How To Rip a DVD with VLC? Complete Guide.

Many people know the VLC media player as it’s a free and open-source multimedia player that able to run on Windows, Mac, and Linux systems. But do you know that the VLC is not just a video player, you also can use it for video downloading, video converting, dvd ripping, and more.

Because the VLC player can support a wide range of video file formats, including converting DVD discs, many people are is looking for a solution to digitize their DVD collections using this free tool. In this article, I will guide you to use the software.

The main problem with the VLC player is that it’s unable to rip the encrypted DVDs and hence we also recommend the alternative DVD ripping software for you.

I.) Download and Install the VLC Player Software

Before you start using the program, here are the steps to download and install it. Follow the steps closely to ensure you can successfully install the VLC media player.

1. To download the software, go to: https://www.videolan.org/vlc/. You also can right-click on the link below and choose “Save link as…”. For the 64-bit installer, the file is 41.5 MB. The downloaded file is in .exe format.

Windows (32-bit)  |  Windows (64-bit)

Note: If you don’t know whether your computer is 32-bit or 64-bit Windows, just right-click on the “Start” button and choose “System”. A new window will open as follow and look at the “System type” entry.

check windows system info

2. To begin the installation, just double-click on the downloaded installer file [xxxxx.exe]. Click the “Yes” button when prompted with the “User Account Control” alert.

3. The first screen is to select Installer Language. Choose your preferred language and click on the “OK” button. Here I just accept the default language “English”.

4. From a welcome to VLC Media Player Setup screen, click on the “Next” button to continue.

install VLC welcome screen

5. In the License Agreement screen, click the “Next” button again to proceed.

6. Choose the necessary components you want to install. You also can accept the default options as they will work great. Click the “Next” button to continue.

install VLC components

7. Choose the location where you want to install the program. Just click on the “Install” button to proceed and accept the default install location.

8. After a few seconds, the installation will be complete. Click the Finish button to complete the entire installation process. The media player will run for the first time.

install VLC finish

II) How to Rip a DVD with VLC?

The process of ripping a DVD with VLC on Windows and Mac OS X is pretty the same. Please note that the VLC player only can rip normal DVDs without any copyright-protections. Just follow the steps below for the complete guide. Here is my PC and VLC version used.

  • VLC version: VLC Media Player 3.0.17
  • Operating System: Windows 10 Pro x64

1. Insert a DVD to rip to your computer DVD/optical drive and launch the VLC media player software. Then, from the Media menu, choose Open Disc…

VLC Open Media window

2. From the “Open Media” window, make sure the “Disc” tab was selected.

  • Under the Disc Selection section, make sure the ‘DVD’ option is selected. If you rip the Blu-ray disc, then select the ‘Blu-ray’ option. Also, check the ‘No disc menus’ option to avoid the software keep converting the looping menu.
  • Ensure the “Disc device” is directed to your DVD/optical drive. If not, you have to click on the ‘Browse’ button to select the correct DVD drive.
  • In the ‘Starting Position’ and ‘Audio and Subtitles’ sections, you can just leave it intact. Sometime, you may need trial and error to select the correct track, title, chapter, etc. to rip.
  • Click on the ‘Play’ button will let you preview/play the dvd content but we are NOT going to play the video now.
vlc dvd ripper open media window

3. Click the down arrow beside the ‘Play’ button and click the ‘Convert’ option. A new “Convert” window will open. Some settings to remind:

vlc to rip dvd convert window
  • No changes are needed on the ‘Source:’ column.
  • Under the Settings section, make sure the profile is set to ‘Video – H.264 + MP3 (MP4)’ as this works great for video. If you’re ripping an audio CD, you can select the ‘Audio – MP3’ option.
    • Display the output: check the option that will show the output in the player during conversion.
    • Deinterlace: check the option if you are converting from interlaced video formats, i.e. 1080i, 720i, etc.
  • In the ‘Destination file:’ column, click the ‘Browse’ button and choose a location to save the ripped files. Click the ‘Save’ button when the new folder and file name are selected.
  • Click on the ‘Start’ button to start the audio/video ripping. You will see the progress bar at the window. The time it takes will depend on your program settings, original disc length, and computer hardware.
That’s all, the complete steps to rip a homemade DVD using the VLC media player.

III) VLC Player Alternatives: Rip a Copy-protected DVDs

Because the VLC media player is unable to rip the protected or encrypted DVDs, hence we suggest the two alternative software to deal with commercial discs.

  • WinX DVD Ripper Platinum (Paid)

As one of the best DVD rippers rated by major tech media worldwide, the WinX dvd ripper platinum has been in the market for 16-year. The software is easy to use & stable, rich in features, fast speed, can deal with all DVDs and you can get customer support fast.

  • HandBrake (Free)

No doubt that HandBrake is a great piece of free tool. You can use it to download videos, convert videos, rip DVDs, and more.  The HandBrake is compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux systems. Click the guide below to know how to rip copy-protected DVDs with HandBrake.

IV) Final Words

Those are the exact steps to rip your DVDs to the digital format using the VLC media player. You can store the ripped MP3 or MP4 files forever in your computer hard disk for backup.

Of course, VLC is not the best software for ripping DVDs as it’s unable to deal with copy-protected discs. That is why I also recommend paid and free software as an alternative to VLC. I also write a comprehensive review and how-to-use guide for both programs.

Frequently-Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. How long does it take to rip a DVD with VLC?

The time to rip a DVD depends on various factors like the original DVD video length, DVD drive reading speed, computer configurations, etc. Basically, it takes around 10 to 40 minutes.

  1. Can VLC rip copy-protected DVDs?

No. This software is designed as a media player and it’s unable to rip copy-protected DVDs but you can use VLC to rip homemade DVDs.

  1. Why won’t VLC rip my DVD?

Make sure you have the latest version of the VLC player installed. Besides copy-protected discs, the VLC may unable to rip the DVD discs that are scratched, damaged, or have other technical issues.

  1. What is the fastest DVD ripper?

Generally, the paid DVD rippers like WinX or Wonderfox DVD ripper are faster than free DVD rippers like HandBrake and VLC player. Check out our review on the fastest DVD ripper.

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.