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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 common 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 40 GB, making them impossible to rip. Why is it so hard to rip a protected DVD on Mac?

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

free 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 All Protected DVDs on macOS

MacX DVD Ripper Mac Free Edition - a 100% safe and free protected DVD copy software for macOS (Ventura and earlier). It has a unique DVD analysis tech to rip copy-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 DVDs with the latest protections. Support copy-protected DVDs with 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 copy-protected DVDs free 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 DVDs at a 5x faster speed based on multi-core CPU, super encode engine, and hyper-threading technology.

Because it fully supports copyrighted DVDs, MacX DVD Ripper Free is the only tool on the market that can truly free copy encrypted DVDs on Mac. It helps users bypass most encrypted DVD ripping errors with other free tools.

[Steps] How to Rip Protected DVDs 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 a 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 bypass the DVD copy protection and 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 copying copyright-protected DVD movie on Mac for free. You can view the conversion progress and cancel it at any time.

Note: If the free protected DVD copy software failed to rip an encrypted DVD, check the Safe Mode box on the lower right 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 DVDs 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 DVDs on Mac within 5 minutes, accelerated by Intel, AMD, and Nvidia GPU acceleration technology;
  • Convert copy-protected DVD discs to MP4, MOV, AVI, MKV, H.264, HEVC, Apple, Android, TV, and 350+ profiles;
  • Backup copyrighted DVDs in 4 modes: copy protected DVDs to DVD ISO image with 100% original data, copy main/full title in MPEG-2, and rip DVD to MKV with all tracks.
  • There are No protected DVD ripping problems like the DVD won't read, it can't identify the right title, it won't finish the full movie rip, the output audio/video are out of sync, it gets stuck at x% of the ripping, there is 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 copyrighted DVDs into MP4, MKV, or WebM. You can also find presets for 1080P, 4K 2160P, VP8, iPhone, iPad, Android, and Windows phones & tablets. There are a lot of filters and options to adjust the video settings and customize the protected DVD copying.

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

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:

  • It's limited in output format;
  • It's complicated, and the download of libdvdcss on Mac can be a hard nut without the command-line tool Homebrew. 
  • Not all DVD copy protections are supported. Problems happen frequently when copying protected DVDs, such as Handbrake won't scan DVD, Handbrake doesn't rip the whole movie...

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. If you have installed the popular free media player VLC on your Mac, you don't need to install 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 it will result in a 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. Handrake will begin copying the copy-protected DVD on your Mac.

rip protected DVD free on Mac

MakeMKV

MakeMKV has a simple solution for freely copying a protected DVD on Mac. 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. However, this also means that the remux can be completed quickly, in the range of 10 to 30 minutes, as opposed to the hours it may take with Handbrake. 

Note: MakeMKV can rip copy-protected DVD and Blu-ray discs with region codes, 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 the DVD engine to better handle DVDs with structure protections & master errors.

Pros:

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

Cons:

  • It's limited to MKV format only;
  • The output MKV files can be very large in size;
  • MakeMKV relies on the CPU rather than the GPU. The copy-protected DVD ripping speed will largely depend on your Mac's 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 button, 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 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 copy-protected DVD ripper for Mac. 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 a 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, such as MacTheRipper 3/4/5, require a complicated gift-sending process to obtain 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 the copyrighted DVD ripper 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: It will copy the protected DVD into 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

Comparison of Free Protected DVD Rippers for Mac in Detail 

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 & Windows

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

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 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 handle copyrighted DVD 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 new copy-protected DVDs. It will rip a few hundred megabytes and then stop. It reports that it cannot read the title, that the mirror has failed, and that the disc has failed. No dust or damage. Sometimes it just produces damaged VOB files or says, "Errors may follow - please use the original disc instead." 

DVDFab: "I just tried to rip Venom to MKV and it said that it had read errors or it would 'finish' the ripping, but I got 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 only sees the menus and not the movie. SmartRipper starts to rip, then hangs with an error. DVD Decrypter starts to rip as well but runs into a bunch of reading errors. 

Knowledge Supplement for DVD Copyright Protection

Generally speaking, when we mention a protected DVD, we usually mean the commercial DVDs, since 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 lives. In terms of DVD region code, the entire world is divided into six regions. Each region has its own rules for DVD playback. You cannot play cross-region DVDs, such as a region-coded DVD in Japan. And if you want to change the DVD region on Mac to freely playback DVD without limits, for example, by playing USA DVDs 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 rippers, 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 produce numerous bad sectors on 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 DVD decrypters to disable this Sony ARccOS technology and copy Sony DVD discs without image loss or distortion. 

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 technology, which leads to generating a movie file up to 50 GB and 99 titles, but many free DVD rippers like Handbrake fail to choose the right title and result in Disney DVD backup failure. And this DVD encryption technology is constantly updated and enhanced. So, when you buy the best DVD ripper for Mac for Disney DVD, you should get the most recent Disney DVD movie to test it. 

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, it can't use it to rip a copy-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 DVD is a read-only medium. In other words, you can't physically remove the copy protection from a DVD. 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, and 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 buy 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 the Mac App Store. However, you can use it to copy copyrighted DVDs on Mac as it's only able to rip unencrypted DVDs. 

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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