How to Copy DVDs & Change Region Settings

When you buy a DVD at the store, the DVD contains region coding, which lets the disc play only in DVD players made in that region. This provides some protection for companies that want to release a DVD in one area of the world, such as the United States, before releasing the DVD in another part of the world, such as Japan. If you purchase a DVD from another region of the world, you will likely discover that the disc won't play in your standard DVD player. You can overcome this issue by creating a copy of the DVD with new region settings.

Download and install DVD Decrypter (see Resources.) DVD Decrypter rips DVDs from any region and can burn the DVDs back to disc.

Put the DVD that you want to copy into the computer's DVD drive. Go to "Start" and "All Program," scroll to the "DVD Decrypter" folder, click it to open it and then click "DVD Decrypter" again to open the program.

Click the "Mode" menu in Decrypter and choose "IFO" from the list of options. When you return to the main screen, click on the folder labelled "Destination" to select the folder on the hard drive where you want the ripped DVD file to save. Then, click "Decrypt" to pull the IFO files from the DVD and save them to the folder on your hard drive.

Open the "Tools" menu and select "IFO" and then "Region Patch." Choose the region you want to burn the disc into, which should be "Region 1" in the U.S., or choose "Region Free" to make a disc that can be played in any player. Select the IFO file you want to convert when prompted.

Remove the DVD from the DVD drive and put in a DVD-R. Press the "Write" button to burn the file to disc with a new region setting.

Download and install the DVDShrink to your computer (see Resources.) DVDShrink rips DVD files and can convert region settings, but cannot burn files back to disc.

Place the DVD into the computer's DVD drive. Go to "Start," "All Programs," click the "DVDShrink" folder and then the program name to open DVDShrink.

Press "Open Disk" and choose the disc in the DVD drive from the list of disc options that appear. Then, press the "Full Disk" button to select the entire DVD for copying, and "Backup" to create a copy of the disk.

Select "Hard Disk Folder" for the backup location on the "Backup DVD" screen that comes up. Then, switch to the "DVD Region" tab in the screen, choose "Region 1" or "Region Free" from the list of region options. Go to "Target Device" and select a location where you want to save the file on your computer and click "Backup."

Remove the DVD from the DVD drive and put in a DVD-R. Launch any DVD-burning program that you like to use and burn the backup file to disc.

Download and install ImgBurn to you computer (see Resources.) ImgBurn can rip DVD files and burn the files back to disc.

Place the DVD into the DVD drive. Go to "Start," "All Programs," click the "ImgBurn" folder and then the program name to launch ImgBurn. When the main window of the program comes up, click "Create Image File From Disc."

Click on the folder by destination and select the folder where you want to save the ripped DVD file. Then, click "Read" to save the file to the folder.

Take out the DVD and replace it with a DVD-R. Open the "Mode" menu and click "Write" to switch to writing mode. Then, click the "Source" folder, find the file that you ripped on the computer and double-click the file.

Open the "Tools" menu, select "Drive" and "Regional Code" and then click "Change." Select "Region 1" or any other region and press "OK" and click "Write" to burn to disc.

Things You'll Need

  • DVD
  • DVD-R
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About the Author

Alexis Lawrence is a freelance writer, filmmaker and photographer with extensive experience in digital video, book publishing and graphic design. An avid traveler, Lawrence has visited at least 10 cities on each inhabitable continent. She has attended several universities and holds a Bachelor of Science in English.