handbrake.jpgHandbrake is a free software that allows you to rip your DVD movies to your Hard Drive, iPod, iPhone, PSP, XBOX360 and generally any other video device you may have. It is a cross platform program since it has versions both for Windows and MAC. It can rip encrypted and unencrypted DVDs but protection methods other than CSS aren't supoorted. The supported output video formats are mpeg-4, xvid and h.264. So, download it from here and let's get started!

Insert a DVD disk into your DVD rom and run Handbrake. This is the program's main window from which you can access all available settings.

Click the Source Browse button and select the VIDEO_TS folder from your DVD.


Next you can select which title of the DVD you want to rip. Usually every DVD movie apart from the main movie has other titles as well such as extra scenes, trailers, interviews etc. The main movie title is the longest one (1). Usually the credits are the last chapter of the movie. Therefore you can reduce the size of the final video file if you omit the credits. To do so first open the movie with an external dvd player software and check if the credits are indeed the last chapter. If so reduce the second chapter field by one (2). You can also use this function to select only certain chapters of the movie to rip.

After that select the destination directory by clicking on the Destination browse button (1). Be sure there is enough free space in that location. You can also rename your encoded file from here (2).

Now it's time to configure the output video settings. This can be done either manually or by choosing one of the already saved Presets. There is a variety of Presets such as for AppleTV, iPhone, iPod, PS3, PSP, XBOX 360 and others. Of course you can configure each one of them to suit your needs.

If you want to configure manually the settings first you have to choose the output Video Encoder (1) between mpeg-4, xvid and h.264, as well as the ouput Audio Encoder (2) between aac, mp3, vorbis, ac3 and a combination of aac and ac3. Moreover if you are using iTunes with an iPod 5G/5.5G and only if the horizonal resolution of the video exceeds 320 pixels you should check the iPod Atom box (3).

In the Picture Settings tab you can crop the picture so that it doesn't have black bars on top and at the bottom (1). This can be done automatically or you can select on your own how much the crop you want to be. Unfortunatelly there is no preview window to make it easier for you so you can just leave this option to Automatic or None if you want to preserve the balck bars. Another usefull setting is the Width and Height change (2). If you want to rip your movie to watch on your computer there is no need for that, but in case you want to watch it in a mobile device such as iPod or a mobile phone you can save very much space. If your video has noise you can remove it using the Denoise filter (3). Weak is good for general use. Too much denoising destroys the picture quality.

In the Video tab you can choose a 2-Pass Encoding with Turbo first pass (1). The encoding process will last longer but the final video will be of better quality. You can also select the Bitrate you want (2). The biggest the bitrate is the biggest the size of the final video will be. In case you want to store the video file to a cd you can select the Target Size (3). 700MB is ok for cds. With the Average Bitrate or Target Size methods, you control the size of the output file but give up control over the video's quality. Constant quality (4) mode does the opposite; you specify a quality level and HandBrake adjusts the bitrate (that is, the size) to meet it. Finally a few things about Video Framerate (5). You can leave it to Automatic. If the DVD is PAL, the output is set to 25fps. If the DVD is NTSC, the output is set to 30fps. If the DVD is NTSC and insists it is progressive, the output is set to 24fps.

In the Audio & Subtitles tab you can choose only your languages Audio Tracks (1), select Stereo, Mono, Dolby Surround Audio (2) depending on what you use. You can also adjust Audio Bitrate and Sample Rate (3). Dynamic Range compression (4) boosts the volume of soft sound samples while leaving loud samples as they are. This squeezes down the range between the softest and loudest parts, but should make the softer ones easier to hear in noisy listening environments. Good values to use are 1.5-2.5. Dynamic range compression only works when the source audio is AC3 and you are encoding to another format, like AAC. It has no affect on AC3 pass-through or on DTS or MPEG-2 audio. Finally select the Subtitles you want to be burned onto the picture (5).

HandBrake can include chapter markers when you use the MP4 or MKV file formats. These will be placed at the same point where the chapter breaks are on the DVD. Check the Create Chapter Markers box (1) to enable the feature. By default, the chapters are named "Chapter 1", "Chapter 2", etc. You can change their names by double clicking in the original names (2).

From the advanced tab you can manually select the H.264 options but you'd better know what you are doing here. If you don't just leave it alone since incorrect options will cause the encoder to fail.

When you are ready click the start button and wait till your final video is ready!

If you liked Handbreak and you want to give it a try for ripping your DVDs you can download it from here !

Comments (41)

Subscribe to this comment's feed
Thank you!
Awesome help smilies/cheesy.gif
goa , October 03, 2008
Ps3 and Iphone
I was wondering if you cold elaborate on a settings for PS3. I have a 40 inch 1080p and I want to use Handbrake to create a file (size doesnt matter) with the exact quality of the dvd, chapter bookmarks, and dobly or dts audio track for surround sound encoding that when moved to my PS3 I can play as if it was a dVD inserted into it. I tried TVersity and the quality sucked and I dont get good enough quality with the PS3 setting. Most DVDs are 16:9 but i do have some 4:3.

Thanks in advance
jeff , October 04, 2008
Hey Jeff.
To achieve better quality for PS3 select the PS3 Preset and then in the video settings tab select 2-Pass Encoding and Turbo first pPass. You can also set the Qonstant Quality to 100%. In the Audio tab you can select Dolby Surround from the Track 1 mix setting. In the Chapters tab select also to Create chapter markers. Most likely the encoding process will take more time to complete.

Try those settings and drop me a line about the output quality and video size.

axel , October 04, 2008
i have a normal dvd9 and i want to upscale the video quality using handbrake ie i want to rip the dvd to a resolution bigger than the resolution of the source dvd9... so can handbrake help me in that.... ??
Sas , October 15, 2008
As far as I know handbrake cannot do that. In general upscaling a videos resolution is something difficult to be achieved. Only in movies it is really easy where a pc guy takes a bad image from a camera and increases its quality with a few clicks.

To sum up if you increase the resolution you will just increase the size of every pixel on the video with a bad quality effect.
axel , October 18, 2008
sounds pretty good to me
works really well!!!!!!!!!! i am glad i found this advice. smilies/smiley.gif smilies/wink.gif smilies/grin.gif smilies/angry.gif
Eagle 12 , February 12, 2009
I have tried a lot of my DVD's (both old and new) and they have all come up with the error message "No Title(s)found". These are all DVD's that I have purchased and I don't know why they will not open. What can I do?
Carrmichael , February 16, 2009
Hi Carrmichael,

this is from HandBrake FAQ:

What does "No Title(s) found...." mean and how do I fix it?

It means that one of the following are the case:

a) You have not selected a valid input source. See the activity window (log) for further information.
b) You are trying to rip a copy protected disc without using a ripper. - Use a ripper, There are plenty available.
c) Either the disc protection scheme is too tough for your ripper of choice, or the disc is badly mastered. - The only option is to switch to a different ripper.
axel , February 17, 2009
copying dvds to psp useing handbrake
I am having troble coping my dvd's to sp using handbrake. I used DVD43 to bypass the ccs. I then encoded it with the defaults for psp, but when i transfered it said it was the wrong format. What handbake format options should i use for psp?
nikki , February 24, 2009
I think it depends on the firmware version you have. Unfortunately I don't own a PSP so I can't tell you what options to use. You can take a look at the handbrake forum.
axel , February 24, 2009
No subtitle in output file
Use HandBrake0.9.3 Win Gui version and OS is win xp.
Although i choice "Autoselect", "Forced Subtitles Only", "English","Chinese" etc, the output files all haven't subtitles.
How to solve the above problem???
Thank your for your help!!!
kungkung , March 27, 2009
Don't check Forced Subtitles only. Just select the language you want. smilies/smiley.gif
axel , March 27, 2009
Subtitle hasn't changed to smaller size
Hi axel :
Your method is ok, the subtitle showed but its font size hasn't changed to smaller size then some subtitle words of 2 side(left and right hand sides)couldn't show.
How to slove the above problem? Could change the subtitles font size setting?
Thank you for your help!!!
kungkung , March 28, 2009
What Handbrake does is to take the subtitles which are stored as images in the DVD and "burn" them into the video. So there is no way to change their size.

A solution would be to convert only the video and download subtitles for this DVD from the Internet. Somewhere you will find the .srt file. If you reproduce the video in your computer most video players will automatically find the external .srt file as long as you have it in the same folder and with the same name as your video file.

If you still to hardcode the subtitle on the video wait a few days, I have a guide on this subject waiting to be published. smilies/wink.gif
axel , March 28, 2009
PS3 setting

I followed your suggestions and having the constant quality = 100% ( in .93 version this disables the 2 pass conversion with Turbo first pass) and I got a 9gig file for a DVD9 ripped movie. Running it at 1280 kbps rate to see what I get, I heard some suggest 5000 kbps.

Jeff , April 02, 2009
Hi Jeff, I think you should better use the Target Size option to rip your movies. This way you won't have too large video files. For a 2h movie 700MB should be ok. smilies/smiley.gif
axel , April 04, 2009
So..when you rip DVDs using Handbrake..can you not get the DVD menu on the DVD if you copy it? The chapters all broke where they were supposed to but there is no DVD menu that I can go to to select which chapter I want to watch.
Jes , August 03, 2009
No you can't copy the DVD menu since it's not video but "special software" that runs in your DVD player. smilies/smiley.gif
axel , August 06, 2009
High Quality
Hey Axel,

I have backed up all my DVD's onto 9TB of storage and want to reduce it as my DVD collection is growing and I do not want to purchase any more HD's because they are getting too expensive so I want to convert everything to H.264.

Now, how do I convert my video files which consist of .iso and video_ts to H.264 in such a way that I do not loose any audio or video quality so they are the same as my original DVD? What settings do I use. Thank you.
Wayne , August 11, 2009
Once i've put in what i want it to irp, it comes up with 'The CLI is about to read your source... This process can take up o a minute'

well its been about 8 minutes and why is it taaking so! long!!!?
Maddy , October 28, 2009
Are you using Windows and the DVD is encrypted? If so Handbrake can't handle it.


First things first. Handbrake on the Windows Platform does NOT decrypt Commercial DVDs. Let me repeat this. It does NOT decrypt commercial DVDs.

Third-party software is required for this part of the process. (e.g. AnyDVD, DVD43 or DVD Decryptor)
(Note: Please note that these applications are not legal in many countries. You should consult the law in your own country before using these applications. We do not provide support for 3rd party applications!)
axel , October 29, 2009
Great program...three questions....
This program(after a few trial experiments) works really good.
I tried the 0.9.4 version back last year, but never could get it
to work. I tried to find a newer version, but it seems that the
version I have is the most current.

I tried ripping a commercial DVD to H.264 mkv, but the only
presets were 'Apple', 'Regular', and 'Legacy', there was no
'High Profile' or 'Constant Quality Rate' options listed.
So, as an experiment, I clicked the 'Add' button under the
presets box, and typed in 'Constant Quality Rate', and it took it!

Handbrake took my de-crypted DVD and encoded it into 1.35GB file
just fine. The video and audio quality are fantastic...the same,
if not slightly better than the original.

I have just three questions:
1)why doesn't my handbrake show all the presets as listed in the
screen shots in this post? Does one have to 'add' them, as I did
with the 'Constant Quality Rate'?

2) Are there settings(video filters?, Video tab settings?, Advanced
tab settings?), that would give an even better quality picture?
I don't mind larger file sizes, even 3-4GB. I realize that you can't
really upscale a 720X480 picture(you only have that many pixels to work
with), but there might be settings to make the converted video LOOK

3) Does handbrake work with de-crypted blue-ray files?

tkmops , July 25, 2010
HQ 400MB mkv rips
cud u temme the setting to rip dvds to small size(arnd 400-500mb)high quality mkv rip (480p or 720p) using handbrake..
thanx for ur guide btw..smilies/smiley.gif
Gokul , August 17, 2010
Gokui, in the Video tab set the target quality to the size you want and Handbrake will do the appropriate compression.
axel , August 26, 2010
how to set smaller subtitle fontsize in Handbrake
Hi Axel, thank you for the fine Guide!
Handbrake really is a superior tool in order to get files of splendid quality and I used it a lot lately. Usually I use two audio tracks from ripped DVD´s and import a subtitel (srt), made with subrip, because the picture-based burnt-in DVD-text is too big and disturbing. But even the text-based letters come out too large. Is there any way to get it smaller? There is a program "multiAVCHD", which since last week also provides mkv and iXvid-avi single file export. With this prog I can place the subtitle on the black bottom bar in any size I want, but momentarily it only offers export of one audio track. Actually I prefer Handbrake and wonder if you know a solution for my desire...found nothing about this in forums etc. - thanks!
Ferrit , September 10, 2010
length of the copy
i am converting dvd to mpg4(ipod quality) using handbrake.
it runs ok and i see the result but longer than original tape.
it seems like depends on how long i am converting.... for example, if the converting time is about 40 min. and i left it for 80min, the whole length of mpg4 copy is double of the original. why it goes in this way? and can i control the length of copy by selecting some button? would be great if you could tell me the trick.
mimi , November 08, 2010
i scanned the dvd but when i tri to find a destination it wont let me save it?? im using windows 7 and its not working ??
jayd , December 10, 2010
Is it normal for the encoding to take 24 hours. I just started using Handbrake, but should it take longer to encode than the movie is in length? The window is saying 2.3 frames per second. Is there something i can do to speed up the process?
Drew , December 24, 2010
Wow!! I can't believe the speed and extreme quality this program can give. I encoded a DVD to MKV (x264) Constant Quality set to 22 decomb enabled, Dual channel AC3 192 Kbps and in just a little less than 30 minutes I had my almost 2 hours lenght movie encoded! Superb quality. Before this marvelous piece of software, I used many other encoding software suchs as TMPGEnc or so and non of these gave me the quality Handbrake can provide. My next step is to rip a bluray movie. smilies/cheesy.gif
Darkest Amadeus , February 28, 2011
handbreak issues vlc
hi i downloaded hand break 32 bit as well as vlc 32 bit but will not burn original dvds? it will burn already burned dvds? what software do i need? or can i do it with handbreak? when i open source and choose dvd a box pops up and says handbreak and lvc not compatible or computer not recognizing it? so i just press the button says try to scan anyway . ? thanks
Esmirna Phelps , April 13, 2011
How to...subtitles, menus, etcetera...
hi axel! first of all thanks for all the help you are providing.
I am looking forward to put all my movies in a 2 tb hd (probably eventually, I have to buy another 2 or 3 tb hd) I have a WD TV HD media player, which I intent to use to watch my movies in my 42' tv.
I really looking for a ultimate step by step guide, to get the most of my dvd's using the lower space possible, I do have troubles with subtitles (I just want the english and spanish option) and menus, can you help me or give me advice where can I found such guide, I am really a "newbie" therefore I need a very specific guide.
Thank you very much for any help you can give me.
Richard , April 19, 2011
vlc windows
NB that you don't need anydvd for windows, you can use VLC+handbrake on windows (libdvdcss) https://forum.handbrake.fr/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=16670#p78021
rogerdpack , June 03, 2011
once copped vids it gos all fuzzy ?
Ok so once i get the vid on to my pc . i click on play and it goes all splotchy and weird the sound is distorted and so is the image. whats up with that ? please help

Kyle , July 08, 2011
DVD copy
I am using a Mac with OSX. I have HB 9.03. Will Handbrake allow me to copy DVDs while preserving all desirable features such as subtitles, chapter menu, language selection, etc. How do the Thais copy DVDs that keep all extra features?
JStan , July 19, 2011
I used to create two copies: one for AppleTV (don't have one, but it's big enough to watch on my Mac) and another for my iPhone 3G (quite small in size, watchable). The new preset for iPhone 4 creates files almost as big as the AppleTV preset, so now I use only the Universal preset to create a single file, instead of two different versions.
Jimy , August 18, 2011
still no success getting subtitles
I've tried a number of hindi movies, the audio tab recognizes as hindi. I set the preset to ipod, and I've even tried normal. I set the subtitle to English, and tried both default and non-default, the subtitles don't come through. The same dvd when played directly from the dvd player in windows media player shows subtitles just fine when I choose the dvd menu and set subtitles on. I don't have forced or burn in set. I did do this as a test only for a few chapters. Does handbrake require you to rip the entire dvd to get subtitles? Any comment or insight appreciated. BTW I love the programe.
vikram , November 12, 2011
Hi vikram, I haven't used handbrake for a long time now so I don't quite remember. However I believe that it shouldn't have a problem ripping only a few chapters.

Have you tried any other subtitle apart from the English one to see if it works? Or the DVD has only English subtitles?
axel , November 13, 2011
Which version is this? I downloaded the newer version and it looks very different, and it makes DVD ripping extremely complicated.
anonymous , December 04, 2011
I've written this guide on 2008 so it's a rather old version... I guess I have to write a new one...
axel , December 04, 2011
DVD RIP for a TV Serie
Yesterday, I tried ripping a DVD with 4 episodes and got 4 MKV file. How can I get the 4 episodes available in the same MKV?
siocnarf , April 13, 2012
Only 4 chapters recording
Hi all...I ripped my dvd and 21 chapters show in the chapters list. But the copy on my desk top only has 4. I have redone the action several times with the same result. Can someone please advise as to what might be going on...Thanks
Bruce , February 09, 2013

Write comment

smaller | bigger
security image
Write the displayed characters



Login Form

Follow me on...

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+: u/0/b/113039112812192417058/
  • Digg
  • Reddit: myguides
  • RSS Feed
  • e-mail

Member Login