How to Rip DVDs with VLC Media Player: A Comprehensive Guide

DVDs have been a popular way to watch movies and TV shows for decades. But with the rise of streaming services, many people are choosing to ditch their physical media collections. If you’re one of them, you might be wondering how to rip your DVDs to your computer so you can watch them on the go or even upload them to a cloud storage service.

While there are many dedicated DVD ripping programs available, VLC Media Player can actually do the job quite well. It’s a free and open-source program, making it a highly accessible option for anyone looking to rip their DVDs.

This article will guide you through the process of ripping DVDs using VLC, step by step. We’ll cover everything from the necessary preparations to troubleshooting potential issues, ensuring you have a smooth and successful ripping experience.

Why Use VLC for DVD Ripping?

Before diving into the steps, let’s address the elephant in the room: why use VLC for ripping DVDs when other dedicated tools exist? Here’s why VLC makes a great choice:

  • Free and Open Source: VLC is free to use and download, with no hidden costs or subscriptions. It’s also open source, meaning its code is available for anyone to review and modify.
  • Universally Compatible: VLC is compatible with almost every operating system, from Windows and macOS to Linux and Android. You can use it on your computer, tablet, or even your smartphone.
  • User-Friendly Interface: VLC boasts a simple and intuitive interface, making it easy to navigate even for first-time users.
  • Multi-Format Support: VLC can play back a wide array of media formats, not just DVDs. It can handle audio, video, and even subtitles without any extra plugins.

Preparing to Rip DVDs with VLC

Before you begin ripping your DVDs, ensure you have the following items ready:

  • A DVD drive: Your computer must have a DVD drive to read the disc.
  • VLC Media Player: Download and install the latest version of VLC Media Player from its official website:
  • Destination folder: Choose a folder on your computer where you want to save the ripped files.

Step-by-Step Guide to Ripping DVDs with VLC

Now, let’s get down to the actual process of ripping DVDs using VLC. The steps are relatively straightforward and can be completed in a few simple steps.

1. Insert the DVD into your drive

Start by inserting the DVD you want to rip into your computer’s DVD drive. Wait for the drive to recognize the disc and start automatically playing.

2. Open VLC Media Player

Open VLC Media Player and click on Media in the menu bar, followed by Open Disc.

3. Choose the DVD drive and select the desired format

In the pop-up window, choose the correct DVD drive from the dropdown menu and select DVD in the “Disc selection” section. You can also choose the desired format for your ripped files. VLC offers a few options:

  • Full DVD: This option will rip the entire DVD, including all the menus, trailers, and bonus features.
  • Audio CD: This option will only rip the audio tracks from the DVD, if any.
  • Video CD: This option will rip the video content from the DVD, but it might not include all the tracks.
  • Stream Output: This option is best for streaming the DVD content to another device, such as a TV or mobile phone.

For most users, choosing Full DVD is the ideal option for getting a complete digital copy of their DVD.

4. Start the ripping process

Once you’ve made your selections, click the Start button to begin ripping the DVD. VLC will start decoding the DVD and saving the ripped files to the destination folder you previously selected.

5. Wait for the process to complete

The time it takes to rip a DVD depends on the size of the disc and the speed of your computer. For a standard DVD movie, it can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. You can monitor the progress in the VLC window.

6. Access your ripped files

After the ripping process is complete, you can find the ripped files in the destination folder you selected. The files will be in a format compatible with VLC, usually in .mp4 or .mkv format. You can now watch the ripped movies on your computer, mobile device, or upload them to cloud storage for easy access.

Troubleshooting Common Problems

While ripping DVDs with VLC is usually a smooth process, there might be some issues you encounter along the way. Here are some common problems and their solutions:

  • VLC can’t read the DVD: If VLC is unable to read the DVD, try cleaning the disc with a microfiber cloth to remove any dust or fingerprints. You can also check if your DVD drive is working properly.
  • Ripping process is slow: If the ripping process is taking longer than usual, try closing other programs running on your computer to free up resources. You can also check your internet connection, as some ripping options might be using online services.
  • Ripped files are corrupted: If the ripped files are corrupted, try rerunning the ripping process. If it happens again, try using a different ripping program.
  • VLC doesn’t support the DVD’s format: Some DVDs use copy protection mechanisms that can prevent VLC from ripping them. In this case, you might need to use a third-party DVD ripping software.

Choosing the Right Ripping Method: VLC vs. Dedicated Software

While VLC offers a convenient and free option for ripping DVDs, dedicated software often provides more features and flexibility. Here’s a breakdown of the pros and cons:



  • Free and open source
  • User-friendly interface
  • Compatible with various operating systems
  • Supports multiple formats


  • Limited control over ripping settings
  • Might not support all DVDs due to copy protection
  • May require additional steps for certain formats

Dedicated Software:


  • Advanced options for ripping settings
  • Supports a wider range of formats
  • Often includes advanced features like subtitles and audio track selection
  • May bypass copy protection mechanisms


  • Usually requires payment
  • May have a more complex interface
  • Can be resource-intensive

The best option for you depends on your needs and preferences. If you’re looking for a simple and free solution, VLC is a great choice. However, if you require advanced features or need to rip DVDs with copy protection, dedicated software might be a better option.

Ethical Considerations: Respecting Copyright

It’s important to note that ripping DVDs for personal use is usually legal in most countries. However, distributing or selling ripped DVDs without the copyright holder’s permission is illegal and can have serious consequences. Always respect copyright laws and only rip DVDs you legally own.


Ripping DVDs with VLC Media Player is a convenient and straightforward process. With this guide, you should now be able to easily convert your DVD collection into digital files, making it accessible on various devices and platforms. Remember to always respect copyright laws and use this information responsibly. Enjoy your newly digitized movie collection!


Can I rip DVDs with VLC without any additional software?

Yes, VLC Media Player has built-in DVD ripping capabilities that allow you to extract audio and video files from DVDs without needing to install third-party software. This built-in feature is very handy for users who want a simple and straightforward solution for ripping their DVDs. VLC’s DVD ripping functionality is available on both Windows and macOS, making it a versatile choice for many users.

What file formats can I rip DVDs to using VLC?

VLC can rip DVDs to a variety of common audio and video formats, including MP4, AVI, MKV, OGG, and MP3. This allows you to choose the format that best suits your needs and preferences. You can also customize the video and audio codec, frame rate, and resolution of the output files.

Can I rip copy-protected DVDs with VLC?

VLC’s built-in DVD ripping functionality does not allow ripping copy-protected DVDs. Copy protection measures are designed to prevent unauthorized copying and distribution of copyrighted material. While you might find workarounds or third-party software that can bypass these protections, it’s important to remember that bypassing copy protection is illegal in many countries.

Can I rip just a specific chapter or segment from a DVD using VLC?

Yes, VLC allows you to rip only specific parts of a DVD, such as a particular chapter or a selected time segment. This gives you more control over the content you extract from the DVD. To do this, you can use the “Start” and “End” time settings in the “Convert/Save” window.

Is it possible to adjust video and audio settings during the ripping process?

Yes, VLC provides options for adjusting the video and audio settings of the output files during the ripping process. You can customize the video codec, resolution, frame rate, and audio codec. This allows you to optimize the quality and size of the ripped files based on your preferences and storage space limitations.

How do I make sure the ripped files are of good quality?

The quality of the ripped files depends on various factors, including the DVD source and the chosen settings in VLC. To ensure good quality, you should select a high-quality output format (e.g., MP4, MKV), a higher resolution, and a suitable frame rate. Additionally, it’s helpful to choose the right audio codec based on your audio quality preferences.

Is there any way to rip a DVD to my mobile device using VLC?

While VLC itself doesn’t offer direct mobile device support for ripping, you can still use it to convert the DVD to a format that’s compatible with your device. For example, you can rip the DVD to MP4, which is a widely supported video format across various mobile devices. You can then transfer the ripped files to your device for viewing.

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