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How To Rip DVDs with VLC

Yesterday we took a look at the new feature in VLC 1.0 which allows you to record DVDs to your computer.  There is also an overlooked feature in VLC that allows you to rip your DVDs as well.  Here we will take a look at how to rip DVD movies with VLC for Windows.

Note: This feature should work with VLC versions 0.9.6 and up.

Ripping a DVD with VLC

Load up the DVD you want to rip and start up VLC.  Then under Media click on Convert / Save.

1 open disc

The Open Media window will appear and you want to click on the Disc tab.  Check DVD, make sure the disc device field points to the optical drive with the dvd, and hit Convert/Save.  You can select the start position by selecting the title and only record a specific chapter on the DVD.  You can also skip the DVD Menus as you will not be able to use them in the ripped file.

2 Disc Tab

Next the Convert screen opens where you will want to select a location for the ripped file.

location 

While you are browsing to the location to put the ripped file make sure to give it a name and a supported extension.  For this example we ripped Lord of the Rings and gave it a MOV extension.  If you don’t label it with a supported file extension it will default to .ps (Program Stream) file.

sshot-2009-07-20-[15-37-35]

When everything is set up the Convert screen will look something like this where we have the source drive and destination file with appropriate extension.

full

While the DVD is being ripped you will see a progress count in the main UI.  The amount of time it takes will depend on the file format and size of the DVD but it will take a while no matter what.

4 progress

You may notice a slowdown of your system as the process takes up a lot of resources.

5 taskmgr

You should be able to play the converted file with other media players assuming you have the right codec.  Of course will notice the conversion results in lower quality compared to the original.

sshot-2009-07-20-[16-26-24]

Have a good time using VLC to rip your favorite DVD’s!  Also, make sure to check out our article on Recording DVD’s with VLC 1.0.

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 07/21/09

Comments (41)

  1. Richard

    Can you specify the outputted file size? I.E 700MB/ 1.5GB

  2. Serge

    Thanks for the info. One thing though, I had to check the No DVD menu box to make it work. I’m anxious to see the final results now :)

  3. Miguel

    I need to recover the PST file on my outlook. I can’t open my outlook to do anything and need another way to fix the problem.
    Thanks

  4. Emanla Eraton

    I was trying this and it wasn’t working. Can someone help me? I was using the exact same setup, except that I checked the “No DVD menu” box.

  5. Cal

    What is the skin you’re using?

  6. Slrman

    I have version 1.0.1 on my iMac and I don’t see any of this on there. Is this on the PC-only version?

  7. king

    if you want to rip CSS protected DVD and edit DVD videos, Daniusoft DVD ripper software http://www.daniusoft.com/dvd-ripper.html#135 will be a good choice.

  8. travis

    i tried the above instructions, and its just not working. any ideas? email me at soldierboyc1985 (at) yahoo.com if you have any solutions. thanks.

  9. Nathan

    I dont get a thing!!!!!!

  10. Tina

    I had to disable the “No DVD Menus” option under the Disc tab to make it work as well.

  11. martin

    Why can I not do this on a mac? I’m sure it can be done but I can’t find instructions ANYWHERE on the net that show how to do it on a mac.

  12. Dustin

    Mac users can easily just hit command-R. Or you can you click ‘File’ then ‘Open Capture Device’.

    I’ve got VLC 0.9.9a and its working just fine on my first-generation MacBook (four years of college and this thing still works without a single problem! Best laptop investment ever!)

  13. Dani

    Martin-
    For Macs, use Handbrake, it works great.

  14. Godwin Addo

    thanks with the help. Keep it up. It helped me a lot

  15. Sher

    Worked just fine. Thank you.

  16. motang

    Priceless, as this enables me to make copies of my discs so I don’t have to take the DVD disc out of the box and store them away safely.

  17. Lan Tester ยท

    everyone likes to watch dvd movies, i watch at least 4 dvd movies a day .’~

  18. YOYOMA

    Yo this trick is the shit, hell yeah kudos for real Fuck all this time were waisting discussing the other methods

  19. Nonexistant

    hi i have spent $$$ on exe. to rip dvds and this has been the most easiest and the most cheapest way to rip!!!!! i cant believe that i used vlc for 2 years and i have not found this out! thanks alot! saved me a fortune.

  20. circusdragon

    I tried this last night and it seemed to be working great then this morning there was no file, not to mention the quality was not just poor it was terrible unless i checked the dump raw tab, then it seemed to be working with stellar quality what did i do wrong?

  21. Lauren

    I tried this but my Convert screen looked nothing like that.

  22. ROY

    I AM TRYING THE VLC RIPPER TONIGHT AND I WILL LET YOU ALL KNOW.I HAVE ALOT OF MOVIES TO RIP SERVERAL HUNDRED I’M WANTING TO GET DONE TO UPLOAD, BUT I’M CURIOUS TO KNOW HOW BIG THE FILE WILL BE WITHOUT COMPRESSING.THANKS ALOT EVERYONE.

  23. Joseph

    i have done all of this and when i click start it just comes up with it saying “streaming” why wont it work???

  24. Melissa

    I tried it but I only got one chapter.. (I HAD put title 1 chapter 2, and I had put ‘no DVD menus’) in hopes of skipping the commercials on it, which now I think they skip past anyway, but it said the starting point was chapter 2, it wasn’t supposed to be the only thing it was to rip.

    Also, its kind of bad quality(there was like a film of pixels that made it a lighter color…some of it would go away but as it played it kept coming back)….I saw that on the resolution thing that it was on 800? I’m not completely sure what that means, though..sorry…haha

    Help?

  25. Paul

    i rip the the dvd fine. but annoyingly all the ads and special features are copyed aswell, but come after the film.. i’ve ticked no menu and done everything i should. is this normal?? and is there a way of just ripping the film??

  26. khalo

    when my dvd rips it comes out very bad could this be because of the copy rights on it?

  27. biliyana

    Thanks for sharing! love it, simple and works like a charm :) great that you can select single chapter/title as well

  28. Todd

    Check out the excellent guide on how to copy a DVD to your computer at the DIY Wiki, http://www.diy-wiki.com/Home%20Computing.RipDvd.ashx

  29. Jesse

    I followed all of the instructions here, and attempted tweaking it multiple times to fix my problem.. but no matter how many times I try to do this it does not rip the file with any sound. I am not sure why that is, if you know of a way to fix that please let me know!

    omnismuse@live.ca

    Thanks so much!

    Jesse

  30. Nora

    Thanks for the clear and precise instructions. Makes life easy for us geeks in training ;-)

  31. thankful scifi geek

    Following your instructions works well for movies. I seem to be having more trouble with my television episodes. On one series, I had to change the Title in the Starting Position section, and through trial and error, found the four episodes on Titles 8, 10, 12, and 14, respectively. On another series, all four episodes seem jammed together on one Title, is there a way to convert them individually? Is there a way to “browse” the dvd and see what Titles are used in a particular series?

  32. jas

    Fairuse wizard is the best thing i found for converting dvds to avi,etc

    comes out great and lots of options and even a moron can use it

  33. Yo

    Does anyone know how much time it is supposed to take ? My dvd is about 7 gb I think.

  34. Yo

    Post #2

    Because in the main UI, it shows 1 min, but as soon as it hits the minute, it starts over at 31 sec. IT’s been turning for about 4 hours right now, and I don’t know what you mean by saying “it will take a while”

    Thanks for your help!

  35. kdkjf

    its troublling its not working some items were missing………..
    .

  36. Inn

    How do i know its done??

  37. Carol

    Does this work for commercial DVD’s with copyright protection? Thanks!

  38. Hotel Marketing

    Nice info. I LOVE VLC. It always play my files with no problem or stutter…now that it does this…heck, it’s even better.

  39. Mike

    I’ve done this, but it creates massive files, over 5 gigs!
    For the life of me, I can’t figure out how to compress it or rip it to a smaller file, say 700 megs…
    Any suggestions?
    Thanks ;)

  40. Katie

    Is there a way to set the length of the file? Tried tweaking it loads but it’s always around 15 seconds, I need two and a half minutes!

  41. Doug

    Did this, but can’t play DVD on my DVD player. What is the correct codec? so i can do this?

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