How to Save a DVD Video to Your Mac Computer: 3 Easy Ways

Peter William
time October 24, 2022 Preview 681
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Saving DVD to Mac can prevent it from being lost or damaged. Once DVD is digitized, moreover, it can not only be played on Mac, but also can be transferred to various Apple devices such as iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, etc., so that you can watch DVD video anytime, anywhere. This article will show you how to save a DVD video to your Mac computer easily.

Note: Mac no long has built-in optical drive since June 2012. The last model to include it was 13-inch MacBook Pro mid 2012. To insert a DVD into MacBook Pro/Air, Mac mini, Retina 5K iMac, etc., you will need to purchase an Apple USB SuperDrive or other external DVD drive.


DVD we used in test

We tested 3 methods to save a DVD video to your Mac computer. In our tests, we used a DRM-free DVD because the second method we covered for copying DVDs with Disk Utility does not support encrypted DVDs. This DVD contains three videos, each with a different length and size.

  Length Size
VIDEO_TS 1 0:13:57 798.9MB
VIDEO_TS 2 0:03:41 211.46MB
VIDEO_TS 3 0:02:59 171.44MB
All DVD videos 0:19:57 1.43GB

Testing results

In the first method, we rip DVD to h264 MP4. Of course, you can choose any other format. And when we use QuickTime to record DVD, the video was automatically saved in MOV format and can’t be converted to other formats.

Method Required time Output size Digitized video Quality
Rip DVD 11min 323.6MB Yes Original
Copy DVD 25min 1181.8MB No Original
Record DVD 20min 972.6MB Yes Lower than original

Rip DVD to Mac with 1:1 Quality, DRM-protected DVD included

DVD ripping software can help you digitalize a DVD on Mac and save it as video or audio formats. Cisdem Video Converter is such a program enabling you to rip DVD to Mac computer with original quality.

With a video converter included, it’s able to convert DVD to MP4, MKV, HEVC, H.264, M4V, MP3, iTunes, iPhone, USB, Xbox One, flash drive, etc. The app supports any type of DVD disc, whether old recently released or damaged DVD. Also, it’s good at decrypting DVDs locked by CSS, Disney X-Project, region code, UOP, RCE, 99 fake titles, bad sector, and so on.

Free Download

How to save a DVD video to your Mac computer with Cisdem:

  1. Insert DVD that you want to save to Mac into optical drive.
  2. Import DVD disc.
    Open Cisdem Video Converter. Directly drag-n-drop the VIDEO_TS folder or the disc into the “Rip” interface, and videos in the DVD will be decoded quickly.
  3. Select the output format.
    Open the format drop-down menu to choose the export file format.
    Click “gear”, the advanced settings panel will appear to let you adjust file parameters.
  4. Choose a speaking language and subtitle language.
    If your DVD movie comes with multiple audio tracks and subtitles, choose the desired one you want.
  5. Edit DVD movie.
    If necessary, click “edit” to go to the video editing window and touch up your movie with provided tools.
  6. Click the “convert” button to digitalize a DVD on Mac.

Copy DVD to Mac Free, Only for Unprotected DVDs

Copying a DVD to Mac means not changing the DVD's structure. Disk Utility, built into macOS, is a useful tool that can create a disk image of files. It will save your DVD to .cdr for transferring to another device, archiving, or backing up. If you want to re-burn the .cdr to DVD, first change the file extension to .iso.

But disk images are the same size as DVDs, and you usually need to free up several gigabytes of storage to save .cdr files. Moreover, DVD copy files can only be played by DVD media players.

How to save a DVD video to your Mac computer via Disk Utility:

  1. Insert the DVD into the disk drive.
  2. Open Disk Utility tucked away in the Applications > Utilities.
  3. From the left panel, you will see your DVD appearing under the "External" header. Click it.
  4. Navigate to menu bar, click “File” > “New Image” > “Image from [your DVD name]”.
  5. Rename the DVD. Choose “DVD/CD master” as the format, and “none” for encryption.
  6. Hit “Save”. Disk Utility will start creating disk image from your DVD.

Record DVD to Mac Hard Drive, Start and End Anytime

Unlike the above two methods, DVD ripping and copying technology are not applied here. Recording a DVD video to Mac is easy to understand. The time taken by this method and the size of the exported videos are between ripping DVD and copying DVD, but the output video quality is lower than them.

You can try these free video recorders and their output formats are various: QuickTime (MOV), Blu-ray Master Free Online Screen Recorder (WMV), and Apowersoft Free Online Screen Recorder (WebM). We used QuickTime in our test because MOV is a format supported by all Apple devices.

How to save a DVD video to your Mac computer via QuickTime:

  1. Place your empty DVD into optical drive.
  2. Open DVD video with a DVD player program.
  3. Launch QuickTime. Go to “File” > “New Screen Recording”.
  4. Hit the record button.
  5. Drag over the section to record a part of the screen and click "Start Recording".
  6. At the same time, start to play the video on your DVD.
  7. Once finished, hit the stop icon in the top menu bar on the right.
  8. Finally, head to “File” > “Save”. A popup will appear on your video, give your video a name and click "Save".


1. What’s the difference between DVD ripping and DVD copying?

DVD ripping - The process of converting part or all of the data on the disk into video or audio files in various formats. It removes menus, commercials, and trailers from DVD, merely keeping the main video content of the disc. You can store ripped files on Mac hard drives, USB sticks, mobile phones, iPad, etc., and play them anywhere.

DVD copying - Backup DVD video files to Mac computer in a DVD folder or ISO image file, which behaves the same as the original disk.

2. Can Handbrake save DVD to Mac?

Yes. Handbrake is a DVD ripping program like Cisdem DVD ripper. It’s free and can rip DVD to MP4/MKV format. No more export formats are supported. To bypass DVD encryption, you need to install libdvdcss for Handbrake, which only unlocks the basic encryption. For a complicated one, it will fail to work.

3. How to view DVD files on Mac?

When you insert a DVD into the SuperDrive, the DVD player preinstalled on your Mac will automatically open to run the DVD disc. You can simply switch to the menu, titles, and chapters. Additionally, you can view DVD files with other DVD player software such as VLC.


That’s all for how to save a DVD video to your Mac computer. If you only expect to back up your DVD disc to Mac, just copy DVD and maintain the original DVD structure. If you desire to digitalize a DVD on Mac, ripping or recording DVD is able to help you. A good DVD ripping software lets you select any output format, while a video recorder won't and leads to lower quality.

Peter William
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Peter has always had great enthusiasm for writing, programming and web development. He likes writing about software and technology, his works are featured on some tech blogs or forums like Tom's Hardware, CNET, etc.

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