“Can Handbrake rip copy protected Blu-ray disc? I used to use Handbrake to convert DVD discs to MP4 so that I could get the movies out of DVD discs and then use them in my way. Just yesterday some friends gave me some Blu-ray discs of the movies I have been long looking for. I’m not sure whether or not I can rip copy protected Blu-ray discs with Handbrake. If it couldn’t, is there any tool that could rip copy protected Blu-ray movies? Thanks in advance.”

As known to all, Handbrake is an open-source and free media converter tool that could help us convert video, audio and even DVD discs. Does Handbrake rip copy protected Blu-ray movies? If you are looking for an answer to this or a solution to rip copy protected Blu-ray movie, this page would be helpful to you. We will provide you effective solutions on ripping copy protected Blu-ray movies here.

Part 1. What are Blu-ray protection and region restriction

Firstly, let’s get into what Blu-ray protection and region restriction are before we learn how to rip copy protected Blu-ray movies. Commercial pre-recorded DVD and Blu-ray discs are typically protected with some form of copy protection. The purpose of Blu-ray copy protection is to protect Blu-ray content from being ripped, copied and played by unauthorized users.

There are several different copy protections upon commercial Blu-ray discs: AACS encryption, BD+ protection, Cinavia protection, etc.

AACS, short for Advanced Access Content System, has been widely used by companies like Disney, Intel, Microsoft, Panasonic, Warner Bros., IBM, Toshiba and Sony. It is based on Advanced Encryption Standard (AES), a robust 128-bit key encryption system developed by the US government. AACS includes a system by which the keys assigned to a particular player can be "revoked" for future Blu-ray disc releases if it is determined that those keys have been compromised.

When a newer Blu-ray disc is inserted into an older drive, the drive is required to check the version of the "Media Key Block" (MKB) on the disc and, if it is newer than the one the drive has internally, to copy over to permanent non-volatile memory the newer MKB. Thus playing newer discs propagates the revoked key lists out to all drives.


BD+ is a second level of copy protection that is optional for pre-recorded Blu-ray discs. After the stream files are encrypted using AACS encryption, they are further mangled randomly with instructions on how to repair the mangled files stored on the disc as special BD+ instructions.

These instructions run in something called a "BD+ virtual machine", special software that Blu-ray players are required to include. The virtual machine on the player runs the BD+ code on the disc and retrieves something called the "Fix-up Table" (FUT) to repair all the BD+ mangled regions on the disc.

Cinavia is a newer level of copy protection that is optional on Blu-ray discs. The system involves "steganography" or watermarking, in which a special encrypted data signal is hidden within a single audio channel in an audio track. When a player with Cinavia support detects a Cinavia signal on a Blu-ray disc, it can verify whether playback should be allowed. The player can display one of four possible messages known as "Cinavia message codes".

The most commonly viewed messages are (1) "Playback Stopped" and (3) "Audio Muted". Message (1) is supposed to stop distribution of "camcorder" recordings of first-run movies from theaters if the theaters include a Cinavia signal in the movie soundtrack. Message (3) is supposed to stop unencrypted ripped copies of movies. There is apparently no exception for consumer backup copies.

As to Blu-ray region restriction, Blu-ray Disc media have region codes, respectively A, B and C for different countries and regions, as showed below:

  • Region A: North America, South America, U.S. Territories, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and other areas of Southeast Asia.
  • Region B: Europe, Africa, Middle East, Australia, and New Zealand.
  • Region C: Asia (except for Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and other areas of Southeast Asia)
  • Region FREE: This is not an official setting, but discs that have the region FREE symbol either have no flag set or have all region flags (A, B & C) set.

The Blu-ray Disc device or drive will support playback of Blu-ray Disc purchased in the same region unless otherwise specified in the player or computer documentation. In other words, computers and Blu-ray Disc players purchased in countries corresponding to region A can play back Blu-ray Discs for region A, but cannot play back Blu-ray Discs for region B or region C. However, there are region-free Blu-ray media player software tools like Leawo Free Blu-ray Player to help you play Blu-ray discs of all regions.

Part 2: How to rip copy protected Blu-ray with Handbrake

Let’s firstly answer the question “can Handbrake rip copy protected Blu-ray disc”. the answer is 100% negative at least by now. Actually, Handbrake is able to convert video and audio files to MP4 or MKV file, and convert non-protected DVD movies to MP4/MKV file as well. However, with some extra assistance, you could rip copy protected Blu-ray or DVD with Handbrake.


The below steps would show you how to rip copy protected Blu-ray with Handbrake and extra assistance.

  1. Download and install Handbrake, VLC and MakeMKV on your computer. Then, launch them all.
  2. On Handbrake, click the “Open Source” button to browse and load copy-protected Blu-ray movies from drive or computer folder. It will take some time for Handbrake to scan the titles in Blu-ray discs.
  3. In the “Destination” box, click the “Browse” button to set an output directory for saving output converted Blu-ray movies.
  4. In the “Output Settings” section, choose either MP4 or MKV as output format from the “Container” drop-down box, and then adjust the output profile parameters like video encoder, bit rate, aspect ratio, etc. below.
  5. Finally, click the “Start Encode” button to start to rip copy protected Blu-ray movies to MP4 or MKV files.

In this way, Handbrake could rip copy protected Blu-ray movies. VLC and MakeMKV perform as Blu-ray reader for Handbrake to recognize and read Blu-ray content for loading, ripping and converting.

Part 3: How to rip copy protected Blu-ray with Leawo Blu-ray ripper

You have to install 3 apps to rip copy protected Blu-ray with Handbrake. Is there any better way or tool to rip copy protected Blu-ray in an easier way? Of course yes. Leawo Blu-ray Ripper could help you easily decrypt and rip copy-protected Blu-ray discs, no matter they are AACS, BD+ protected, and then convert copy-protected Blu-ray discs to MP4, AVI, MOV, MKV, or other videos without installing other plugins. What’s more, Leawo Blu-ray Ripper enables you to rip and convert the main movie of Blu-ray disc to regular video files for space and time-saving. It’s much faster than Handbrake in disc loading and converting.

Note: Leawo Blu-ray Ripper works for decrypting AACS, BD+ and the latest MKB protection upon Blu-ray discs. If you have Blu-ray discs with Cinavia watermark, you could turn to Leawo Blu-ray Cinavia Removal to remove Cinavia, AACS, BD+ protection upon Blu-ray discs to get protection-free copies.

Follow the below steps to learn how to rip and copy-protected Blu-ray discs with Leawo Blu-ray Ripper. You need to firstly download and install it on your computer. (Note: Leawo Blu-ray Ripper is a module of Leawo Prof. Media)


Step 1: Load Blu-ray disc

Insert the copy protected Blu-ray disc into Blu-ray drive, and then launch Leawo Prof. Media. Open the “Convert” module, and then click "Add Blu-ray/DVD" button on the main interface to load Blu-ray disc. It won’t take you long to recognize and load copy protected Blu-ray discs.



  1. Leawo Blu-ray Ripper provides you 3 content loading modes to load all movie (Full Movie), movie only (Main Movie), or preferred titles (Custom Mode). For time saving, you could choose Main Movie to decrypt and rip the longest title (usually the main movie) only.
  2. After loading source Blu-ray movie, you could choose subtitles and audio tracks in the drop-down boxes of "Subtitles" and "Audio tracks" in each loaded Blu-ray file.

Step 2: Select output format

Click the drop-down list next to “Add Photo” button, and choose “Change” to enter Profile setting panel where you can freely set output format from “Format” or “Device” group.


After you have set output format, you could click the same drop-down list and click "Edit" button to adjust the video and audio parameters of output files, including video codec, audio codec, bit rate, aspect ratio, frame rate, channel, etc.


Step 3: Convert copy-protected Blu-ray movies

At last, click the big green "Convert" button and then set output directory to save the final converted Blu-ray movies in the “Save to” box.


Click the bottom “Convert” button to start converting copy protected Blu-ray movies to video files. The copy protection decrypting happens in the background, requiring no human interference. After conversion completes, you get Blu-ray movies in regular video file format with no copy protection. You could then freely play back converted Blu-ray movies on any media players.

Part 4. Comparison between Leawo Blu-ray Ripper and Handbrake

The below is a comparison chart between Leawo Blu-ray Ripper and Handbrake to show you more details about these 2 Blu-ray ripping tools.

Leawo Blu-ray Ripper Handbrake
Decrypt Blu-ray discs yes no
Decrypt DVD discs yes no
Convert DVD to video yes yes
Convert video files yes yes
Adjust output parameters yes yes
Edit Blu-ray/DVD/video files yes yes
2D to 3D conversion yes no
Select subtitles and audio tracks yes no
Play back source Blu-ray/DVD/video files yes no