How to Load DVDs Onto Your Computer

By Sandra Parker

Loading DVDs onto your computer for viewing is easier than you might think. The process, known as ripping, involves downloading free software from the Internet to convert the file into a codec that takes up less room on your hard disk. You can also use this process to download music from a CD for storage on your computer. Before beginning the process, make sure you have permission to load the DVD onto your computer.

Things You'll Need

  • DVD ripping utility
  • Codec conversion utility
  • Commercial DVD

Step 1

Locate DVD ripping software online. Many DVD ripping utilities are free. When you find one, click on "Download" and install the application by running the included installation wizard and following the prompts. Among the programs available are DVDShrink and DVDFab, both of which allow you to rip DVDs that are encrypted.

Step 2

Begin the ripping process. After you install the DVD ripping software, open the application by double-clicking on the desktop icon or choosing the program under the Programs menu. Insert the DVD you wish to add to your computer and click "Start."

Step 3

Locate a codec conversion software. While the DVD ripping application is running, find a video format conversion program online. This utility, though not required for ripping, will convert the DVD format into a smaller format, such as AVI or mp4, which will be helpful if you plan to create a library of videos on your computer or send the file to someone else. Download and install the program just as you did the ripping application.

Step 4

Convert the file. After the DVD file has been ripped onto your computer, open the codec conversion software and convert the file. To do this, point the conversion software to the newly created DVD file on your PC and click "Start." As with the ripping software, each application works in a slightly different manner, but most are straightforward.

Step 5

Store the new file. After you have ripped the file and converted it into a smaller format, simply create a folder and move the file until you are ready to access it for viewing or sharing.

Tips & Warnings

  • Loading copyrighted DVDs onto your PC is illegal and is punishable by fines and jail time.