How to copy a DVD movie to your ipad.

Copy DVD

Here’s the process for how to copy a DVD to your iPad to watch on a plane or in the car.

1. Download and install VLC player. ( (You won’t be using it but it installs some bits that ‘handbrake’ needs to read protected DVDs.)

Install VLC Player
1. Install VLC Player


2. Download and install Handbrake. (

Install Handbrake
2. Install Handbrake


3. Insert the DVD. If DVD player runs, quit it.

Insert DVD
3. Insert DVD


3. Use handbrake to import the DVD.

  • In the right panel select ‘ipad’ or the device you will play the video back on.
  • In the ‘source’ select the DVD folder.
  • In ‘destination’ select ‘desktop’ or wherever you would like the movie file to appear.
  • Press ‘Start’.


4. Open iTunes (without your iPad plugged in).

  • go to the ‘Home Video’s’ pane.
Drag the video into the iTunes 'Home VIdeos' tab.
Click on the iTunes ‘Home VIdeos’ tab.
  • drag the video from the desktop into the iTunes Home Video’s tab.
Drag the Movie into iTunes
4.Drag the Movie into iTunes


5. Plug in your iPad and:

  • make sure your iPad is  selected (not your iTunes Library).
  • select the ‘Movies’ tab.
  • tick  the ‘Sync Movies’ box
Select 'sync' movies box.
Select ‘sync’ movies box.
  • select the movie you want to sync.
Tick the movie and Press 'sync'
Tick the movie.


  • press the ‘Sync’ button.


Now the Movie will appear in ‘Videos’ on your ipad.




29 responses to “How to copy a DVD movie to your ipad.”

  1. david

    this is to remind you that there are some people (at least one) who appreciate sites such as yours, where information may be had openly and easily. i want to say that even if you get no comments on your postings, it does not mean they are not appreciated.

    sometimes it really is offering up your service with no thought of return.

    thanks, david.

  2. John

    Intresting, I can watch any movie with my ipad.
    Your method is very usefull for me now, thanks very much for your sharing.

  3. Hi Wayne,
    I followed all your steps to a “T” and I got 10 video clips on my iPad Air.
    I have a home video clip that I want to add to the other 10 in my iPad “Home Videos”
    But when I got to step “5” and pressed in the “Sync” button (it’s “Apply” button on my machine) I got the following:
    – The iPad “Thuy’s iPad” is synced with another itunes library on “Nhutwindows8″. Do you want to erase this iPad and sync with this itunes librafry?
    – An iPad can be synced with only one itunes library at a time. Erasing and syncing replaces the content of this iPad with the contents of this itune library.
    – I have 2 choices at the end of this message:
    ” Erase and Sync” “Cancel”
    I did try once on an earlier time. Sure enough, everything was erased

    I want to keep everything on the iPad.
    Please help and thank you so so much
    Nhut Tran

    1. Are you using the same computer?

      1. Hi Wayne,
        Thanks for a quick reply.
        You have a good question. I’m not sure about the 1st time when everything got erased, except for the LAST video clip.
        The 2nd time, I use a different computer:
        The old computer (windows 7) died. I used a new computer, with windows 8.1, when I encountered the erasing problem.
        Thanks for your assistance

      2. You can only sync an iPad to 1 computer at a time. It is a pain but it is the way Apple does it. So if your first computer is gone, you’ll lose those videos if you sync the iPad. There *may* be a way to get those old videos off the iPad using some special software not from Apple but it will be tricky.

    2. Paul

      I hope you already know how to deal with your iPad. But I still want to share with you. In your case, you have to transfer your videos from your ipad to your iTunes to make sure your iTunes has everything on your ipad. Then you can safely add new videos with your iTunes. To transfer videos from iPad to computer, I think you need a third party software, like Tipard iPhone Transfer Ultimate, CopyTrans, or anything you can find on the internet.
      After you do that, you can sync you videos with your iTunes to your iPad.

  4. Hi Wayne,
    I’m sorry if I didn’t make myself clear.
    The old computer was dead, so the first 10 video clips was were gone
    With the new computer (windows 8.1), I started everything from point 1: Using “Handbrake”, I got the first 10 video clips back on the iPad. Around 2 weeks later, I found another video clip I like. So using “Handbrake” again, I tried to drag it to the iPad when the erasing message came up,
    Being a 1st grade in computer learning, I believe there is something that I don’t quite understand from your answer. I sincerely apologize for my shallow computer knowledge.
    Please help. Thanks again

  5. Daniela

    Hi Wayne
    thank you very much for this possibility. i tryed to rip the dvd on a macbook and it doesn’t work… i downloaded the vlc and the handbrake, then i put in the dvd and followed the steps above. when i drag it into itunes it appears but it can’t be played on the apple tv. the score(?) is zero. i don’t know how to get to the point sync… can you help me with that? regards, daniela

  6. Carol

    Hi – Hope you can try and help me – I have a series on DVD which has 3 episodes – but shows 99 titles! I have located the frtst one as being 22 but how do I find the next one – as 23 is the same as 22 and to transfer them all to find out is very time consuming! Any advice please?

  7. TC

    Hi, I have followed your instructions which were super easy but the quality is really bad. Fuzzy picture and distorted sound. Is there something I need to change to fix this? the original I am copying from is perfect.

    1. Ella

      I have the same problem

      1. Karen

        same here
        and at all idk my mind just goes crazy, VLC, handbrake, itunes
        I can use WALTR for Mac/Pc and you just drag and drop there, easy and fast
        Maybe it`ll help you as well, google it if interested

      2. Thanks for that feedback.I try to only point people to paid software when there is no free alternative. Handbrake is not too complicated to use and you do get the hang of it after a few goes.

      3. WALTR is available as a special deal from stack commerce at the moment. You can get it for $6 with 9 other apps.

      4. See my post about it on the front page.

  8. FannieJane

    Most DVDs are all commercial with copy protection contained. You’ll get no result if you are going to use Handbrake to convert commerical DVDs.

    For protected DVD discs, I suggest you to try Pavtube DVDAid.

    1. Or mac the ripper – it’s free.

  9. Natalie

    I have the same problem as TC and Ella on my new iPad 2 Air, any suggestions?

  10. Chris

    I’m not the first, but can say that WALTR app helps me a lot to copy any formats(!) of movies to iPad. I’m satisfied with this product, its efficiency, I think it worth having!

  11. lement

    I found another awesome way to put DVD movies to iPad, no need to convert the format because FonePaw iOS Transfer can automatically convert them and add them to iPad. One tool is enough.

  12. Rose

    in step 3 you write:
    “In the right panel select ‘ipad’ or the device you will play the video back on.
    In the ‘source’ select the DVD folder.
    In ‘destination’ select ‘desktop’ or wherever you would like the movie file to appear.
    Press ‘Start’.”

    Sorry, I’m a newbie but where do I find “the right panel”

    1. Good question! If you don’t see the panel on the right-hand side of the window you need to press the little button at the top right of the window that says ‘Toggle Presets’

  13. Robert Williamson

    When I follow your clear instructions my copied DVD (bought for my use) has distorted sound and a semi pixelated screen. Have you any suggestions please?

    1. Try selecting a different option in the right panel. This controls how compressed the file is. The smaller the file, the more pixelated. So try selecting Apple TV. This will make a bigger file, but better quality. Play around with different settings.
      I am surprised about the distorted sound, that is strange.

  14. genny

    I have tried Handbrake but i still failed to copy my DVD to iPad. I can’t find the reason. I have tried another tool WonderFox DVD Ripper too which works. But i am wondering whether i have made any mistake in some steps so that i didn’t successfully copy my DVD through Handbrake

  15. SEO Kansas City

    I only now came to hear about Handbrake. I better check it out!

  16. Rick Barthel

    I am using Version of iTunes, I cannot find a selection for “Home Videos”. I have selected “Movies” from the drop down, but only see Library – Unwatched and Store. Help!?



  17. cony

    You need a DVD ripper to rip DVD to iPad, like TunesKit Video Converter, DVDFab, etc. Then use them to convert DVD to MOV, MP4 formate. I use TunesKit, it can directly convert DVD to iPad-compatible format.

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