Say you have a movie on DVD, but you want to watch it on your phone, tablet, somewhere else. You can “rip” that DVD—or turn it into a movie file on your computer—to play it wherever you want. Here’s how to do it.
Ripping a movie to your hard drive can seem complicated, but it’s actually pretty simple. There are a lot of ways to do it and a lot of different programs out there, but our favorite method uses a program called Handbrake. It’s easy to use, it’s available for Windows, Mac, and Linux, and it’ll convert your file into compatible formats for any device, like an iPad or Android phone. The video above should walk you through the process, but you can follow along with these instructions.
- Head to Handbrake’s homepage and download the program. Install it to your computer as directed.
- Insert the DVD you want to rip, and open Handbrake.
- Click the Source button in the upper left-hand corner and choose your DVD drive from the list. It will start scanning your DVD, which could take a few minutes.
- When it’s done, head to the “Title” drop-down menu in the upper left hand corner of the window. This is where you’ll select which part of the DVD you want to rip. In the case of movies, it’s usually the longest title, so just pick that one. If you’re ripping episodes of a TV show, it’s usually the 22 or 44 minute ones, and you’ll have to rip them each separately.
- Click the Browse button on the right side of the window. Navigate to where you want to save your movie file, and type in a file name in the box. Click OK.
- Next, head to the bar on the right labeled “Presets”. This is where you’ll choose what format the resulting file will be in. If you just want to watch it on your computer, the “Normal” or “High Profile” preset is fine. If you want to watch it on something like your iPod or iPhone, though, pick the correct preset from the list.
- Hit the Start button at the top of the window. This will take awhile, so you’ll probably want to grab a cup of tea.
- When it’s done, you’ll get a popup notification. From there, you can double-click on your movie file to watch it, or sync it to your device of choice. Enjoy!
Good luck and enjoy your newly ripped DVD!