How to Copy Your DVDs With Mac OS X


This wikiHow teaches you how to copy a DVD's information onto your Mac computer. If the DVD is unprotected, you can do this using the Mac's disk utility. If the DVD is protected, though, you'll need to use a free program called VLC media player to rip the DVD's contents.

Part 1
Copying an Unprotected DVD

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For many Macs, you will need an external DVD reader, since most Macs don't come with CD slots anymore. You can buy an external disk reader from Apple for less than $90. To attach an external DVD reader to your Mac, connect the DVD reader's cable to your Mac's USB port (on the left side of a Mac laptop or on the back of an iMac desktop monitor).

Copying an Unprotected DVD on How to Copy Your DVDs With Mac OS X

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Click the magnifying glass icon in the top-right corner of the screen. A text box will appear.

Copying an Unprotected DVD on How to Copy Your DVDs With Mac OS X

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This will search your Mac for the Disk Utility app.

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It's a grey box with a stethoscope icon on it.

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You'll find it on the left side of the window.

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It's in the top-left side of your Mac's screen. A drop-down menu will appear.

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This option is in the File drop-down menu.

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Doing so will open a window with options for your DVD. For example, if your DVD is named "proof of alien life", you would click Image from "proof of alien life" in this menu.

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Click the "Name" text field, then type in a new name for the DVD file.

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Click the "Format" drop-down box, then click DVD/CD Master in the drop-down menu.

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It's on the left side of the window.

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This is at the bottom of the window. Doing so will begin copying the DVD's image onto your desktop. Once the copying is complete, you can proceed with onto a blank DVD.

Part 2
Ripping a Protected DVD

Ripping a Protected DVD on How to Copy Your DVDs With Mac OS X

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For many Macs, you will need an external DVD reader, since most Macs don't come with CD slots anymore. You can buy an external disk reader from Apple for less than $90. To attach an external DVD reader to your Mac, connect the DVD reader's cable to your Mac's USB port (on the left side of a Mac laptop or on the back of an iMac desktop monitor).

Ripping a Protected DVD on How to Copy Your DVDs With Mac OS X

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Open Spotlight , type vlc in, and click the VLC traffic cone icon when it pops up. If you don't have VLC media player installed, go to and download it. You'll also need to install it before continuing. If you're prompted to update, click Yes and then wait for the update to finish.

Ripping a Protected DVD on How to Copy Your DVDs With Mac OS X

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This menu item is in the top-left side of your Mac's screen. A drop-down menu will appear.

Ripping a Protected DVD on How to Copy Your DVDs With Mac OS X

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It's in the File drop-down menu. A settings window with your DVD's information will open.

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You'll find this in the bottom-left corner of the window.

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Your DVD's conversion settings will open.

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This will bring up a window where you can select a save location for your DVD file and rename the file itself.

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Doing so selects the desktop as the destination for your DVD's file.

Ripping a Protected DVD on How to Copy Your DVDs With Mac OS X

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When typing in the name, make sure you include ".mp4" at the end of the name. For example, if you wanted to name your file "finding nemo", you would type in finding nemo.mp4.

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Your DVD file's name will be saved.

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It's below the "File" section. A drop-down menu will appear.

Ripping a Protected DVD on How to Copy Your DVDs With Mac OS X

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You'll find it in the drop-down menu.

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You'll need to make the following changes in order for your DVD to rip successfully: Check the "Video" checkbox. Click the box right of "Video". Select H264. Click the "Bitrate" box and select 1024. Click the "Scale" box and select 1.

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Make the following changes: Check the "Audio" checkbox. Click the box right of "Audio". Select MP4A. Click the "Bitrate" box and select 192. Click the "Channels" box and select 2.

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Doing so saves your changes.

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It's at the bottom of the original window. Doing so prompts VLC to begin ripping the DVD file to your specified save location. Once it completes, you can proceed with onto a blank DVD. This process can take anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours depending on the size of the video. Don't close VLC media player or shut down your computer (or let the computer "sleep") while the video is ripping.

Part 3
Burning a DVD

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Press the "Eject" button on the connected drive, or on your Mac's keyboard.

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This must be a DVD disc that has never been used before if you want to use the DVD for playback in a DVD player.

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It's a menu item in the top-left side of your Mac's screen. Doing so prompts a drop-down menu.

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This option is in the File drop-down menu. Clicking it creates a new folder on your desktop; you can name the folder, or you can press ⏎ Return to leave the folder as-is.

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Click the DVD file on your desktop to select it.

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It's a menu item to the right of File in the upper-left side of your Mac's screen.

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This option is in the Edit drop-down menu.

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Double-click the burn folder to open it.

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Doing so will place a copy of the DVD file in the burn folder.

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It's a black button in the upper-right corner of the burn folder.

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This blue button is at the bottom of the pop-up window. Your DVD file will begin burning onto the DVD. You will hear a confirmation chime when the burning process is complete.