

free rip copy-protected DVD on Mac

[Video] Learn how to rip copy-protected DVDs on Mac

Rip Protected DVD on macOS without Limits? Try MacX DVD Ripper Pro!

Have more intractable DVDs (new and 99-title DVDs, damaged & unplayable DVDs) and would like to rip protected DVDs on Mac to more formats? Try MacX DVD Ripper Pro. It's competent to:

  • Rip protected DVD on Mac within 5 mins, accelerated by Intel, AMD, and Nvidia GPU acceleration tech;
  • Convert protected DVD discs to MP4, MOV, AVI, MKV, H.264, HEVC, Apple, Android, TV, and 350+ profiles;
  • Backup encrypted DVDs in 4 modes: copy protected DVD to DVD ISO image with 100% original data, copy main/full title in MPEG-2, and rip DVD to MKV with all tracks.
  • No protected DVD ripping problems like DVD won't read, can't identify the right title, won't finish full movie rip, the output audio/video out of sync, get stuck at x% of the ripping, no sound, etc. that other programs may have when dealing with tough discs or new movies.

Handbrake

Handbrake itself doesn't support DVD protections. But with Handbrake libdvdcss, it will turn into a free protected DVD ripper for Mac and convert encrypted discs into MP4, MKV, or WebM. You can also find presets for 1080P, 4K 2160P, VP8, iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows phones & tablets. There are a lot of filters and options to adjust the video settings and customize the DVD ripping.

Note: Handbrake with libdvdcss can only rip DVDs protected by CSS or Region Code. It can't rip protected DVDs from Disney, Paramount, Sony, etc. The latest Handbrake 1.5.1 supports Apple Silicon-based Macs and is available in 64-bit only.

Pros:

  • It's free and popular;
  • It's fast with good output quality;
  • There are additional tweaks to crop, resize, deinterlace, denoise, add subtitles, and more (although there is no option to merge multiple DVD titles into one).

Cons:

How to rip a protected DVD using Handbrake?

Step 1: Download Handbrake on your Mac. To rip copy-protected DVDs free, you also need to install libdvdcss for Handbrake. Libdvdcss is a simple library from the VideoLAN project designed to read encrypted DVDs. That means if you have installed the popular free media player VLC on your Mac, you don't need to install the libdvdcss manually.

If not, learn how to download libdvdcss for Handbrake here >>

Step 2: Open Handbrake and choose the DVD drive from the sidebar. Handbrake will then start to read the DVD. Sometimes, even with libdvdcss installed, Handbrake will fail to find the correct title of a protected DVD due to the latest copy protections.

Step 3: Under the Preset, choose General and select Fast 480P30 or Fast 576P30 based on the NTSC/PAL DVD. Don't select a higher resolution for a DVD rip. It won't make the ripped file look better, but will result in larger file size.

Step 4: Select an output format. If not, Handbrake will rip the protected DVD to MP4 by default. You can go to the Video tab to further change the codec, adjust the quality, etc.

Step 5: Then click the Start button on the top menu bar.

rip protected DVD free on Mac

MakeMKV

MakeMKV has an easy solution on how to copy a protected DVD on Mac freely. In addition to DVD discs, this free ripper also converts Blu-ray discs (the Blu-ray ripping function is only free while it's in beta). The freeware converts protected DVDs into an MKV file instead of the VOB videos on DVDs (over 20-30GB for a Blu-ray disc). That means the final MKV file is almost the same size as the original disc. But this also means the remux is can be done with a fast speed, ranging from 10-30 minutes compared to hours it may take with Handbrake.

Note: MakeMKV can rip protected DVD and Blu-ray discs with region code, AACS, and BD+ encryptions. However, MakeMKV may fail to rip a protected DVD on Mac due to very complicated DVD file structures, fake sectors, virtual titles, etc. The latest versions have improved its DVD engine to better handle DVDs with structure protections & master errors.

Pros:

  • It supports protected DVDs & Blu-rays without the need for a third-party tool like libdvdcss;
  • The output MKV files have excellent quality.

Cons:

  • It's limited in MKV format only;
  • The output MKV files can be very large in size;
  • MakeMKV relies on the CPU rather than GPU. The protected DVD ripping speed will largely depend on your Mac configuration. Sometimes it takes a long time to finish the rip and you may also see high CPU usage or MakeMKV down errors.

How to rip copy-protected DVD with MakeMKV?

Step 1: Free download MakeMKV on your computer and then launch it. If the encrypted DVD disc is already in the DVD drive, MakeMKV will detect it and automatically show it. If not, click the source menu to select the DVD.

Step 2: Click the big optical drive and MakeMKV will then take a few minutes to read the disc, judge the copy protection, scan the DVD contents, etc. Once finished, it will display all the DVD chapters.

Step 3: Generally, the title with the highest number of chapters and the largest in size is most likely the correct movie. MakeMKV will check all of the titles by default. Place your mouse arrow in the chapter box and right-click to uncheck any title.

Step 4: Next, set an output folder to store the ripped protected DVD video and then click the MakeMKV button to start. Make sure your hard drive has enough space for the MKV video.

free rip protected DVD on Mac

MacTheRipper

Although its site is shut down due to legal issues, MacTheRipper remains an excellent free DVD ripper for Mac copy protected. Specifically, it's able to rip DVDs protected with CSS encryption, Macrovision protection, ARccOS protection, UOP, region code, and RCE region protection. Serving mainly as a DVD extractor for Mac, the program can only copy protected DVDs on Mac into DVD folder or ISO Image File.

Note: The official site of MTR offers MTR V2.6.6, V3, and V4. However, you can download the latest MTR V5.4.0.9 from third-party sites like Macupdate, Techspot, MTR forum, etc. While MTR V3/4 won't support DVDs with encryptions, the latest MTR V5 is able to rip DVDs with various protections on Mac.

Pros:

  • It can easily extract content from a protected DVD without quality loss.
  • The developer of MTR offers excellent support via its forum.

Cons:

  • It's limited in output format (DVD folder or ISO Image File only);
  • Only MTR 2.6.6 is free. Later versions like MacTheRipper 3/4/5 require the complex gift-sending process to get a code.
  • The latest version is available for macOS Monterey and earlier. There may be compatibility issues on macOS Ventura.

How to rip copy-protected DVD with MacTheRipper?

Step 1: Free download MacTheRipper on your computer and open it. Set the extraction type in MTR to Auto Full Disc Extraction. Then insert the protected DVD disc into the optical drive.

Step 2: MTR will detect the DVD and scan the titles on the disc. It may ask you to select the region if the DVD is protected with region codes.

Step 3: Click Extract to start ripping encrypted DVD on Mac with MacTheRipper.

Step 4: The DVD will be saved as a VIDEO_TS folder on Mac. However, you can convert it to different formats easily with a transcoder like Handbrake.

rip protected DVD free on Mac

Step-by-step Comparison of Free Protected DVD Rippers for Mac

Which is the best free DVD ripper to rip a protected disc on Mac? Below we have the most important factors compared among the Mac protected DVD rippers listed above.

Features MacX Free DVD Ripper Handbrake MakeMKV MacTheRipper
Input DVD type DVD, DVD disc image, DVD folder DVD, DVD disc image, DVD folder, unprotected Blu-ray discs, video files DVD, Blu-ray DVD
Supported protections CSS, UOP, RCE, region code, Sony ARccOS, Analog Protection System, Disney X-Project, Playlist Obfuscation, and more CSS and region code with libdvdcss Region code, AACS, and BD+ encryptions CSS encryption, Macrovision protection, ARccOS protection, UOP, region code, and RCE
Supported formats MP4, MKV, MOV, ISO, various major formats MP4 (M4V), MKV, WebM MKV DVD folder/ ISO Image
Ripping speed 250-300fps Around 120fps 130-150fps 90fps- 125 fps
Quality 1:1 DVD copy and excellent DVD rip quality Good Excellent Excellent
Editing features Yes Yes No No
User-friendly Simple Complicated Simple Simple
Drawbacks No Blu-ray support Ripping errors Large MKV output Limited output

Common Protected DVD Ripping Errors on Mac & Win

Well, like we have said, normal decrypters can't rip protected DVD with strong restriction. Take Disney X-project protection as an example, Disney protection is extremely hard to decrypt for there is only one correct title in 99 likelihood of confusion and it updates constantly. Ordinary applications like Handbrake are often incapable or fail to copy encrypted DVD, or you'll need a third-party DVD ripper  to rip copyrighted DVD. It can be rather annoying to install two different software. Maybe you need an all-around Mac DVD ripper for copyrighted DVD. MacX DVD Ripper Pro is a good choice for you indeed.

Handbrake: Even with libdvdcss installed, Handbrake won't rip DVDs protected with schemes other than the old CSS/regions. When ripping copy-protected DVDs with freeware Handbrake, it's very likely to see HandBrake won't rip the entire DVD, no valid source found, DVDReadBlocks Failed, and the like.

MakeMKV: MakeMKV is also a popular program to rip protected DVDs freely on Mac. But it also fails to decrypt discs randomly. Sometimes, it fails to open the disc, crashes constantly, and takes a ridiculously long time to rip. Sometimes, the DVD can't be ripped with subtitles and there are missing frames.

MacTheRipper:  MacTheRipper won't rip some of the new DVDs. It will rip a couple of hundred MB and then stop. It says cannot read title failure, mirror failure, and then onto disc error. No dust or damage. Sometimes it just produces damaged VOB files or says "errors may follow - please use original disc instead."

DVDFab: "I just tried to rip Venom to MKV and said it had read errors or it will 'finish' the ripping but I get no file. I tried to rip the DVD to ISO but failed too. I wonder if it's a new protection that it won't support."

DVD Shrink: my DVD is resistant to the standard rippers. DVD Shrink doesn't see the movie, just the menus. SmartRipper starts to rip, then hangs with an error. DVD Decrypter starts to rip as well but runs into a bunch of reading errors. 

DVD Copyright Protection Knowledge Supplement

Generally speaking, when we mention a protected DVD, we usually mean the commercial DVDs, cuz the homemade DVDs are not copyright protected for the most part. Homemade DVDs encounter playback troubles only when it comes to Region Codes. So this part focuses on commercial DVD copyright protections. Let's get it started with CSS encryption.

CSS: Short for Content Scramble System, is a digital rights management and encryption system widely applied to DVD discs. Nowadays, DVD players like VLC and free DVD rippers such as Handbrake employ libdvdcss to access and unscramble DVDs encrypted with CSS. Also, many other advanced protected DVD rippers like MacX DVD Ripper can get rid of the restriction and freely rip protected DVDs with CSS.

Region Code: Obviously, Region Code might be the most common DVD protection we see in our daily life. See, the whole globe is divided into 6 regions in terms of DVD region code. Each region has its own rule in DVD playback. You can't cross-region playback DVDs, like playback region code 1 DVD in Japan. And if you wanna change the DVD region on Mac to freely playback DVD without limits, for example, playing USA DVD in the UK, you can check the DVD region change solution.

User Operation Prohibition: This is a form of user restriction applied to DVD discs. When Mac users rip protected DVDs with UOP using some free DVD ripper, they will be informed of a copyright notice without audio before the first menu or a warning such as an FBI warning in the US. These tools will be unable to skip past or fast-forward the screens when ripping UOP protected DVDs. So you have to rely on some powerful protected DVD rippers to get rid of these warnings.

Sony ARccOS: This DVD copyright protection is generally adopted by Sony DVDs, which produces numerous bad sectors in DVD discs (not physically) so that the ordinary DVD player can't smoothly play the encrypted DVD movies. But a silver lining is that you can resort to the high-end Windows and Mac protected DVD decrypter to disable this Sony ARccOS tech and copy Sony DVD discs with no image loss and twisted.

Disney X-project: If you rip Disney DVDs, you might have a deep understanding of the Disney X-project. This is the Disney DVD copyright protection tech, which leads to generating a movie file up to 50GB and 99 titles that many free DVD rippers like Handbrake fail to choose the right title and result in Disney DVD backup failure. And this DVD encryption tech is constantly updating and enhancing. So when you pick up the DVD decrypter and best DVD ripper for Mac for Disney DVD, you'd better get the latest Disney DVD movie to have a test.

Free rip DVDs encrypted with protections above, try MacX DVD Ripper Free

FAQ

1. Can VLC rip copy-protected DVDs?

No. You need a dedicated ripper for that. Though VLC includes libdvdcss to help access DVDs protected by CSS and region codes, VLC can't use it to rip a protected DVD. Here is a workaround using VLC and Handbrake. Play the DVD in VLC and note down the correct DVD title, and tell Handbrake which title to rip.

2. How do you remove copyright protections from DVDs?

First, you need to know that movie DVD is a read-only medium. In other words, you can't remove the copy protection from a DVD physically. However, there are ways to let you disable copy protection or access protected data. For example, the above DVD rippers allow you to access and rip protected DVDs to DRM-free MP4, MOV, other digital files; programs like AnyDVD (Windows only) can work in the background to help ignore the DVD Copy protections and make the DVD protection-free for other programs.

3. How do I know if my DVD is copy-protected?

Check if there is a logo stating the DVD is copy-protected. If there is a message saying that the DVD can be played on most DVD players but not on a personal computer, it means the DVD is protected. You can also try any of the above DVD rippers, they will tell you if the DVD is encrypted. In fact, virtually all DVD discs you bought from a store are copy-protected.

4. Can iSuper DVD ripper rip protected DVDs?

No. iSuper DVD ripper is a free and popular program on Mac App Store. However, it's able to rip un-encrypted DVDs only,

5. Is it legal to rip a protected DVD you own?

The legality of ripping a protected DVD varies in different areas. In the U.S., it is explicitly stated that it is illegal to reproduce a copyrighted work. However, there is no explicit law that specifically talks about fair use/personal use. Therefore, you're safe for ripping encrypted DVDs for personal use.

Reference

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