How to use handbrake software to compress dvds

Written by matthew burley
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How to use handbrake software to compress dvds
Use HandBrake to Compress a DVD. (dvd image by dinostock from

HandBrake is an open-source video compression application that can be used to convert and shrink a DVD video file to a smaller size or different file type. This can be ideal when you are attempting to compress a DVD movie to a file type that will be compatible with a portable device, such as an iPod. It is also helpful when you are attempting to back up a DVD containing video of a special event or occasion that can't be reacquired or recreated.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • DVD

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  1. 1

    Launch the HandBrake software. If you don't already have it installed, navigate to the HandBrake download site (see Resources), then click the "Download" button for your operating system and save the file to your computer. Double-click the downloaded file, then follow the prompts from the installation wizard.

  2. 2

    Insert your DVD into your computer's DVD drive.

  3. 3

    Launch HandBrake. Click the "Source" button at the top of the HandBrake window and select the DVD.

  4. 4

    Select a file type preset from the window on the right side of the screen if you are compressing the file for a specific device. If you are simply backing up the disc, then click the "Video" tab from the "Output Settings" section.

  5. 5

    Click the "Target size," "Avg Bitrate" or "Constant Quality" button to set a compression level for the DVD. HandBrake will use your settings in this section to determine the level of compression to be used.

  6. 6

    Select the "Browse" button in the "Destination" section to choose a location for your compressed file.

  7. 7

    Click the "Start" button at the top of the window to start your compression.

Tips and warnings

  • HandBrake can also be used to compress DVD backups that you have stored on your computer. Simply select the "Video file" or "VIDEO_TS Folder" option from the source menu at the top of the window, and follow the same steps.

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