How to Convert DVD to MP4 on Mac OS X?

Last updated on March 25th, 2024

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Since years ago, Apple Inc. has stopped updating and selling a Mac with a built-in CD/DVD drive (see details). However, DVDs are still standing as one of the most common ways for people to watch full movies. 

A lot of demands are still toward storing more DVD movies in the iTunes library or movie folders on Mac. This is where a reliable DVD to MP4 converter on Mac is much needed.

In this article, we will show you how to convert DVD to MP4 on Mac using free and paid dvd ripper software, particularly on the newest macOS. The topic will later be unfolded for 3 situations:

  • Convert DVD to MP4 on Mac with a Built-in DVD drive
  • Convert DVD to MP4 on Mac Connected with an External DVD Drive
  • Convert DVD to MP4 on MacOS without a DVD Drive at all
Convert DVD to MP4 on Mac

The Application of MP4 File Format for Mac Users

As you may already know, MP4 is the well-deserved most common video file format. It is compatible with almost all popular portable devices, PC or Mac, and streaming services. For Mac users, MP4 is the basic QuickTime format.

MP4 files encoded with H.264 or MPEG-4 can be played on all Apple devices, including the latest iPhone, iPad, iPod, Apple TV as well as Android devices like Samsung, Huawei, etc.

With its extraordinary degree of compression, while still able to maintain the image quality but with a smaller file size, the MP4 format is also widely used in all kinds of devices, and gadgets, as well as video player software and editing apps.

Here are the top DVD to MP4 Converters for Windows.

Introduction to macOS Big Sur and Catalina

Apple introduced macOS Big Sur at its 2020 Worldwide Developers Conference in June. Successor to macOS Catalina, the latest version 11 will be the major release OS for Apple’s Macintosh desktop, laptop, and notebook, including MacBook, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, Mac Mini, iMac, iMac Pro, and Mac Pro.

Aiming at making your Mac more reliable, capable, and responsive, macOS Catalina and Big Sur include the new features of Metal 2, HEVC (H.265) support, Apple File System, VR, and external GPU support, Safari, and some other updates.

3 Ways to Convert a DVD to MP4 Video on Mac with MacX DVD Ripper Pro

There are several programs you can use to convert DVD to MP4 on Mac. Some are freeware converters is less reliable while there are also premium converters available. In this section, we will summarize the 3 of the best tools available.

Software to Use: MacX DVD Ripper Pro

Supported OS: macOS 10.6 to 10.16 including Catalina & Big Sur (32-bit & 64-bit)

Supported input sources: DVD disc, ISO image, VIDEO_TS folder

Supported output devices: Mac system, Apple, Android Pad, Android Mobile, Microsoft devices, Sony devices, and more.

The DVD ripper from MacX is available in 2 versions – Free and Pro. You can download the free version to trial the program but it only allows you to rip the DVD for 5 minutes. Also, no software updates are available and advanced features are limited.

To unlock all the program features and rips the entire DVD without any limitation, get the MacX DVD Ripper Pro (read our editor’s review).

If you are unsure why we choose this MacX ripper out of many Mac ripping programs, check out this post to know why we rated this software as the #1 Mac DVD ripper. Then, follow the steps below to convert the DVD to MP4 file format.

Official page:

Note: For this demo, we are using the MacX DVD Ripper Pro but you also can use the free version. We assume that you already download and install the software successfully.

Alternatively, you can use another program to do the DVD to MP4 conversion on Mac is WinX DVD Ripper for Mac, which can be run on Mac OS X.

Scenario 1: Convert DVD to MP4 on a Mac with a Built-in DVD drive

Step 1: Insert a DVD to rip to your DVD drive and launch the MacX DVD ripping software.  From the initial screen, click on the DVD Disc button (upper-left of the screen) to load the DVD files.

You can tick the Use High Quality Engineand Deinterlacingoptions to ensure the output video or picture quality is better. Also, check the “Safe Mode” for successfully ripping copy-protected DVD movies.

Step 2: Under the Mac General Video, choose the MP4 Video as the output profile.  You also can do some settings to enhance the DVD video output like resolution, bit rate, frame rate, etc. Click the Done button when finished.

MacX DVD Ripper Pro ripping steps

Step 3: In the Destination Folder: section, click the Browse button and choose the location where you want to store the converted output files.

Step 4: Click the RUN button to start the DVD to MP4 conversion. You can see the conversion in progress and you can cancel at any time. It will take some time depending on the file size.

Scenario 2: Convert DVD to MP4 Connected with an External DVD Drive

As the newer Mac has no physical DVD drive, so if you want to play or rip any DVD from your Mac computer, you need to use an external DVD drive (e.g. SuperDrive) that is connected to the Mac using a USB cable.

In addition, the Remote Disc feature of your Mac lets you use files stored on a CD or DVD hosted from another computer. Either way, you can extract the video or audio from a disc.

The entire DVD ripping process is very similar to scenario 1 above. Here are the exact steps:

Step 1: Connect the Apple external SuperDrive on your Mac, and insert a DVD into it. Open MacX DVD Ripper software, and click the DVD Disc button on the top left to load the movie.

Step 2: Let the software check the main DVD title for you. Alternatively, you can choose it by yourself. (Multiple titles can be merged together).

Step 3: Choose MP4 Video as your output file format.

Step 4: Set the Destination Folder of your free will such that you can find the output MP4 file more easily. Optionally choose Intel or nVIDIA for Hardware Encoding and CPU Core Use for the faster conversion process.

Step 5: Hit the RUN button and let the DVD to MP4 ripping start on the macOS (High Sierra included).

Scenario 3: Convert DVD to MP4 on MacOS without a DVD Drive at All

Even without a DVD drive on your Mac computer, you can realize the conversion. But the DVD should not be in the form of a disc. The MacX DVD Ripper supports not only a DVD disc but also a DVD folder and ISO image as the input.

That is to say, instead of converting a disc to MP4, you can convert ISO/VOB/DVD folder (VIDEO_TS) to MP4 on macOS.

Step 1: Make sure you have a DVD folder or file on your Mac hard drive and click on the Folder or ISO Image to load it.

Step 2: After the main title is ticked, choose MP4 Video under General Profiles of Output Profile Category as the output format.

Note: You can also choose iPhone, iPad Air, or any other option among the over 350 in-built profiles if you want the file to be playable on mobile devices.

Step 3: Determine the Destination Folder to save the output file.

Step 4: Click the big RUN button to start ripping the DVD (folder/ISO) to the MP4 file on Mac OS X. The time it takes will depend on the original file size but generally, this software can rip the files pretty fast.

Free Way to Convert DVD to MP4 on Mac OS X Using HandBrake

Handbrake DVD Ripper

Software to Use: Handbrake

Supported OS: macOS 10.12 and later including Catalina & Big Sur (32-bit & 64-bit)

Supported input sources: DVD disc, ISO image, VIDEO_TS folder

Supported output file formats: .MP4 (.M4V) and .MKV

Handbrake is another great tool not only for DVD ripping but also for video conversion, video editing, and more. One of the biggest selling points is that it’s a free and open-source tool available on Mac, Windows, and Linux.

But there is a problem with Handbrake if you want to rip the copyright-protected DVD discs. Unless you use the third-party codex (libdvdcss), the Handbrake is unable to rip the commercial discs. 

The Steps for Converting DVD to MP4 on Mac with Free HandBrake

Step 1: Download and install HandBrake on your Mac.

Step 2: Click the Source button (top-left of the screen) to load the source DVD either from a file, folder, or disc. Once the file is loaded, you will see options at the top of the window that allows you to choose a title (time), angle, or chapter range to convert to MP4.

Handbrake for mac settings

Step 3: Set the Destination location by clicking on the Browse button and choose the location to save the ripped files.

Step 4: Choose Output Settings and make sure to choose the container to MP4.

Step 5: Click the Start button on the toolbar to begin converting the DVD to MP4.

Also read: Best HandBrake alternatives.


The entire process of converting a DVD to mp4 files on a Mac is not difficult if you follow our step-by-step guide in this article. The main point is that you should get reliable DVD software for that.

There are two software recommended, MacX dvd ripper pro is a paid software while the HandBrake or VLC is the free alternative. The free Handbrake software alone is unable to deal with DRM-protected DVDs while MacX can rip all the commercial and homemade DVDs.

So, if you only have a few homemade DVDs to rip just getting the HandBrake is enough but if you want to rip your DVD collections in bulk, the MacX DVD Ripper Pro better fit your requirements. It can save your ripping time and can ensure you can produce 1:1 lossless video quality output.

Author: Powell Wong

Powell Wong is a chief editor and writer at SmartPoint Inc., the company that manages this website. He graduated from university in computer science, has over 20-year experience in the field, and mainly writes about multimedia software for this site.