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How to Cleanly Rip a DVD with VLC (& Fix any Ripping Errors)

How to Cleanly Rip a DVD with VLC (& Fix any Ripping Errors)

Trying to learn how to rip a DVD with VLC? If you’re trying to rip a DVD to your computer for backup, editing, or for easy access, then VLC is a common free option.

Perhaps you have a favorite movie or TV show on DVD, but your DVD player isn’t working, or you want to transfer a college film project from DVD to your computer for re-editing.

However, you might encounter some issues along the way, like only ripping the first episode of a TV show or receiving an error message saying “your input can’t be opened.”

Related: VLC Media Player: Is it still the Best Video Player?

In this guide, we’ll take you through the process of using VLC to rip a DVD to your Mac or Windows computer, and offer some tips and troubleshooting for common issues you might face.

Table Of Contents
  1. What to know before ripping DVD in VLC
  2. How to Rip a DVD with VLC
  3. DVD & Errors Troubleshooting: Why won't my VLC Rip my DVD?
  4. Disadvantages of ripping DVDs with VLC
  5. 3 VLC alternative video players that allow you to easily rip a DVD
  6. What are the best formats to rip DVDs in VLC?
  7. FAQ

Note: You can also use VLC to save and download Youtube videos

What to know before ripping DVD in VLC

What to know before ripping DVD in VLC
  • Ripping a DVD with VLC is a straightforward process. Simply use the Convert/Save menu option, select the DVD as the source, name the file, and hit the Start button to begin the rip.
  • When attempting to rip a copyrighted video that has DRM protection, it may be necessary to first decrypt the DVD. Be sure to make sure the process is legal and research this on your end.
  • To ensure your ripped video can play on any device, it’s recommended to create an MP4 file using either the H.265 or H.264 compression format. To avoid a lack of audio in the ripped video, ensure the correct audio track is selected before starting the rip.

Also see: 21 Best Video Players for Mac (Free & Paid) 4k, HDR

How to Rip a DVD with VLC

How to Rip a DVD with VLC

To rip a DVD to your PC using VLC media player, open VLC and select “Convert/Save” from the Media menu. Go to the Disc tab and select DVD, then choose the file destination and click “Convert/Save.”

Choose your desired output format, and wait for the conversion process to finish. Your ripped DVD will then be available for viewing.

You can also learn how to convert DVDs so you can stream them on your Plex.

Let’s dive into each step individually with photos to help guide you:

Step 1: Install VLC and Load the DVD

Step 1 Install VLC and Load the DVD

Start by loading up the DVD you want to rip and open VLC media player. You need to insert your DVD into a drive and make sure that your computer recognizes it. On Mac and windows there are folders which you can see and view the drive.

Related: How to Record WebCam using VLC media player

Step 2: Open the ‘Open source/media’ menu by pressing Ctrl + R (Windows) or Cmd + R (Mac)

Step 1 DVD rip Video vlc

From the Media menu, select “Convert/Save.” (Press Ctrl +R on Windows or Cmd + R on Mac). This will open up a dashboard with different options, once of them will say “Disc”. This is the option you’ll want to select.

Related: How to Record Your Screen with VLC Media Player

Step 3: Click on the Disc Tab from the open source/media menu that popped up

Step 3 rip DVD Video vlc

In the ‘Open Media’ (or ‘open source window’ on mac) window that appears, click on the “Disc” tab. From here you can click on the DVD box and select folder that points to your DVD drive.

Step 4: Click the “Convert/Save” button to begin ripping the DVD.

Step 5 DVD rip Video vlc

Optionally, select “No disc menus” to skip DVD menus during the conversion process. You can also optionally change different setting options depending on your desired stream output or transcoding goals.

Step 5: Under the “Starting Position” section, you can select which title and chapter you want to rip.

This allows you to choose a specific episode or chapter or show within the DVD.

So, if you have a specific part you want to rip (and you don’t want to rip the entire dvd), then you can let VLC start ripping at a certain point that you specify.

Note: Leave this at default if you want the entire movie.

Step 6: Choose your desired audio and subtitle track for ripping

Under the “Audio and Subtitles” section, you can choose which audio and subtitle track you want to include in the rip.

Note: Again, leave this at default if you want the original language and subtitles.

Step 4 DVD rip Video vlc

You can also choose the codec and container for the rip. VLC will use the H.264 video codec, MP3 audio format, and an MP4 container by default. (Click the “Tools” icon to the left of the “Profile” drop-down box to change these settings.)

Also see How to make VLC the Default Player on Mac and Windows

Step 7: Choose the file destination and name, and click “Save” to begin the ripping process.

This will take anywhere from 15 minutes to 45 minutes to rip the DVD and this is based on how powerful your PC is and how large a video file you were ripping is.

For example, Blu-rays and 4K DVD’s will take longer to rip will take longer than 1080p and standard DVDs due to the higher resolution video they contain

Related: How to Cut & Trim Videos in VLC MediaPlayer (Windows & Mac)

DVD & Errors Troubleshooting: Why won’t my VLC Rip my DVD?

VLC isn’t working when you try to rip the DVD, and there’s quite a few things you can try. In this section, I’ll cover some common errors associated with ripping DVDs with VLC.

If VLC won’t rip a DVD, start by double-checking the VLC ripping DVD steps to make sure there was no misoperation.

If the steps were followed correctly, try these troubleshooting tips:

  • Removing and reinserting the DVD
  • Restarting the computer, resetting VLC to default settings
  • Reinstalling the VLC player with the latest version.

If all troubleshooting steps fail, you may need to explore alternative ways to rip the DVD. It’s very possible the DRM is protecting the DVD from ripping. 

DRM stands for Digital Rights Management and it is essentially a form of security that prevents unauthorized access and use of digital media.When you purchase a DVD or Blu-ray disc with DRM protection, the content is encrypted so that only authorized users can access the content. The purpose of DRM is to ensure that copyright holders can control how their content is used and monetize their work

Need to crop a video? Learn How to Crop a Video in VLC (and save it) on Windows 10 & Mac

How do I fix the error – Playback failure: “DVDRead could not read 1/4 blocks at 0x7c0”.

Full error: Playback failure: “DVDRead could not read 1/4 blocks at 0x7c0”. File reading failed: VLC couldn’t open the file “vlc:quit”. Your input can’t open: VLC is unable to open the MRL ‘vlc:quit’. Check log for details”

In this case, you’ll need to re-insert the DVD, restart your PC and turn VLC back to any default settings. I would recommend deleting VLC and reinstalling it to its latest version.

If you don’t have it already. If you are certain it is not the DVD that has the error, then, your quickest, most successful, route to solve this issue is to use an alternate ripping software (Like Handbrake, MakeMKV or MPlayer) that has its primary purpose of ripping DVDs, rather than using VLC.

As a copy-protection mechanism, some DVDs have bad sectors, which can make some tools have errors and not rip the dvd. However, ddrescue can rip copy-protected DVDs, which are supported by VLC. So the issue can be troubleshooted by reinstalling VLC.

VLC media player shuts off video or nothing happens when I try to rip the video

In this case, it’s likely the DVD either has DRM or you need to restart your computer and reinstall the VLC media player. Make sure your windows or Mac iOS is updated to its latest software (this is important). Also, make sure the VLC is updated and you have the latest version.

When I try to rip a DVD, VLC says: DVDRead could not open the disk

In this case, you want to remove the DVD, restart your laptop or PC and reinstall VLC player. If these do not work, then you can debug and scan/examine any issues, but the easiest solution is to use another advanced software (like handbrake) to help with this as it’s better suited for solving/avoiding ripping issues like this compared to VLC.

Also see: How to Rotate & Flip a Video in VLC and Save It (Permanently)

Disadvantages of ripping DVDs with VLC

VLC’s biggest disadvantage is that its a bit more complex to use compared to premium ripping apps that are built primarily for ripping DVDs. This means it may not have the same advanced ripping capabilities and seamless user interface as some paid alternatives.

While VLC can be a great free option to rip movies, it has some limitations compared to other apps like Handbrake, MPlayer or MakeMKV. These limitations include more errors and fewer options for choosing specific formats or adjusting the rip’s quality to save storage space.

Also see: How to Download Netflix Movies on Mac for Watching Offline

Even though it’s possible to make some adjustments in VLC, it may be more challenging than in other apps, which can be a drawback for users who want more control over their rips. As a result, users may find it easier to use another software to avoid these issues.

3 VLC alternative video players that allow you to easily rip a DVD

There are alternative video players that will also allow you to rip DVDs to your computer. You may want to choose one of these if you’re having problems using VLC for the job the following choices.

We’ll cover the pros and cons of each alternative we encountered when we tried it out, and how you can use each to rip dvds.


you’ll need to visit WindXDVD and download the software if you don’t have it already. It has a free trial and a full license version and is one of the most useful, reliable alternatives for ripping dvds compared to VLC.

Get started:

  • Download: Click the download button to get the setup file for WinX DVD Ripper Platinum.
  • Install: Double-click on “winx-dvd-ripper-pt.exe” to start the installation. Select your preferred language and click “Next” to proceed through the installation wizard. Once done, launch WinX (trial version) to see the main interface.
  • Trial Limits: The trial version has some limitations, including a five-minute video conversion limit, no free updates, and lack of advanced features. You can order the full version to remove these limits.

Basic Operation:

  • Load DVD: Click “DVD Disc,” “ISO Image,” or “Folder” to import the DVD. WinX DVD Ripper Platinum supports different settings to rip various types of DVDs.
  • Select Output Profile: After importing the DVD, the “Output Profile” window will pop up. Choose from “General Profiles,” “DVD Backup Profile,” “Device Profile,” “Web Video Profile,” and “Common Video/Music Profile,” then click “OK” to proceed.
  • Rip DVD: You can click “Browse” to choose a destination folder and then click “RUN” to start ripping the DVD. You can enable “CPU Core Use” or “Hardware Accelerator” to speed up the ripping process, and select “Use High Quality Engine” or set “Deinterlacing” for better image quality.


  • Clear: Click the “Clear” icon to remove all the titles in the file list window and go back to the initial interface directly.
  • Options: Click “Options” to customize the default audio language, update, output folder, and snapshot folder.
  • Product Information: You can find detailed information about the product in the upper-right corner of the user interface.
  • Output Settings: Click the gear icon to customize video and audio codec, bitrate, frame rate, aspect ratio, resolution, audio channel number, sample rate, etc. You can also change the output profile directly, rename the output file, or merge selected titles into one.
  • Preview Window: Click the “Snapshot” button to take a picture appearing in the video and store it as PNG.


  • Volume: Click “General” > Check “Adjust Audio Volume” > Drag the bar to adjust the volume freely. Click “Reset” to restore to the initial state.
  • Subtitle: Select the subtitle in the DVD, add extra subtitle, or adjust the subtitle position.
  • Crop & Expand: Crop or expand the converted video to fulfill the screen or device.
  • Trim: Click the “Trim” button to rip only part of your DVD. Check the “Enable Trim” option to set any time point of the DVD as the start time and end time.


If you’re looking for a good DVD ripper, then Handbrake is the perfect choice. It’s easy to use and can convert video formats, which makes it ideal for ripping DVDs.

  1. Download and install Handbrake from its home page at
  2. Download the libdvdcss file for your platform from the Lifehacker article below, if you plan to rip copy-protected DVDs.
  3. If you’re on Windows, rename the libdvdcss file to libdvdcss.dll and drag it into Handbrake’s program folder located in c program files handbrake. Check and make sure that it’s copied correctly.
  4. If you’re on a Mac, Handbrake should prompt you to download the correct file. Otherwise, get it at the Lifehacker post below. Double-click on the libdvdcss package and follow the wizard to install to your computer.
  5. Open up Handbrake and select your DVD from the source menu in the upper left-hand corner.
  6. Wait for Handbrake to scan your DVD, which can take a few minutes.
  7. Choose a chapter to rip. For a movie, it’s usually the longest one that’s close to the top. For TV shows, choose the 44 or 22-minute chapters and rip each episode separately.
  8. Click the browse button to choose the location of the ripped movie. Give it a name and click OK.
  9. Choose a preset in the right sidebar to determine its quality. If you’ll be watching on your computer, normal or high profile is fine. If you’ll be watching on an iPhone, iPad, or Android phone, choose the device from the list to get an ideal format for it.
  10. Click the Start button to begin ripping. This process will take some time, so wait patiently.
  11. After ripping is complete, you’ll hear a notification. You can now watch the movie or sync it to your device.


If you’ve tried ripping a DVD with VLC and it didn’t work for some reason, don’t worry. There are other programs that can help you accomplish this task.

One such program is MakeMKV, which is a free and open-source software that can rip DVDs and Blu-rays. MakeMKV is a great alternative to VLC because it is specifically designed for ripping discs and has some features that VLC doesn’t have.

In this section, we will guide you through the steps to rip a DVD using MakeMKV.

  1. Launch MakeMKV.
  2. Insert the DVD into your optical drive.
  3. Click the button that looks like an optical drive in the MakeMKV interface.
  4. Wait for MakeMKV to read the disc and display its contents.
  5. Use the disclosure triangle to choose which elements to rip (e.g. main feature, episodes, audio and subtitle tracks).
  6. Click the MakeMKV button and wait for the app to create the file(s).
  7. If you want to store the video in MKV format, you can stop here.
  8. If the file is too large, convert it to a smaller MKV file.

Also see: The Best way to play a MKV file on Mac (+ 7 alternatives)

What are the best formats to rip DVDs in VLC?

When it comes to ripping DVDs, choosing the right format is crucial to ensure the highest possible quality and compatibility with various devices. VLC, a popular open-source media player, also provides a convenient way to rip DVDs. In this section, we will explore the best formats to rip DVDs in VLC

Related: How to play AVI files on Mac (Quickly & Easily)

Choosing the best file format for archiving DVDs

The best file format for DVD archiving is an ISO file. It contains the exact DVD data with no information missed, which makes it easy to burn on new DVDs if needed.

What is the best format to rip a DVD for quality?

To obtain the highest quality, it’s best to avoid video transcoding, which means you should not change the DVD parameters like the encoder. The best format to rip a DVD for high quality is MPEG-2 MPG since the DVD main content is stored in MPEG-2 VOB files.

How do I choose the best movie format for a small DVD?

H265 MP4 is the best movie format for a DVD with a small size. It can reduce an original 9 GB DVD movie to 1 GB, and it provides high quality while taking only a little space.

Related: How to Play Downloaded Movies on TV

For viewing a DVD on a portable device, what is the best format to rip it to?

H264 is a cross-platform supported format usually stored in container formats like MP4, MKV, and MOV. If you want to watch your DVD movies on more devices like computers, tablets, and mobiles, you should rip your DVDs to H264 encoded MP4, MKV, or MOV (for Apple users).


Is it okay to rip any DVD, even copyright movies?

It is important to note that copyright laws protect movies and other media from unauthorized duplication and distribution. You would likely need to consult with a legal professional for this.

Ripping a DVD that you own for personal use is generally considered legal in some countries, but in others, it may be illegal.

However, if the DVD has DRM (digital rights management) protection, it may be illegal to circumvent the protection and rip the content.

It is always best to research and understand the laws in your country and consult a legal expert if you have any concerns.

When ripping a DVD on VLC, why does the video convert, but the audio doesn’t?

DRM (Digital Rights Management) can be a possible reason why the video on a ripped DVD might convert, but the audio doesn’t.

DVDs with DRM copy protection are encoded to prevent illegal copying and distribution, which means that even after ripping, the audio might remain encrypted and not play properly.

To overcome this issue, users have tried to use a decryption tool to bypass the DRM protection before ripping the DVD, or try a ripper that has the ability to decrypt and remove DRM automatically.

It’s important to note, however, that removing DRM from a DVD may be illegal in some countries and could result in legal consequences. Be sure to research the laws in your country and consult a legal expert if necessary. We do not advise removing DRM protected content.

What type of output does VLC provide for ripped DVDs?

VLC provides a variety of output options for ripped DVDs, including popular video formats like MP4, WebM, TS, OGG, H.264, and MPEG. It also supports HD video and can output audio files in various formats.

Can I select specific parts or chapters to be ripped?

Yes, you can select specific parts or chapters to be ripped in VLC. In the “Open Media” window, click on the “Disc” tab and check the “DVD” box. Then select the “Title” and “Chapter” you want to rip under the “Disc Selection” section.

If you only want to rip a specific segment of the DVD, you can set the “Starting Position” and “Ending Position” under the “Advanced Options” section. Once you have selected the parts or chapters you want to rip, click the “Convert/Save” button and proceed with the conversion process.

What level of visual quality does VLC Maintain when ripping DVDs?

The level of visual quality that VLC maintains when ripping DVDs depends on the output format and settings selected during the ripping process. VLC allows you to choose from a variety of output formats, including H.264, MPEG-4, and DivX, among others.

These formats offer varying levels of visual quality and file size.

The quality of the ripped video can be affected by the resolution, bit rate, and other settings selected during the conversion process. By adjusting these settings, you can achieve a balance between visual quality and file size that best meets your needs.

Can I rip a DVD with VLC and preserve the original menu structure?

VLC can use .ISO files with DVD menus and this will let you take advantage of the menu options in VLC.

Creating an iso of the disk is one option. Then, you can mount the iso like a regular disk, giving you a full backup. It may also be possible to open the iso directly with vlc without needing to mount on your system.

Do blue ray disks and 4k dvds take longer to rip?

Yes, Blu-ray discs and 4K DVDs are larger than standard DVDs in size . This means they take up more space on your hard drive, so it takes longer to rip them. 4K Blu-rays can be even bigger, as they often include higher quality audio tracks than standard Blu-rays.

The file sizes for Blurays and 4K DVDs can range from 15GB to 50GB, depending on the length and quality of the movie.

Can you rip a dvd using Android or iOS with VLC?

It is difficult to rip a DVD using VLC on Android or iOS devices. In most cases, you would need a dedicated laptop and an optical disc drive to insert the DVD into. VLC is primarily designed for desktop and laptop operating systems, and may not work as expected on mobile devices.

Also see: How to Speed up (or Slow Down) Videos in VLC

However, there are some third-party apps available that claim to allow DVD ripping on mobile devices, but they may not be reliable. It’s important to research and understand any legal implications before attempting to rip a DVD on a mobile device.

About the author:

Photo of Paul Michael, Founder of MediaPeanut

Paul Michael

Paul Michael is a media and technology expert whose research reveals how technology and media are being used in the world today. He has expertise on computers, the internet, streaming, Roku, electronics, and education. He also enjoys graphic design & digital art. Paul has his Bachelors of Arts and Science(s) from Rutgers University-New Brunswick, NJ