How To Copy a DVD Movie to an iPad or iPhone

Copying your DVD movie collection to an iPhone or iPad is very simple if you know how to do it. Recently my wife and I took a long flight with the kids. Having their favorite DVDs on my iPad and iPhone proved to be a life saver. Here’s how I did it.

Copying your DVD collection to an iDevice (iPad, iPhone or iPod) is very simple if you know how to do it. Recently my wife and I took a long flight with the kids. Having their favorite DVDs on my iPad and iPhone proved to be a lifesaver. Here’s how I copied the DVDs.

Decrypt DVD and Copy it to your Hard Drive

First, we need to decrypt the DVD and copy its contents to our hard drive. To do this use, a free application called DVDFab. Ripping a DVD with DVDFab is simple, and Brian Burgess here at groovyPost wrote a step-by-step in his tutorial on how to convert a DVD to an ISO File. Follow his steps up to where he tells you to test the VOB files with VNC then continue below with Step 2.

Remove encryption and copy dvd to hard drive

Install HandBrake and Transcode the Video/Audio files

Now that DVDFab copied the DVD to our hard drive, its time to convert the files to a format our iPad / iPhone can read. We will do this with another free Application, Handbrake.

Open a browser and visit the Handbrake Download Page.  Download the version for your OS.

In my example, I will be using the Windows Version.

download handbrake

Run the installer and accept all the defaults.

Click Finish after the install is completed to launch HandBrake.

install handbrake
Configure Handbrake

Once installed, we need to configure a few settings in the HandBrake transcoding application.

Click Tools > Options.

handbrake tools options

Under the General Tab, Click Browse to set a Default Path for new files.

handbrake options browse

Navigate to where you want to store the files HandBrake will create for your iPad / iPod. In my example below I created a folder under c:\dvd-rip\handbrake. Click OK when done.

handbrake options choose path

Now click Close to save your changes.

handbrake options choose path


Convert DVD Files Using Handbrake

Now it’s time to convert the DVD files you created using DVDFab.

Click Source > Folder

handbrake choose source folder

Navigate to where you stored the files copied using DVDFab, Click it and Click OK

handbrake choose source folder

On the right-side, Click the iPad presets

handbrake encoding preset for iPad

Click Start to begin the encoding.

handbrake start encoding

The encoding time will vary on the file size and your PC performance. HandBrake adds a progress bar at the bottom of the window so you can monitor the % complete and time remaining.

handbrake status

Copy the Movie into iTunes

Once the Encoding completes we will finish off the process by copying the newly encoded movie into iTunes.

Start by opening iTunes and click the Movies Tab.

itunes movies

Now we need to find the file we just Encoded.

Right-Click the Windows Start Button and Click Open Windows Explorer.

open windows explorer

Navigate to the default save location you configured above for HandBrake. The DVD you just encoded should be there.

find movie m4v file

Drag the movie into the Movies Section of iTunes.

copy movie into itunes

Wait… iTunes will automatically import the video. The length of time will depend on the size of the video. 

copy movie into itunes

Test the movie once inside iTunes to verify the encoding and copy was successful

plus movie in itunes

Looks good!

test movie in itunes

If you need to fix the name of the Movie (or give it a new custom name), click the Name of the Movie under its Icon. Type in the desired name.

rename movie in itunes


Sync the Movie to your Device

With the Movie now in iTunes, connect your iDevice (iPhone, iPod, iPad) and click it under Devices.

find device in itunes

Click the Movies Tab

click movies button in itunes

Check the Box Sync Movies

sync movies box

Check the box for all Movies you wish to Sync.

choose movie to sync

Click Apply to save the changes and Sync the Movie to your Device.

apply changes

From your Device, open Videos on your iPhone or iPad

open videos on device

Tap the Movie you want to watch.

tap movie

From the details menu, Tap the Play button to start the Movie.

play movie

Enjoy a quiet flight!   ;)

enjoy your movie on your ipad!



  1. Mould Maker

    Great Jobs. Thank you for sharing for this . I follow it and make it !

    • Brian Burgess

      Thanks Mould Maker! HandBrake and DVDFab is a powerful combination for DVD, Blu-ray and video conversion.

      Thanks for reading!

  2. Shamo


    How do you do this using a Mac.


  3. Brian Burgess

    @Shamo there’s a version of DVDFab for OS X.

  4. Tony Zuger

    Will I be able to stream these movies to my apple TV? I want to use the iPad to stream movies from the iPad to the TV in the RV for the kids while we are on the road during family trips. I have the system setup in the RV and the mirroring works fine, but when I bought Lion King and tried to stream it, it doesn’t work. Apparently I need an Internet connection to confirm license via iTunes.

    Any thoughts?

    Thanks, Tony–

    • Steve Krause

      Hi @08bb98dd3ccc1f6a99969e5afeef5ebc:disqus

      Well, you “could” in fact I’ve done it. What I do however is once the movie is converted into mp4 format via Handbrake, I drag and drop it onto itunes and share it out that way to my Apple TV.

      That’s how we watch all our movies now, both my wife and my kids. All via ripped DVD’s (which I own) sitting in my itunes folder on my PC.

  5. onne

    dvdfab is not free. what am i missing?

    • Brian Burgess

      The DVD Decryptor tool of DVDFab is always free. That is the part that removes the copy protection from the disc.

    • Steve Krause

      Exactly. Like @d318f63ae34eaadde634bc6492184272:disqus mentioned, DVDFab is free as is handbrake. If you want to follow the same process for Blueray however…. that is not a free decryptor from DVDFab.

  6. Steve Krause

    FYI – Just broke up the post a bit to try and make it a little easier to read and follow. Hope that helps everyone. It’s a big one!

  7. Thomas

    Great instructions. Just one problem. I copied a DVD with multiple languages and now I can play it in German, but how do I change the language? Any help would be appreciated.

  8. Ken

    When I try to download Handbrake on my MAC it shows up as Wondershare Video Converter Ultimate

  9. cony

    Thanks for your sharing. DVDFab and Handbrake are both good software. Except for them, TunesKit Video Converter is good, too! This really helps me rip many DVDs to play on my iPhone.

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