4 Best Ways to Remove Copy Protection from DVDs Free on PC/Mac [2024 Updated]

By Paula Lin | Last Updated:

Summary: This post shares 4 best software tools to remove copy protection from any sorts of DVDs and it also covers how to stripe DVD copy protection free with Handbrake and VLC which are frequently asked in communities.

Most commercial DVDs contain some forms of copy protection and encryption schemes. These encryption measures are purposedly applied to stop piracy, but on the other hand, they prevent movie goers from backing up copy-protected DVDs for personal use. When ripping a store-bought DVD, often you would get an unplayable outcome or an error notice, such as "read error" and "copy protection 0x8003030 error". Therefore, removing the copy protection from DVDs is a necessary step whenever you want to rip, copy or convert encrypted DVDs to digital movies.

Fortunately, there are many programs in the market that can help you bypass DVD copy protection on Windows and Mac. In this article, we'll introduce 4 easy and proven DVD copy protection removal software to help you remove copy protection from DVDs of any kind, including the Disney and Sony movie DVDs.

Part 1. How We Pick the DVD Copy Protection Removal Software

The fact is that we cannot disable copy protections from the commercial DVDs. What we can do to use a program to bypass or crack them and then make an unencrypted physical or digital copy of our DVD. Then what makes it a good DVD copy protection removal software?

  • Obviously, first of all, the software can remove variety of copy protections from any DVDs, whatever it's an old, new, regional, workout DVD, msuic DVD or movie and TV series DVD.
  • Sencodly, a good DVD copy protection removal software ould change and facilitate our way of entertainment and open the door to a world of watching DVD movies offline on the go, with no need of DVD drive. To be specific, it will be able to rip DVD movies/TV shows for playback on PC, Mac, TV, iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, PC, Android phones and tablets, and any device that supports video playback.
  • Thirdly, the software should be intuitive and easy for anyone to handle. This means you can easily stripe DVD copy protection and finish the DVD ripping task within simple clicks.

Considering these aspects and after hours of search, analysic and testing work, we single out the following 4 DVD DRM copy protection removal software for you.

Part 2. Here's the 4 Proven Software to Remove Copy Protection from DVDs

Compare the 4 Methods to Remove Copy Protection from DVD

Function / Name
EaseFab DVD Ripper
Supported DVD Copy Protection Scheme
CSS, region code, RCE, Sony ArccOS, UOPs, Analog Protection System, Disney X-project (99-title DVD copy protection), etc.
AACS, structure protection, BD-Java protection, etc.
Ripping speed
Very Slow
Output formats
500+ output presets, including VIDEO_TS folder, MP4, MKV, MOV, MPEG, FLV, AVI, WMV, MP3, etc.
MP4, MKV, WebM
MP4, WMV, MKV, etc.
Output quality
SD, original, upscaled
Editing Features

#1. Remove Copy Protection from DVD with EaseFab DVD Ripper

As a top DVD DRM removal software, EaseFab DVD Ripper can cope with all types of DVDs on one click without using additional plugins or software. With it, you can easily remove copy protection from any old or latest DVDs with almost any DVD encryption, covering Disney X-project DRM, CSS, region code, RCE, APS, Sony ArccOS, UOPs, and other special encryption schemes. Whether you want to rip old morning show DVDs, the latest Disney-99 title movie DVDs, the 21st Century Fox movie DVDs, or whatever other commercial DVDs, it can help you out.

This powerful DVD protection removal tool can convert DVDs to digital files in a variety of formats, including but not limited to ripping DVD to MP4, MKV, HEVC, MOV, AVI, WAV, MP3, iPhone, iPad, Android, and more formats and devices without loss of image or audio quality. Thanks to the support of GPU acceleration tech, it can break DVD protection and rip DVD at a blazing fast speed.

Now you can free download this DVD ripping software to remove DVD copy protection and rip a DVD within simple clicks.

[Tutorial] How to remove copy protection from DVD using EaseFab DVD Ripper

To begin with, you need to download and install EaseFab DVD Ripper Windows or Mac version on your computer. The guide below takes the Windows version for an example. The way to remove DVD copy protection on Mac is the same .

Step 1. Import the Copy Protected DVD.

Insert DVD disc into optical drive of your computer and open the program. Tap Load DVD button to import the source copy-protected DVD. The software will start reading the protected data on the disc. Once the DVD is completely loaded, the main title will be checked automatically. You can also add ISO image or DVD folder as target files.

Load Copy Protected DVD

Step 2. Select Output Format.


Click Profile bar and pick up MP4, MKV, AVI, MOV, or any other digital format or device preset as the wanted output format. You can also hit the Backup button on navigation bar to copy DVD as VIDEO_TS folder or a single MPEG2 file with full/main title.

Select an output format for ripping encrypted DVDs

Step 3. Remove Copy Protection from DVD and start to rip or copy DVDs.

Click the small Folder button in the Output bar, and select a destination folder to save your rip. When everything is OK, you can hit the big Convert button to rip DVD with removal of copy protection.

Disclaimer: EaseFab Software Tools does not advocate ripping copy-protected DVDs for any commercial purpose and suggests referring to the DVD copyright laws in your countries before doing so.

#2. Remove DVD Copy Protection using HandBrake and libdvdcss

HandBrake is probably the most well-received DVD ripping software for Windows, Mac, Ubuntu, etc. It rips DVD disc/ISO image/VIDEO-TS folder to MP4 and MKV formats, encoded in H.264, H.265, MPEG-4 and MPEG-2. Despite being embedded with only two output formats, it's favored by Mac and Windows users for being free.

However, HandBrake itself can't rip commercially copy-protected DVDs. If you want to use HandBrake to rip encrypted DVDs (actually, almost all store-bought DVDs are copyright-protected), you should firstly download libdvdcss to bypass copy protections from DVDs.

※ Note: Even with libdvdcss being installed, HandBrake may also fail to rip some strictly encrypted DVDs. It can only unlock CSS or Region Code copy protection from movie DVDs. In that case you need a more powerful alternative like EaseFab DVD Ripper.

[Tutorial] How to remove copy protection from DVD with HandBrake

Step 1. Download and install Handbrake and libdvdcss.

First of all, go to the official site of HandBrake to download and install the latest version of HandBrake on your PC or Mac.

Sencodly, go to VideoLan or Github to find libdvdcss and download the version you like. The latest version is recommended.

For Windows users:

Download Libdvdcss on Windows

For Mac users:

  • 1. Start Terminal and enter the command line: /usr/bin/ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/master/install)"
  • Press Return and enter your password. It now starts to install Homebrew.
  • Once Homebrew is successfully installed on the Mac, start Terminal again.
  • Enter the command line: brew install libdvdcss. Press Enter.
  • Homebrew now starts to download and install the libdvdcss library on your Mac.

Note: OS X El Capitan and later come with a new security system named SIP (System Integrity Protection). It will remove the libdvdcss library and a few other apps that are used for removing protection from DVDs. Hence, you might fail to install the libdvdcss library on your Mac by following the above steps. No worry, however, we've already found the solution.

1. Download and install libdvdcss.pkg on the Mac.
2. Start Terminal.
3. Enter sudo mkdir /usr/local/lib/sudo cp ~/Downloads/libdvdcss_1.4.0/libdvdcss.2.dylib /usr/local/lib/libdvdcss.2.dylib and press Enter. That's it.

Step 2. Import the Encrypted DVD.

Launch up HandBrake. The tool will display all the files and discs it detected. Choose the DVD you want to remove the copy protection from, and this will lead you to a new panel.

Step 3. Choose the Output File.

Beginners can choose the wanted output format from the giving options of Preset. Advanced user? Just navigate down to find the Video and Audio tabs. Here, you have dozens of options used for customizing the video bitrate, resolutions, frame rate, and sample rate, etc.

Remove DVD Copy Protection using Handbrake

Step 4. Remove Copy Protection from DVD with HandBrake.

Once you're satisfied with all the adjustments, choose Browse to set up an output file folder. Press Start Encode on the top menu bar. HandBrake will then start to rip the DVD and remove the applied copy protection.

#3. Remove Copy Protection Free from DVD with VLC

VLC is a well-known media player working on both Windows and Mac flawlessly. Aside from playing DVD, MP4, MKV, MOV and other media files, VLC is built with a DVD ripper available for you to rip DVDs to your computer and save them to hard drive as video files, for either archiving or playing without physical disks. You can also save DVD disc to media server for streaming anytime anywhere.

You have to bear in mind VLC won't work with encrypted DVDs. It can be glitchy when rip copy-protected DVDs encoded with region code, CSS, Sony ARccOS or Disney X-Project. For a robust DVD ripping experience on Windows or Mac, you have to rely on a third-party DVD decrypter to defeat the copy protection first and then rip DVD with VLC.

[Tutorial] How to use VLC to remove DVD copy protection

Step 1. Import the DVD

Insert the disc you want to rip and click Media drop-down menu and select Convert/Save and then the Open Media window will pop up. Click Disc from the top tab and enable DVD option and select the DVD to rip in Disc device.

Load DVD to VLC

Step 2. Select an output format

Click the Convert/Save button and now you can set the output format for the DVD rip. Click Profile drop-down menu and find the format you want. You can use VLC to rip DVD to MP4, H.264, WMV, MPEG4, iPod, Android, YouTube, and a few others. Select the output you need.

In the Destination section, click Browse and select a folder for the DVD converted video file and give the output file a name.

Step 3. Start remove copy protection and rip DVD with VLC

After the above settings, click Start and it should start ripping the DVD. You can see the Streaming progress bar at the bottom. Simply wait for VLC to finish the rip.

VLC DVD Ripping Process

#4. Remove Copy Protection from DVD with MakeMKV

MakeMKV has a simple and user-friendly interface that is easy to navigate, making it a suitable option for beginners. It can remove remove copy protection from DVD and Blu-ray discs and convert them to digital files for free during BETA. But as its name indicates, MakeMKV can only rip DVD to MKV files, which may not be suitable for users who require other formats. And, there is no compression, which means you'll get a high-quality but large-size digital copy.

After downloading MakeMKV on your PC or Mac, you can follow the steps below to bypass DVD protection with MakeMKV.

[Tutorial] How to remove DVD copy protection using MakeMKV

Step 1. Open DVD.

Insert the DVD with copy protection into the DVD drive of your computer. Then, launch MakeMKV, select source DVD, and then click the Open DVD disk button.

Load Source DVD

Step 2. Select DVD content.

Select the title, audio, and subtitle tracks you want to copy.

Select desired subtitles and audios

Step 3. Specify output folder.

Click the Set output folder button to select a save path for the resulting file.

Step 4. Begin converting.

Hit the "Make MKV" button and wait for conversion. MakeMKV will decrypt your DVD and deliver a copy without copy protection.

Part 3. List of Most Common DVD Copy Protection Schemes

  • DVD CSS (Content Scramble System): A digital rights management (DRM) and encryption system employed on many commercially produced DVD-Video discs.
  • DVD region codes: A digital rights management technique designed to allow film distributors to control aspects of a release, including content, release date, and price, according to the region. DVD region killer software can handle and remove region codes on DVDs.
  • RCE: It is also known as region-code enhanced or REA. It is a retroactive attempt to prevent the playing of one region's discs in another region, even if the disc was played in a region-free player.
  • UOP (user operation prohibition): A form of use restriction to prohibit the viewer from performing a large majority of actions during sections of a DVD using most DVD players. It is used mainly for copyright notices or warnings, such as an FBI warning in the United States.
  • Sony ArccOS (Advanced Regional Copy Control Operating Solution): A copy-protection system designed as an additional layer to be used in conjunction with CSS. The system deliberately creates corrupted sectors on the DVD, which cause copying software to produce errors.

- Quoted from Wikipedia

Part 4. FAQs About Removing DVD Copy Protection

How to define whether a DVD is copy-protected or not?

You can check your DVD box or the disc, and see if there's a copy-protected icon on it. Another way to tell whether a DVD is encrypted is to make use of a third-party tool. Some DVD ripping programs will show whether the disc has encryption or not and which copy protection it has. For example, EaseFab DVD Ripper will pop up a prompt when a Disney encrypted DVD is imported. Actually, nearly all commercial DVDs are copy-protected.

Can DVD Shrink remove copy protection from DVD?

Yes, DVD Shrink can remove copy protection. However, it only works for old DVDs since the program was discontinued 16 years ago. The old DeCSS decryption algorithm it adopts does not work for Sony ARccOS movie DVDs and a few other recent protection forms.

What's the best software for removing DVD copy protection?

In this article, we've explained how to remove DVD copy protection with EaseFab DVD Ripper, Handbrake, VLC and MakeMKV. Both HandBrake and VLC rely on libdvdcss to decrypt DVDs protected by CSS. However, even if libdvdcss is installed, you may also come across copy-protected DVD reading errors. MakeMKV is a good option for decrypting DVDs and Blu-rays, but it can only output uncompressed MKV files and it may crash now and then. Overall, EaseFab DVD Ripper is best tool on earth for removing the DVD copy protection, and for good reasons.

Throughout its 10-year-long journeys in the DVD ripping industry, EaseFab DVD Ripper is capable of removing CSS, RCE, Disney 99-title, and all other kinds of copy protection from old and recent DVDs. And now it is widely recommended by editors and users for its powerful DVD decrypting ability, superfast DVD ripping speed, high-quality output, and a wide range of output profiles.