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Posted by Donna Peng - Contact Authoremail icon

How to Copy Any DVD on Mac Easily [2023 Updated]

Learn how to make a digital or DVD copy of unprotected/copy-protected DVDs on macOS Ventura, Monterey, Big Sur, and Lower?

Most DVD collectors want to keep their discs for as long as possible without them getting scratched, broken, or lost. But fragile physical optical discs frequently encounter various accidents. It's a good idea to keep a DVD copy on your Mac's hard drive. And sometimes we copy DVDs to Mac so that we can watch movies later or on the road without having to bring the DVD with us. 

So, how do I copy a DVD to my Mac's hard drive? How to copy a DVD to a blank DVD on a Mac? This tutorial will include detailed instructions.

How to Easily Copy DVDs on Mac without Losing Quality?

WinX DVD Ripper for Mac can copy unprotected and protected DVDs on Mac as an ISO image, VIDEO_TS folder, or MKV/MPEG2 with original quality. It can also create digital DVD copies on Mac in MP4 (H.264/HEVC), MOV, M4V, AVI, WMV, and for iPhone, Android, iTunes, iMovie, and 370+ profiles. The support for Nividia, AMD, and Intel GPU acceleration techs speeds up the DVD to Mac copy tasks by 5x faster than others, taking only 5 minutes to copy a full DVD on Mac.

Please DO NOT use WinX DVD Ripper to rip rental DVDs.
For Windows and Mac only. If you are a mobile user, please click here

Part 1. How to Copy Unprotected DVDs on Mac

Mac OS X (rebranded to macOS in 2016 with the release of 10.12 Sierra) attaches a feature for copying unprotected DVDs. Disk Utility, designed for disk tasks, makes DVD copy much easier. However, Disk Utility can't work with copy-protected DVDs. It is usually used to copy DVDs that you made using iDVD or something. If you want to copy commercial movie releases, see the copy protected DVD on Mac methods.

How to save DVDs to Mac using Disk Utility?

Step 1. Insert the DVD you want to copy into the Mac disc drive. Since modern Macs ditched the disc drive in 2012, you can get an external drive, such as an Apple USB SuperDrive, to load the disc before making a DVD copy on Mac.

Step 2. Open Applications and click Disk Utility to launch it.

Step 3. Select your DVD under the External header in the left sidebar.

Step 4. Click the File menu, click New, and select Disk Image from "your DVD name".

Download DVDs to Mac using Disk Utility
How to copy DVDs on Mac using Disk Utility

Then, a window will pop up asking you to input file name for this DVD copy into Save As bar, and specify a destination folder to save this DVD copy. Make sure the destination folder has enough space to store the DVD copy file. As for Image Format, you should choose DVD/CD Master for quality retaining without compression. Also, encryption should be to none. Click Save.

Step 5. After that, Disk Utility will begin creating disk image for your DVD. Depending on your computer's speed, it may take 30-60 minutes or more. Once done, you can get a .cdr file on your Mac. Then, you can eject your DVD.

If you want to copy DVD to a blank DVD disc on Mac, users using Mac OS X 10.11 (El Capitan) or above can burn the disk image you just created from the Finder while eariler Mac OS X users can still use Disk Utility. Here are the step-by-step guides.

How to burn disk image to DVD on Mac OS X 10.11 (El Capitan) or higher

Step 1. Right click on the disc image file you want to copy to DVD.

Step 2. Choose "Burn Disc Image [disc name] to Disc" from the shortcut menu, then follow the instructions.

Burn disc image to DVD from Mac Finder
Burn disc image to DVD from Mac Finder

How to burn disk image to DVD on Mac OS X 10.10 (Yosemite) or lower

Step 1. Open Disk Utility, then go to the Images menu and select Burn.

Burn disc image to DVD using Disk Utility
Burn disc image to DVD using Disk Utility

Step 2. In the "Select Image to Burn" window select the disk image which you just created from your DVD, then click the Burn button.

Step 3. Now put a blank DVD-R disk into your disc drive and wait for the disk image to be burned onto this blank DVD disk. Like creating disc image, burning process can also easily take 30-60 minutes or more.

So above are the steps on how to free copy unprotected DVD to Mac using Disk Utility and how to free copy DVD to DVD on Mac using Disk Utility or Finder.

Part 2. How to Copy Protected DVDs on Mac

There is no built-in software to copy protected DVD on macOS Ventura, Monterey, Big Sur or lower versions. To download an encrypted DVD to Mac, you have to install third-party DVD copy software. In this part, we'll introduce three programs to copy protected DVDs to Mac.

Use WinX DVD Ripper for Mac to Copy Protected DVD on Mac

Main features of WinX DVD Ripper for Mac:

  • Bypass copy protection from DVDs, including CSS, region code, RCE, UOPs, Sony ArccOS, Disney DRM protection, and even new schemes on latest released DVDs.
  • Copy DVD to Mac in diverse video formats like MP4 and MOV for playback on devices, editing in software, sharing online etc.
  • 1:1 copy DVDs to Mac's hard drive in an ISO image and VIDEO_TS folder. Copy DVD to MKV, and MPEG2 file with full or main title.
  • High Quality Engine delivers almost original quality of the DVD while Hyper-threading Tech, Multi-core support and hardware acceleration technology guarantee the fastest DVD copy speed. It may only take 5 minutes to copy a DVD on a Mac.

Now let's download the WinX DVD Ripper for Mac on your MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, iMac, Mac mini, Mac Pro, or iMac Pro. It is fully compatible with macOS Ventura, Monterey, macOS 11 Big Sur, macOS Catalina, Mojave, High Sierra, etc. Once you finish installtion, follow the steps to copy protected DVD to Mac.

Step 1: Insert DVD disc into DVD drive.

If there is no drive for DVD on your Mac, please connect an external optical drive. Then insert the DVD into the drive. Feel free to insert any DVD, it will freely rip protected discs on Mac without problem.

Step 2: Launch WinX DVD Ripper for Mac and import DVD to scan.

Hit DVD Disc button on navigation bar to import source DVD. A couple of seconds later after loading DVD, all titles will be presented and main title will be selected automatically. Meanwhile, Output Profile dialog box pops up.

Save DVDs to Mac
Save DVDs to Mac

Step 3: Choose output profile.

You can select one format as output from listed categories (for example, you can choose General Profiles, and save DVD to Mac in MP4, MOV, MKV, etc.). What's more, you can also choose the DVD Backup profile, and copy DVD to ISO image, Video_TS folder, MPG, or MKV for copying DVD to a blank DVD disc.

Step 4: Start copying DVD on Mac.

Browse to set destination folder and hit RUN button to start copying DVD on your Macintosh computer.

Download DVDs to Mac
Copy DVDs to Mac

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. Still have some trouble about how to copy DVD on Mac? Please feel free to Mail Us >>

Option 2. Use the Combination of HandBrake and libdvdcss to Copy Protected DVD on Mac

HandBrake cannot copy protected disc out of the box. You need to download and install libdvdcss for HandBrake to help access DVDs.

Now, let me show you how to install and use libdvdcss with HandBrake on Mac to copy protected DVDs.

Step 1. Install libdvdcss on Mac.

It's easy to do this if you use Mac OS X Yosemite or older OS. Simply download the libdvdcss.pkg here and double click on it to install.

If you use Mac OS X El Capitan or later, the process will be a little bit complicated due to a security feature called System Integrity Protection arriving with EI Capitan. First of all, we need to install a command line tool called Homebrew. Once done, press Command+Space and search for Terminal to open a command line window. Next, type in brew install libdvdcss and hit enter. Then, Homebrew will start downloading and installing the libdvdcss library. Once done, HandBrake should be able to access copy-protected DVDs.

Here is a detailed process on how to install libdvdcss for Handbrake

Install libdvdcss for HandBrake on Mac
Install libdvdcss for HandBrake on Mac

Step 2. Install HandBrake.

The latest HandBrake version 1.5.1 is available for macOS 10.13 and later. If use macOS 10.12 or earlier, you can download old versions.

Step 3. Copy DVD on Mac with HandBrake.

Insert target DVD into your Mac's disc drive and open HandBrake. Under Source Selection, you should select your DVD.

Then HandBrake will scan DVD titles.

Once done, make sure selected title and chapters are what you want. Additionally, you need to specify preset and format (MP4, MKV or WebM). If necessary, you can adjust video audio parameters and more.

Next click the Browse button at the bottom right to specify save path and output file name.

When you finish all settings, now simply click the Start button. Now, HandBrake will begin copying DVD to your Mac.

Save DVD to Mac with HandBrake
Save DVD to Mac with HandBrake

Option 3. Use MakeMKV to Copy DVD to Mac

MakeMKV can make an MKV copy of your DVD on Mac computer running on Mac OS X 10.7 and later. This program can process some encrypted DVDs and quickly exports an MKV copy with the original quality because no compression is involved.

Besides DVDs, MakeMKV can also convert Blu-ray discs to MKV file.

Now, let's learn how to download a DVD to Mac with MakeMKV.

Step 1. Download and install MakeMKV on your Mac.

MakeMKV 1.17.1 for Mac OS X requires x64 or ARM64 Mac OS X 10.7 or later. If your Macintosh meets the requirements, just go to makemkv.com, click the Download option on the left navigation bar, and now you'll find the download link for MakeMKV. Please be noted that MakeMKV is not signed by Apple so you might need to adjust gatekeeper options in order to install the program.

Install MakeMKV on Mac
Install MakeMKV on Mac

Step 2. Open the DVD you want to copy.

Insert the DVD into your Mac's optical drive. Then, open the MakeMKV app. It will show all available optical drives on the first screen. Under the Source section, you can select optical drive and check the drive and disc information. After selecting the right disc, click Open DVD disk button.

Open DVD on MakeMKV Mac
Open DVD on MakeMKV Mac

Then, MakeMKV will do a scan of your DVD.

MakeMKV is opening DVD disc
MakeMKV is opening DVD disc

Step 3. Select DVD content to copy to Mac.

After finishing DVD scanning, it will display all content as a tree structure. Choose the title you want to save to Mac. Expand the title, you'll find audio and subtitle tracks. You can choose any one you like.

Save DVD to Mac with MakeMKV
Save DVD to Mac with MakeMKV

Step 4. Specify destination for the DVD copy file.

Just click the Set output folder button and now you can choose a desired directory to save the resulting file.

Step 5. Begin copying DVD to Mac.

After you click the button under MakeMKV, it will start copying DVD to your Macintosh. On the conversion screen, you can see the source information, output information, and copying progress.

MakeMKV is copying DVD to Mac
MakeMKV is copying DVD to Mac

Part 3. Which Is the Best DVD Copy Software for Mac?

In this article, we've shared 4 ways with you to copy DVDs to Mac. Well, which is the best way? The following table indicates a comparison of several aspects of these Mac DVD copying programs. You'll have the answer after read this table.

 

Disk Utility

WinX DVD Ripper for Mac
Free Download

HandBrake
Free Download

MakeMKV
Free Download

Supported source DVDs

Unprotected home movie DVDs.

Both unprotected and copy-protected DVDs are supported.

Unprotected DVDs. (With libdvdcss, it can handle some protected discs.)

Home produced and some protected DVDs.

Supported output formats

Support copying DVD to disc image and DVD to DVD.

* No mainstreaming formats.

  1. Support 1:1 cloning DVD to ISO image and VIDEO_TS folder.
  2. Support copying DVD to MKV, MPEG, MP4, MOV, and more.
  3. Support converting DVD to MP3 and other audio formats.

* In total, there are over 350 output profiles covering all popular formats, devices, social media platforms, and so on.

Support ripping DVD to MP4, MKV, and WebM only.

* No 1:1 DVD copy options.

MKV format.

Speed (vary with computer configuration)

30-60 minutes or more.

The fastest it takes copying a DVD is 5 minutes only.

Over 10 minutes or longer.

About 15 minutes. It is determined by a single factor - drive read speed.

Quality

Keep original quality.

Keep original quality.

Obvious quality loss.

Keep original quality.

Any edit features?

Not supported

Cut, crop, merge, deinterlace, subtitle

Cut, crop, deinterlace, etc.

Not supported

Change codec, bitrate, frame rate, sample rate, aspect ratio, resolution, channel

Not supported

Yes

Yes

Not supported

Conclusion

Which is the best way to download DVDs to your Mac's hard drive? It depends on the DVD and what you're going to do with the copied video. If your DVD is burned without DRM, use Disk Utility, a built-in app on Macs. Handbrake is another good free option.However, if you need to copy your entire DVD collection to Mac, which almost certainly includes copy-protected purchased DVD movies, WinX DVD Ripper for Mac and MakeMKV are the most user-friendly options. Handbrake can't handle protected DVDs, but if you're willing to deal with the libdvdcss library, you can also use Handbrake as protected DVD copy software for Mac.

All the software mentioned in the article allows you to save DVD copies on Mac with original quality in MKV format, ISO image, or Video_ts folder. If you need to copy a DVD to another disc, you need to use WinX DVD Ripper for Mac to copy DVDs in ISO image or Video_TS folder. WinX DVD Ripper for Mac allows you to create digital DVD copies in MP4, HEVC, MOV, M4V, WMV, FLV, and other formats if you need to copy DVDs on Mac hard drive for later playback on iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Mac, or other players. 

MakeMKV is superfast as it won't do any transcoding. The speed depends on how fast your drive can read data. WinX DVD Ripper for Mac and Handbrake are able to use GPU acceleration to speed up the process. In practice, WinX DVD Ripper for Mac is about 5x faster than Handbrake to copy a DVD to MP4 on Mac.

Still can't decide? Download and try them to find the one that fits you the most.

Part 4. Frequently Asked Questions about Copying DVD on Mac?

1. How to copy DVD to MP4 on Mac?

WinX DVD Ripper for Mac and HandBrake allow you to copy DVD to MP4 on Mac. Here, we choose WinX DVD Ripper for Mac as an example.

  • Step 1. Download, install, and open WinX DVD Ripper for Mac.
  • Step 2. Insert target DVD into DVD drive and click the DVD Disc button on the ripper to open the DVD.
  • Step 3. On the Output Profile screen, scroll down to Mac General Video and choose an MP4 profile: MP4 Video (H.264), MP4 Video (HEVC), or MP4 Video (MPEG4). Once selected, click OK to confirm.
  • Step 4. click Browse to choose destination folder and click the RUN button to begin copying DVD to MP4 on your Mac computer.
Copy DVD to MP4 on Mac
Copy DVD to MP4 on Mac

2. How to copy DVD to ISO image on Mac?

To 1:1 copy DVD to ISO image on Mac, you should use WinX DVD Ripper for Mac. Let's show you how to do this.

  • Step 1. Download, install, and launch WinX DVD Ripper for Mac.
  • Step 2. Insert target DVD into DVD drive and click the DVD Disc button on the ripper to open the DVD.
  • Step 3. On the Output Profile screen, scroll down to DVD Backup and choose Clone DVD to ISO Image. Once selected, click OK to confirm.
  • Step 4. click Browse to specify destination folder and click the RUN button to begin copying DVD to ISO on your Macintosh.

3. How to copy DVD to USB stick or hard drive on Mac?

You can choose any one of the DVD copying programs in this article to copy DVD to hard drive or USB stick.

You can connect the USB stick or hard drive to your Mac and then select them as the destination folder. Then, the DVD digital copy will be directly saved to your USB stick or hard drive.

4. Can you just copy and paste a DVD to your Mac?

It's possible to copy the DVD content directly to your Mac's hard drive if the disc doesn't contain any DRM. You can try to right click on the DVD drive, copy, and paste the Video_TS folder to a new folder on your Mac computer. If it works, you should be able to find the VOB videos in the Video_TS folder. Because standard DVDs include a VIDEO_TS folder containing VOB/MPEG2 files and all of the other files associated with DVD Video, MP4 files cannot be included. The copied DVD video can't be played by Mac's default video players. If you are unable to directly copy the DVD files to your Mac, this indicates that the DVD is copy-protected. 

5. Is it legal to copy DVDs to Mac?

According to the law in the US, "the moment you crack DRM to rip the DVD, you've violated Title I of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. 17 U.S.C. 1201 prohibits circumvention of DRM..." In many other countries, it's also illegal to copy a DVD, even if you own it, as long as it contains copy-protected content. However, owners of a DVD are free to make backup copies under the concept of fair use. Therefore, it's widely regarded as legal to copy a DVD that you purchased for personal use. And in practice, it's totally safe to copy DVDs on your Mac or PC.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

author - Donna Peng

Donna Peng twitter icon

Donna Peng's fascination with multimedia began at an early age - shortly after she licked the physical disc and then she's been obsessed ever since. Her decade-long career at Digiarty after the graduation has seen her unmatched expertise in the field of DVD, digital video, software and anything related to home theatre. She is currently fascinated with photography.

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