DVDs, an acronym for Digital Video Disc or Digital Versatile Disc, are optical discs used for data storage and as a multimedia platform. Despite the rise in streaming services, DVDs retain their charm for many users who value them for playing back recorded movies and television shows.

One of the advantages of DVDs is that they allow you to copy data from them for personal use. However, this becomes challenging with copy-protected DVDs which restrict copying while still allowing playback. Before we delve into how to rip content from encrypted discs onto your PC, let's learn what these protected DVDs are. 

 How To Rip Copy Protected DVD

What Are Copy-Protected DVDs?

Copy-protected DVDsWIKI are discs that have been encoded with a form of digital rights management (DRM) to prevent unauthorized copying or duplication. This is often done by film studios and other content creators to protect their copyrighted materials from being illegally distributed.

Some common forms of DVD copy protection include Content Scramble System (CSS), Analog Protection System (APS), DVD region codes, DVD-Cops, and others. These technologies aim to ensure that the content can only be played on authorized devices and cannot easily be copied or shared without permission.

Despite the necessary DVD protection measures, there can be legitimate reasons to copy DVDs. For instance, you might want to watch a movie during your trip or backup the content for preservation on other devices like laptops or mobiles. To circumvent these restrictions while respecting copyright laws, you'll need specialized software designed to rip copy-protected DVDs. Let's delve into how you can rip protected DVD content onto your PC.

How to Rip Copy-Protected DVDs with HandBrake?

A lot of software guarantees you a solution, but not all are effective. Let's talk about how to rip copy-protected DVD with Handbrake as an example. HandBrake is a popular, free and open-source video transcoder used for converting multimedia files and unprotected DVD or Blu-ray sources into versatile digital formats such as MP4, MKV, and WebM. 

Key Features of HandBrake

HandBrake by itself cannot remove copy protection from DVDs. However, it can be used in conjunction with  libdvdcss (a part of the VideoLAN project) that can handle Content Scramble System (CSS) encryption found on many commercial DVDs.

💻Supported OS: Windows, Mac, and Linux

💡Supported copy-protected DVDs: CSS and Region Code

👍Rip copy-protected DVDs to: MP4, MKV and WebM.

 Free, open-source, and cross-platform.
 Rip both unprotected DVDs and Blu-rays.
 Built-in editing tools: deinterlace, denoise, crop.
 Includes default settings for various devices.
 Limited output formats for DVD ripping.
 Unable to rip DVDs with advanced copy protection.
 Complex to use for new users.

Simplified Steps to Rip Copy-protected DVDs with Handbrake

Step 1: Download and install the Handbrake software on your computer.

Step 2: On Windows or MacOS you might need an extra step of installing libdvdcss separately. Then, Handbrake will be able to read your encrypted DVDs.

  • For Windows: Download the appropriate version of libdvdcss (32-bit or 64-bit) and copy the .dll file into your Handbrake program folder.
  • For macOS: Use Homebrew to install libdvdcss by typing 'brew install libdvdcss' in a Terminal window. If you're using an older version of macOS, you may download and install the package directly.

How to Rip Copy-Protected DVDs with HandBrake?

Step 3: Launch Handbrake, select your DVD drive from the sidebar that appears and wait until it scans all titles on your DVD.

Step 4: Choose which title you want to rip from "Title" dropdown box and select where you want to save it under "Destination".

Step 5: Pick a quality preset according to your need from right side of HandBrake window (e.g., Fast, Very Fast, HQ). 

How to Rip Copy-Protected DVDs with HandBrake?

Step 6: Click 'Start Encode' at top of window, then wait for process to complete.

How to Rip Copy-Protected DVDs with VLC?

Another very popular free DVD decrypter is VLC Media Player. VLC is not just a media player, but also functions as a DVD ripper, allowing you to convert your DVDs into digital formats for easy access on various devices. 

Key Features of  VLC Media Player

The combination of VLC Media Player and libdvdcss makes it possible to playback and read commercial DVDs. This means that you can use VLC in conjunction with the libdvdcss to handle some CSS-protected DVDs.

💻Supported OS: Windows XP/Vista/10/7/8, Mac, Linux

💡Supported copy-protected DVDs: CSS and Region Code

👍Rip copy-protected DVDs to: MP4, M4A, WEBM, OGG, and more

 Free and Open Source.
 Simple to rip unprotected DVDs and Blu-rays.
Select title, chapter, audio and subtitle.
 Play various file formats.
 Unable to rip DVDs with advanced copy protection.
 Loss in quality when ripping DVDs or Blu-rays. 
 No video editing features.

General Steps on How to Use VLC to Burn Copy-protected DVDs

Step 1: Depending upon your version of VLC Media Player, you might need to install the libdvdcss library separately. This can be done by visiting VideoLAN's website and downloading the appropriate file based on your operating system.

Step 2: Just as before, open VLC and go to the 'Media' menu (or press Ctrl + R for Windows or Cmd + R for Mac). Select "Convert/Save" which opens an 'Open Media' window. Choose the "Disc" tab in this window, then select your DVD drive from the dropdown menu. 

Step 3: In the 'Starting Position' section, specify which title/chapter you want to rip if not ripping entirely. Under 'Audio/Subtitles', select desired audio track/subtitle or leave default for original language / subtitles. Then, choose codec/container settings according to preference under 'Profile'. 

how to use VLC to copy copy-protected DVDs:

Step 4: Finally choose a destination folder/name for ripped file(s) then click 'Start'.

If you encounter issues during this process such as missing audio or only partial ripping of content from disks featuring advanced protection schemes not covered by CSS decryption alone, consider using professional third-party software - DVDFab DVD Ripper - designed specifically for these more complex challenges.

How to Rip New Copy-Protected DVDs With DVDFab DVD Ripper 

With Handbrake and VLC being ineffective, DVDFab DVD Ripper comes in handy when copying copy-protected DVDs. Being based on DVDFab's exclusive Cloud Decryption Service, it can automatically detect and decrypt your newly purchased encrypted DVDs quickly, such as CSS, APS, RC, Sony DADC, and more,. Other than such unique function, DVDFab DVD Ripper provides such awesome features that will make you fall in love with it. 

Key Features of DVDFab DVD Ripper

DVDFab DVD Ripper.

DVD Ripping Software

With this DVD Ripper, you can effortlessly eliminate any DVD copy protections from your DVD/ ISO file/ folder and rip DVD content to any video & audio format on any device in 5 minutes.

💻Supported OS: Windows 11/10/8.1/8/7 & MacOS 10.10-13

💡Supported copy-protected DVDs: CSS, APS, RC, Sony DADC, UOPs, and more new advanced protection

👍Rip copy-protected DVDs to: MP4, MKV, MP3, AVI, and more 1000+ video/audio formats

Key Features:

  • The ONLY tool that supports any old or newly released encrypted DVDs.
  • Rip any DVD to 1000+ video & audio formats and 260+ preset devices.
  • Batch conversion and 50x faster ripping speed with GPU acceleration.
  • Built-in video editor that allows you to crop, trim, merge video, etc.
  • Compress video size but preserve quality for any mobile device.
  • Synchronize meta info and generate .no file friendly to media server.
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DVDFab DVD Ripper also provide a totally free but limited version, DVDFab HD Decrypter. This decrypter can bypass most encryption mechanisms from DVDs and Blu-rays released one year ago, and also rip DVDs and Blu-rays to MP4 or MKV formats. Both of the programs are installed in one package, DVDFab 13, for your easy use.

How to Rip Copy-Protected DVDs With DVDFab DVD Ripper in Simple Steps

Step 1: Open DVDFab and load the source DVD

Launch this DVD Ripping software and switch to the ripper tab. Now you have to select the DVD you want to rip, and for that, you can navigate to the DVD drive via Add button. It will load the DVD into Ripper Tab. You can try dragging it to the software interface if it's a folder or ISO file.

How to Rip Copy-Protected DVDs With DVDFab DVD Ripper

Step 2: Choose the profile and customize the output file.

After loading the source, DVDFab will automatically recognize and disable all the copy protections from your DVD. Click the 'Info' button if you want to learn what protections your DVD has.

How to Rip Copy-Protected DVDs With DVDFab DVD Ripper

Then you can customize the default settings of your selected profile to your requirements. You can use all sorts of options to choose the output file format, select audio tracks, and extract or add subtitles.

How to Rip Copy-Protected DVDs With DVDFab DVD Ripper

You can go for some advanced options regarding audio & video via 'Advanced Settings' and 'Video Edit.' While you are about to burn copy-protected DVD, the last thing to do before ripping the DVD is select the "save to" location for your output file.

How to Rip Copy-Protected DVDs With DVDFab DVD Ripper

Step 3: Start to rip DVD

After confirming the save location, you can click the start button to rip DVD or ISO to MKV. The actual progress is shown clearly on the interface. You can exit the software, hibernate, or shut down your pc after ripping is finished. You may cancel the task at any time as well.

How to Rip Copy-Protected DVDs With DVDFab DVD Ripper


DVDs are still being used for commercial purposes in many areas, but many are encrypted. These encryptions are purposely applied against piracy, but on the other hand, they prevent movie-goers from backing up copy-protected DVDs for personal use. With the convenience through the internet, there is a need for a solution for such drawbacks. Many gamers use DVDs, but they can't easily copy those files to the hard drive and share them on multiple devices. Therefore, to copy protected DVD, you may wish to try this powerful DVD Ripper from DVDFab.


Is it illegal to rip copy-protected DVDs?

As these DVDs are also protected by copyright, it is best to use these programs for personal use. Not to pirate those contents as it's illegal to sell or share someone else content without the owner's permission.

How to copy copy-protected DVDs for free?

To rip DVD is not much difficult. The problem arises regarding how to rip copy-protected DVDs for free. There are free tools like Handbrake or VLC, but these are not much efficient. You need to remove DVD copy protections first with the best free DVD decrypter and then use these tools to copy a DVD. In comparision, DVDFab DVD Ripper can both decrypt and rip any old or new copy-protected DVDs in simple steps.

Can MakeMKV rip copy-protected DVDs?

Yes. MakeMKV can eliminate region code encryptions from most DVDs and rip them into MKV formats only. However, MakeMKV cannot rip other copy-protected DVDs. You'll need to find a professional DVD decrypter to rip DVDs with advanced protections.