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How to rip DVD to MKV with Handbrake?

Facing a variety of digital formats, you must have encountered the situations to convert some of the original digital media to other formats which would be compatible with specific devices. Well, as a common digital medium, DVD has played an important role in your life which could be used in various places. But sometimes DVD disc is not compatible with some digital devices, or I should say some devices lack of the DVD player so as to play the content successfully. For example, now you have a piece of DVD disc at hand, and you want to play it on your Mac which doesn't contain an internal DVD drive. What would you do under the circumstance? Right, things will go smoothly if you can rip the DVD to MKV format which is compatible with Mac then. How to rip the DVD to MKV? You can make use of DVD ripping programs. In terms of DVD converting programs, you must hear about Handbrake. Next, you will be introduced to more details about DVD to MKV Handbrake conversion and some necessary Handbrake settings for DVD to MKV conversion.

Part 1: What is Handbrake?

As a free powerful converting program for Windows and Mac, Handbrake has won its praise in the past years. The basic function of Handbrake is to help users to convert and rip DVD. Generally, its supported converting list contains "Any DVD or Blu-ray, such as VIDEO_TS folder, DVD image, real DVD or Blu-ray", so the DVD to MKV Handbrake conversion shouldn't be a hard thing to do. Since the release of Handbrake on Jan 3, 2011, it added some support for Blu-ray ripping on conditions that the Blu-ray disc must be removed from copy protection. Specifically, Handbrake could neither work with encrypted physical Blu-ray disc nor decrypted commercial Blu-ray movies in BDMV file structure. Therefore, if you want to utilize Handbrake to help you convert DVD discs to other video formats like MKV, then you need to decrypt the Blu-ray disc first. For the detailed tutorial about DVD to MKV Handbrake conversion and Handbrake settings for DVD to MKV, please read on.

Part 2: How to rip DVD to MKV with Handbrake?

There is a note that you need to download libdvdcss before ripping protected DVD to MKV with HandBrake. Short for “lib (library) + dvd (DVD) + css (Content Scrambling System)”, libdvdcss is a plugin for HandBrake and is designed to access and unscramble DVDs encrypted with the CSS protection. Here are detailed steps on how to download libdvdcss on Mac and Windows separately.

1. How to Download Libdvdcss on Mac?

Step 1: Go ahead this site and download libdvdcss.
Step 2: Double click the downloaded file to install libdvdcss on Mac.

Note: To run libdvdcss smoothly, Mac users are recommended to disable SIP or do another setting on Mac, which you can refer to the steps below:

  • 1. Open a Finder window, type "cmd+shift+G"
  • 2. Copy and paste /Library/SystemMigration/History/, and then press button "GO"
  • 3. Kick off the folder "Migration-[random letters and numbers]" and find "QuarantineRoot".
  • 4. Click "Go" on the taskbar to choose "Go to Folder".
  • 5. Then type "/usr/local/lib".
  • 6. Cut and paste your libdvdcss file to the folder "/usr/local/lib" option.
  • 7. Put in your admin password to finish the move and libdvdcss installation on Mac is done.

2. How to Download Libdvdcss on Windows?

Step 1: Download libdvdcss Windows 10 by clicking these links ( pick out a specific version according to your needs).

Step 2: Then double-click on the downloaded libdvdcss file and start installing libdvdcss on your computer.

After that, just follow the guide below to rip DVD via Handbrake

Step 1. Run Handbrake and make sure the DVD disc has circumvented the copy protection.

Step 2. Open the Handbrake and insert the content in the DVD to the main panel by clicking "Open File".

Step 3. Set the output video parameters. Select MKV files as output format. And you can also set other parameters.

Step 4. Start the converting process. After setting the above parameters, then you only need to click "Start" button at the top and after several minutes you will obtain an MKV video.

Part 3: How to rip DVD to MKV with Leawo Blu-ray Ripper

Handbrake is actually not the only one that can rip DVDs. Compared to Handbrake, Leawo Blu-ray Ripper will provide you more professional solutions on converting Blu-ray or DVD to MKV in 1:1 lossless quality with all original subtitles and audio tracks retained. The detailed steps are as follows.

Step 1. Download Leawo Blu-ray Ripper and install it on your computer

  • Leawo Blu-ray Ripper
  • Leawo Blu-ray Ripper

    ☉ Decrypt and rip Blu-ray/DVD discs with disc protection and region code
    ☉ Convert Blu-ray/DVD to MP4, MKV, AVI, MOV, FLV, and other 180+ HD/SD formats
    ☉ Convert Blu-ray/DVD main movie to videos for space saving
    ☉ Convert 2D Blu-ray/DVD movies to 3D movies with 6 different 3D effects
    ☉ Fast conversion with NVIDIA CUDA, AMD APP and Intel Quick Sync acceleration technologies

Step 2. Import the source file

Import the DVD on your computer to the program. Click the "Add UHD/Blu-ray/DVD" button at the top left of the program interface or just drag the file directly to the main interface.

Step 3. Select the desired video(s)

Select the imported mode of DVD, including "Full Movie", "Main Movie" and "Custom Mode". Then click "OK" button to start importing the DVD file.

Step 4. Choose the subtitles and audio tracks

When the DVD has been imported, you can choose which subtitle and audio track you want to retain in the output MKV file.

Step 5. Start converting DVD to MKV format

When all the output video parameters have been set, you can click the green icon "Convert" at the top right corner of the main menu to start the conversion process. Before it starts, it will require you to choose the final "Save to" route. Finally, click the "Convert" button below and wait for several minutes to obtain an MKV file.

Part 4: Another alternative - How to Rip DVD to MKV on Mac with MakeMKV

MakeMKV is also an excellent choice for ripping DVD on Mac. MakeMKV can rip Blu-ray and DVD and convert them directly to MKV format. You can download the program and use it for free for a month, and then you can find free registration codes from the program's forum.

Here's how to rip DVD to MKV file with MakeMKV.


  • 1. An external DVD/Blu-ray drive.
  • 2. MakeMKV installed on your computer. It has both Windows and Mac versions.

Step 1. Before opening MakeMKV, connect your external drive to your computer and put the DVD disc you want to rip to the drive. And then launch MakeMKV on your computer.

Step 2. A large icon of optical drive would appear on the interface. When you see that icon, click on it to enable MakeMKV to start scanning your disc and later the program will show you all the content in the disc on the interface.

Step 3. All the content in the disc will be listed on the left side. Select all the content you need and then click the MakeMKV button on the right and the program will start ripping your DVD and converting it to an MKV video.

MakeMKV rip DVD to MKV

What makes MakeMKV different from Leawo DVD Ripper for Mac is that the quality and the size of the MKV video are both the same as the original DVD. You will get a MKV video with high quality and in a large size. But Leawo DVD Ripper for Mac will help you compress the MKV video. Also, Leawo DVD Ripper supports more output formats, you can even rip DVD to play on Apple TV or other electronic products like iPad, iPod or Android smartphones. Both DVD rippers have their own merits. You can choose one of them according to your own needs.

Part 5: A simple comparison between these 3 methods

By referring to the information above, you can easily know that all these 3 programs can help you to rip DVD to MKV format. Just as mentioned, although Handbrake can rip the DVD to MKV, and it is also pwoerful enough to convert video formats, it is limited in the output video formats. What's more important is that although DVD to MKV Handbrake conversion is easy to achieve, it is not available to rip the DVD discs or Blu-ray discs freely because it is not able to decrypt the discs with copy protection. So, if you choose Handbrake to convert DVD to MKV, you have to make sure the disc has been decrypted from the copy protection in advance.

On the other hand, if you try to convert DVD to MKV files with the help of MakeMKV, you will get a lossless MKV file since MakeMKV doesn't involve any video decoding and encoding. It simply changes your DVD movie package from DVD to MKV container. But Leawo DVD Ripper could help you compress the file size by decoding and converting.

In comparison, Leawo Leawo Blu-ray Ripper is much more comprehensive in converting DVD discs and Blu-ray discs. With advanced disc reading and decrypting technology, Leawo Leawo Blu-ray Ripper could fast read, decrypt and load DVD content for converting. With the simpler interface and faster-converting speed, Leawo Leawo Blu-ray Ripper will be more professional for you.

Anyway, it is your own choice to select the best-converting program based on your own preferences and requirements.



With long-term dedication into the latest market demands and technologies, the author has become an expert in posting practical, in-depth and user-oriented how-tos, tutorials, recommendations, reviews, and more digital multimedia solutions in Blu-ray, DVD, video, audio, picture, Apple utilities, etc.

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