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Does HandBrake Remove DRM from DVD? How to Rip a DRM-ed DVD?

HandBrake, this expert open-source and cross-platform DVD/video transcoder, takes a top place on the free DVD ripper chart through years of development. In December 2016, HandBrake 1.0.0 was eventually released with a major upgrade supporting VP9 video encoding, Intel QSV encoder to enhance transcoding speed. In version 1.2.0, HandBrake added the support of NVIDIA NVENC to accelerate H.264 and HEVC encoding leading to rip an unprotected DVD to MP4/MKV more quickly.

But how about encrypted DVDs? Can HandBrake remove DRM from DVD? If it can, how to do that? If it can't, is there another way to rip a encrypted DVD? Let's dig out answers one by one.

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WinX DVD Ripper Platinum - remove various copy protections from DVD, like CSS, region code, RCE, FBI Warning, AACS 2.0, Sony ArccOS, Disney DRM and other schemes on latest DVD movies, 99-title DVDs, bad sector DVDs, DVD with fake playlist, workout DVDs etc. And more output formats and devices are offered than Handbrake, including MP4, MKV, MOV, AVI, FLV, VOB, MPEG-2, iPhone iPad, Android, PS5, Xbox..

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HandBrake vs WinX DVD Ripper

Table of Content:

Part 1. How to Remove DVD DRM in HandBrake? Get libdvdcss!

No matter how many upgrades HandBrake brings, it still can't circumvent DVD copy protections. So, is it impossible to use HandBrake to remove DRM on a DVD? Actually, you have the chance to rip a CSS-encrypted DVD with HandBrake if installing libdvdcss.

What is libdvdcss? It is a library designed for accessing DVDs with Content Scramble System (CSS) encryption, which is widely used by free player software to decode protected discs. It is available for Windows, macOS, Linux and more platforms. Using it, HandBrake is able to remove DRM on DVD and achieve DVD ripping successfully.

So, how to use HandBrake to rip an encrypted DVD with DRM removal?

Step 1. Download and install libdvdcss for HandBrake.

Download for Windows 32 Bit:
Download for Windows 64 Bit:

Install Handbrake libdvdcss for Windows
Install Handbrake libdvdcss for Windows

After the correct libdvdcss version is downloaded, copy the dll file to HandBrake installation folder. Now, libdvdcss is successfully installed on your computer. >> Read more for libdvdcss Windows download and install

Step 2. Launch HandBrake. If you have inserted the DRM-ed DVD into optical drive, HandBrake will automatically show the source selection panel. You just need to choose the DVD. If not, click Open Source to access the source selection panel.

Step 3. DVD will soon be loaded. Sometimes, HandBrake helps detect the main title while some other times you should manually select the main title. After confirming the title, click Browse button in Destination section to define folder to save output file and the name.

Step 4. In Output Settings section, select MP4 or MKV as output format. In addition, various presets are listed on the right of HandBrake window. You can pick any preset (for web, for devices and more) depending on your needs as output.

Remove DRM from DVD with HandBrake
Remove DRM from DVD with HandBrake

Step 5. Click Start Encode to remove DRM on DVD and rip the encrypted DVD to MP4 or MKV with HandBrake.


  • You can adjust video/audio parameters, like codec, bitrate, frame rate, resolution and more to achieve an ideal effect of the resulting file.
  • HandBrake empowers you to add/delete audio and subtitle tracks. You can also import external subtitles for a foreign DVD.
  • If there is no demanded preset provided by HandBrake, you can add a personalized preset by customizing preset name, picture size, audio and subtitles.

Part 2. Won't Install Libdvdcss? Try Best Handbrake Alternative

It is not a simple task to install libdvdcss for HandBrake to remove DRM, especially on Mac. Errors like "won't install libdvdcss", "fails to rip encrypted DVD even though libdvdcss is installed" happen from time to time. And even if libdvdcss is properly installed, HandBrake may also have difficulty in ripping some DRM-ed DVDs. In such case, WinX DVD Ripper Platinum would be your lifesaver! It helps you:

  • Skirt DVD copyright DRM protection of any kind, be it CSS, Region Code 1-6, RCE, AACS, UOPs, Sony ARccOS, Disney X-project DRM...
  • The output list is a mile long, ripping DVDs to MP4, AVI, WMV, MOV, FLV, 3GP, iPhone, iPad, Android, Xbox, PS5...more profiles than HB.
  • 1:1 clone DVD with main/full title as MPEG-2 file; backup DVD to ISO image with untouched quality!
  • Inbuilt hardware accelerator (Intel QSV, Nvidia NVENC) featuring stepped-up video encoding/decoding/processing plus Hyper-threading tech and Super Encode Engine produce an ultimately fast speed (about 10 minutes to rip a 2-hour movie).

To Rip DRM Protected DVDs with WinX, Read on the below Guide:

Step 1. Download and install WinX DVD Ripper Platinum on your computer.

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Step 2. Insert DVD into optical drive. Launch WinX DVD Ripper Platinum and click DVD disc to import source DVD. This best alternative to Handbrake will auto detect your DVD disc and recognize the correct title from multiple titles, all on its own. Errors like "DVD disc not found" or "no valid source found" won't occur in this DVD ripper.

Best HandBrake Alternative to Remove DRM
Best HandBrake Alternative to Remove DRM

Step 3. All titles of DVD will be loaded soon. Main title is auto-checked. Meanwhile, Output Profile window appears. Select one format as output format, for example General Profiles > MP4 Video. Click OK.

Step 4. Click Browse button to define destination folder and click RUN button to start DRM removal. After all is done, you can get a crisp video ripped from protected DVD in the destination folder.

Disclaimer: Digiarty Software does not advocate ripping copy-protected DVDs for any commercial purpose and suggests referring to the DVD copyright laws in your countries before doing so.

Related External Source from Wiki:

1. HandBrake - HandBrake is a free and open-source transcoder for digital video files, originally developed in 2003 by Eric Petit (a.k.a. "titer" from his SVN repository username) to make ripping a film from a DVD to a data storage device easier. Since then, it has undergone many changes and revisions...
2. DRM - Digital rights management (DRM) is a set of access control technologies for restricting the use of proprietary hardware and copyrighted works...


Donna Peng

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Jack Watt is a sought-after editor at Digiarty. He is responsible for digital and multimedia world, delivering definitive video and audio related software reviews, enlightening guides, and incisive analysis. As a fan of Apple, Jack Watt also brings his experience to more readers and focuses on writing of the Apple ecosystem at large.

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