How to Play DVD Movies on a Laptop

A laptop equipped with a DVD drive allows you to play movies by using laser light or electromagnetic waves near the light spectrum to read the content of the DVD disc. A DVD video uses the MPEG-2 digital format, which is read by movie-playing software like DVD Player or QuickTime Player for Mac and Windows Media Player or PowerDVD for PC.

Insert the DVD in your laptop's DVD drive. Wait until the DVD folder registers on the desktop of a Mac or the "My Computer" directory of a PC.

Select compatible DVD playing software. Depending on the settings of your computer and the specifications of the DVD, the movie may play automatically. For those with the Windows operating system, you can right-click your DVD drive icon, then click "Autoplay." For those with Macs, you can click on the software you want to use and the DVD can automatically play after that, or its menu screen appears. You can also choose the software you want to use by right-clicking on the DVD file from the DVD folder, or by clicking "Open File" from the "File" menu of your opened software. Most blockbuster movies have DVD menus, which usually offer options like "Subtitles," "Audio," "Special Features," Chapter Selection" and "Play Movie."

Adjust the audio volume and laptop monitor brightness, colour and contrast, if needed. Play the movie or any of its special features.

Click the "Full Screen" option in your software to maximise your movie display area. Press the "ESC" key or click "Exit Full Screen" (under the "View" menu from Mac or after right-clicking the movie display area from PC) if you want to exit the full screen mode.

Multitask by playing the movie played while you are working on other applications. You may pause and resume playback through the buttons within the player. Drag the slider to skip back or forward. You can also see the running time of the movie on the slider. Press the "Menu" button if you want to watch other videos available on the DVD. You may be able to change the language, audio settings and other customised options.


If you plan to watch DVDs while travelling or when you're in a public place, bring your headphones and fully charge your laptop battery.

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About the Author

Rianne Hill Soriano is a freelance artist/writer/educator. Her diverse work experiences include projects in the Philippines, Korea and United States. For more than six years she has written about films, travel, food, fashion, culture and other topics on websites including Yahoo!, Yehey! and Herword. She also co-wrote a book about Asian cinema.