How to Rip DVDs to MP4 / MKV Format

New DVD’s have a bad habit of getting scratched up the moment you take them out of the case. Here’s a great method for backing them up using a Free Tool in under 5 minutes!

If you have a lot of DVDs, you know how it can be a pain once they get all scratched up and you have to go purchase them again. That’s why the first thing I do when I buy a new DVD is RIP is to a high-quality format using HandBrake. In this tutorial, I’ll show you the process I go through so you can it out and backup your media before it’s too late.

Before you begin, you’ll need to download and install HandBrake – a free application for Windows, Mac OS X, and even Ubuntu. You can get it for free from the official HandBrake website. We’ve talked about Handbrake a lot as it’s our go-to freeware tool for transcoding data.

handbrake download website link program

Since HandBrake may require some file updates, I recommend that you launch it as an administrator. To do so, open the Start Menu and type in HandBrake. Once the application comes up as a result, press Ctrl+Shift+Enter to execute it with full administrative privileges.

start menu handbrake launch administrator admin ctrl shift enter

Setting a default output directory

If this is the first time you’re using HandBrake, you’ll have to set a default output directory for your files. If you don’t know how to do this, here’s a quick tutorial to help you out.

Configuring output settings

Now it’s time to begin ripping. Insert your DVD and then press the Source button to select its directory.

handbrake source select button screen

Once you’ve selected your source, HandBrake will analyze the contents and bring you a list of titles to choose from.

source processing dvd scan handbrake

For this tutorial I’m only going to rip one chapter off of the DVD, however, you can set HandBrake to rip as many or as little chapters as you like.

chapter selection from to chapters seconds frames handbrake screen rip dvd

Make sure to select your preferred format – either MP4 or MKV. Personally, I like MKVs better.

mkv format mp4 format select output quality results handbrake
You can tweak the settings of your rip and configure all sorts of different options such as frame rate, picture cropping, resolution, video compression, and so on.

output settings framerate video quality cropping audio format compression constant framerata handbrake dvd rip

There is also the option to select from a variety of different presets if you’re going to convert the DVD for a specific device (perhaps for an iPad or maybe an iPhone?). This is very useful if you don’t know the optimal bitrate that your device supports and you just want a quick video setting so you can ensure your video will play correctly.

handbrake presets iphone ipod ios android apple tv universal normal ipod legacy classic high profile handbrake rip dvd

If you’re happy with all of your output settings you can proceed by pressing the Add to Queue button.

add to queue button process step handbrake dvd rip

After pressing the button you will be brought to the Encode Queue window. From there you can take a final look at your export settings to make sure everything is OK.

encode queue tasks handbrake dvd rip convert

Pro tip

You can pick an action to perform after the ripping process is complete. For example, I can make the computer auto shut down or even lock up.

when done shutdown shut down suspend hibernate lock system log off quit handbrake handbrake dvd rip export options after done

Now press the encode button to begin.

encode button step process dvd rip handbrake

The job status should change to “In Progress” and the Current Job pane should show you all information about the ongoing task.

current job ifo source destination options percantage fps eta time rematining

Since we already have several HandBrake articles which you may have already read, it won’t really come as a surprise to anyone if we say that HandBrake delivers great quality video and can also rip at very good speeds.

final result ripped video mpc media player classic mkv viewing handbrake dvd rip success quality

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Ryan

    August 19, 2013 at 9:12 am

    Will handbrake allow you to convert from an ISO file to MKV or MP4?

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