Convert your DVDs to MP4s Using Handbrake!

Convert your DVDs to MP4s Using Handbrake!

22:48 18 January in Free Software
1 Comment


Often I am asked how I can get my DVDs to digital format. The benefit to this is to get away from using DVDs since they tend to scratch easy and have your videos in a format that you can virtually place anywhere like your computer, phone, tablet and even stream over something like Apple TV. I predict that DVDs will soon be out and everything will all be virtual, we are currently seeing this with the coming to be popular Ultrabooks like the Macbook Air and how they do not have an DVD player. In this free tool of the week I will be reviewing something that make converting your DVDs virtually painless.

This free tool is called Handbrake and can be downloaded on both PCs and Macs. It is a simple download and only takes a couple minutes to do. Once you have it downloaded follow the simple step process to convert your DVDs to MP4 video.

1. Launch Handbrake: First thing is to have Handbrake up and ready for when your DVD is in place. If you already have inserted your DVD into your computer no need to worry as you can launch Handbrake after you have inserted the DVD as well.


2. Close your DVD player: This may seem simple but it will be a whole lot easier if you close out your DVD player application. This does not mean to eject your DVD but just close out the DVD player application itself.

3. You will notice that Handbrake automatically asks you for a source. The source is the location of the DVD, you will have to search for your DVD on your computer. This is usually under the My Computer area on PC and right under devices on Mac. You just select the DVD name and then hit open.

4. Scanning disk: Handbrake will take a minute to scan your disk.

Scanning Disk

If your DVD has more than one video it will find all video options for you and then you can select from the drop down box which video you want to convert. You may have to add more than one to the queue if you want to convert all your videos from the DVD at once. Since it does not give you any text labels it is hard to tell which one for sure is the video you need but in most cases the longest one is the main video.

Choose the video from the disk you which to convert

Choose the video from the disk you which to convert

5. Select Toggle Presets: You will need to choose what format you want to convert your video to. Click the button labeled Toggle Presets at the top right and you will see the different video target presets. Handbrake comes with a lot of different choices from iPhone to Apple TV to just normal conversion. If you are targeting a certain devices you may want to select it here or you can just use the normal preset.

Toggle Presets

6. (Optional) Choose your destination an settings: I found the default settings usually work pretty good. However, if you want your video on the web you may want to choose Web Optimized. 

Web Optimized

You can also choose a different location for the destination folder. This is where your video file will be saved.

7. Hit Start: That is it! Just hit the start button up on the top left hand side.


You will see the progress bar below which will let you know how much longer it has.


When that finishes Handbrake let’s you know by telling you to put down that cocktail your video is done. You can then drag that video into iTunes or onto any other device. Handbrake can also be used to convert different types of video files into MP4, simply select the video file as your source instead of the DVD.

Put it Down!

Watch video of this below:

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Jeff Batt
  • Janiece Dionisopoulos 17:24h, 13 March Reply

    It is really a great and useful piece of info. I’m glad that you shared this useful info with us. Please keep us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.

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