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How to Copy DVD Movies And Burn Them to Disc

Updated on October 25, 2012

If you would like to know how to copy DVD movies, and burn them to a disc, then you've come to the right place. Anybody who has access to the internet and a DVD writer drive on their computer can copy DVD movies. It's actually a really simple process once you figure it out.

I have been using the below method to copy DVD movies for over the past several years and I have had a 99.9% success rate copying DVD movies and burning them to a disc. Follow this guide if you would like to save yourself a headache, and copy your DVD's right the first time!

STEP 1 to Copying DVD Movies

If you aren't very computer savvy, and you don't know what kind of disc drive your computer has then you will need to find out. For those of you who already know that you have DVD-R or DVD-RW go ahead and skip this step. If you are uncertain about what type of drive you have, you can simply look on the front of your computer at the disc drive. Where you insert disc it should say DVD, DVD-RW, or DVD-R. You will need a DVD-RW or DVD-R disc drive to burn the movies to disc after you have copied them. If you can't find the DVD-RW or DVD-R label anywhere, then you can find out if you a DVD-RW or DVD-R drive by doing the following:

On your desktop, go to START> PROGRAMS> ACCESSORIES> SYSTEM TOOLS> SYSTEM INFORMATION (Note: I use WINDOWS 7 - but other operating systems should have the 'System Information' function listed in the same vicinity. Find 'System Information' and open it.

In the left 'System Summary' menu click on 'Components' and click on CD-ROM. In the right 'Item' and 'Value' window next to 'Media Type' it will say if it is a DVD writer drive or not.

Now that you have verified that you have a DVD-RW or DVD-R drive, continue to the next step.

STEP 2 to Copying DVD Movies

To copy a DVD movie you are going to need to decrypt it. DVD movies are protected with security codes to prevent them from being copied. Think of them as being locked and you need a special tool to unlock them, so you can copy them.

Afterwards, you are going to need to shrink the copied DVD movie file so that it will fit on a standard DVD-RW/DVD+RW, or DVD-R/DVD+R disc.

There are two tools available online that are 100% free and work excellent for getting these two jobs done. I have personally used them for years and highly recommend them.

They are called:

DVDFab HD Decrypter - This is what you'll use first to copy your DVD movie (decrypt it)
DVDShrink - This is what you'll use to shrink the file once the DVD movie has been copied.

So you will need to download and install both of these. Here's the links:

Once you have downloaded and installed both of those, continue on to step three.

STEP 3 to Copying DVD Movies

Open up DVDFab Decrypter. Press the button at the bottom that says 'Start DVDFab.'

Insert the DVD movie that you would like to copy into your computers disc drive.
A window will pop up and ask you what region code the DVD movie is. I live in America so all the DVD's I own are USA region. Select the correct region and click ok.

Now DVDFab will start to read the disc. Let it finish reading it.

When it's finished reading the disc you will get something like this:

Select "Main Movie" in the top left DVD copy menu. Main movie will cut out all the previews, and other nonsense and allow you to decrypt and copy only the movie on the disc. It's a good idea to do this because it makes the file size smaller, therefore making it easy for the DVD movie to fit on to the disc.

Now, uncheck all the 'Subpicture Language' check boxes in the bottom right corner. Subpicture is only needed if you are deaf or if there is a movie that has a lot of text you have to read because the characters speak in foreign language. If you don't uncheck these, then every time a character speaks in the movie, text will come across the TV screen.

Now, leave everything else alone and click the 'Next' button at the button right of DVDFab.

A new window comes up. Leave everything alone and click the 'Start' button at the bottom right of DVDFab.

DVDFab will now go through and decrypt and copy the DVD movie. Leave it alone and let it complete.

Once it's finished, remove the DVD movie from your disc drive and close DVDFab.

STEP 4 to Copying DVD Movies

Now reboot your computer.

Once you computer has started up, go and open DVDShrink.

In DVDShrink on the top right menu icon bar, click on 'Open Files.'

In the new window that pops up, find the DVDFab Temp folder, then 'Main Movie' folder, then click on the 'Movie folder' that you have copied and press the OK button at the bottom.

Now the movie has been loaded into DVDShrink and has compressed to a smaller size. What you will need to do now is back the DVD movie files up to your hard drive. To do this, click on the 'Backup' button at the top in the icon menu.

A Backup DVD window will pop up. Make sure your target folder is your hard drive and press the ok button.

The DVD movie will now start backing up to your hard drive.

Let it finish backing up the DVD movie to your hard drive. Then close DVDShrink and reboot your computer again.

STEP 5 to Copying DVD Movies

Now that you have finished backing up your DVD movie, you are finally ready to burn it to disc. I'm assuming that you already have some blank DVD-R or DVD-RW disc laying around. If not you can buy them online or at your local Walmart. I recommend using DVD+R or DVD+RW disc for copying DVD movies. The DVD-R and DVD-RW disc are more susceptible to errors and you can run into problems with them sometimes when you try to copy a movie onto them. DVD+R or DVD+RW disc are less likely to cause you any trouble and least likely to give you any errors.

So now that we verified that you have a blank DVD disc, let's move ahead.

You will need DVD/CD Burning software that will allow you to burn DVD movie files to disc. One of the best burners I have used for this, and that I rely on solely to burn and copy all of my DVD movies is ImgBurn. It has 99.99% success rate. It is completely 100% free, and not only that it's a really small program so it won't take up to much of your computers memory resources.

So the next thing that you need to do is go download ImgBurn and install it on your computer.

You can get ImgBurn here:

Once you have installed ImgBurn, reboot your computer.

STEP 6 to Copying DVD Movies

Open up ImgBurn. Click on the 'Write Files and Folders to Disc' icon. Insert a blank DVD+R or DVD+RW disc into your disc drive and wait for image burn to read it.

In the new window that comes up, click on the "Browse for File" icon. (It's the icon that is a magnifying glass covering a white sheet of paper)

Locate the movie on your hard drive, select it, and click the 'OPEN' button at the bottom of the window.

Now, you will get a AUDIO_TS folder and a VIDEO_TS folder.
Forget about the AUDIO_TS folder.

Double-click on the VIDEO_TS folder and select ALL the files in this folder and click on the 'OPEN' button at the bottom of the window again.

Every file in VIDEO_TS folder is needed. If one is left out, then your DVD movie will be missing chapters, and won't function correctly. Make sure that you have selected them all.

All of the VIDEO_TS files will now be loaded into ImgBurn. Think of these files as chapters. Each file being about twenty or thirty minutes--a section of the DVD movie. ImgBurn will copy the files to disc in the correct order, so that you DVD movie will play correctly.

All that you have left to do now is to push the burn button at the bottom (the large folder with the blue arrow pointing at the disc)-- name your DVD movie, and start the copying process.

Your DVD movie will now be copied to your blank disc, and from now on you will know how to make copies of all your favorite DVD movies. No more worrying about scratched disc and your favorite movies ending up in the trash. Copy DVD movies so you have backups!

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    • jponline profile image

      jponline 5 years ago

      You can try the following things to fix the blu-ray issue as it could be caused by a couple of things:

      If your blu-ray player supports it, update its firmware. You can Google search this with the brand of player you have. This I what I would think to be the most likely issue and try first.

      Try copying the DVD movie onto a different brand of disc. Lesser quality brand disc can cause this type of problem.

      Use a cleaner, and clean the DVD reader in your machine. Sometimes if the reader is a bit dirty it won't play standard DVD disc, but it will still play the blu-rays.

    • profile image

      jessie 5 years ago

      i followed your instructions.... yes my blue-ray plays movies from netflix, burned from prior program movies, bought movies..... i burned 2 copies and both play on my laptop perfectly, but will not play in my blue-ray OR my Wii.

    • jponline profile image

      jponline 5 years ago

      Did you try using the DVD in a different player to see if it works or if it is a bad copy?

      Also, did you do it in the region code for your player? (PAL or NTSC)

      NTSC = America

      PAL = Europe, other countries

      There are many reasons this could be happening. Have you played DVD's in the blue ray before?

    • profile image

      jessie 5 years ago

      need help!!!!!! i am using a laptop, Vista, everything seemed to go accordingly, but dvd that i burned will NOT play in my blue ray.... did i do something wrong?

    • jponline profile image

      jponline 5 years ago

      dewilsonjack and sharon, you're very welcome.

    • profile image

      sharon anderson 5 years ago

      oh thank you for taking the time to help others in this way. You have cut through the confusion beautifully.

    • profile image

      dewilsonjack 5 years ago

      thanks, nice page

    • jponline profile image

      jponline 5 years ago


      I don't know what you are doing wrong. I have never had the problem before. Try to go back a re-read the steps in my guide and see if you have did something wrong.

    • profile image

      amberblount 5 years ago

      after i shrink and try to burn the last chapter its always 24hrs long how do i change that?

    • jponline profile image

      jponline 6 years ago

      klanguedoc, Glad my tutorial is able to help.

      There is a free version of DVDFab at the link I suggested in my tutorial, and there is a pay-for version. I use the free version for DVD's.

    • profile image

      jponline 6 years ago

      LillyP, I have never burned from a camera, so you'll have to do a search on Google. However, I am assuming that you will need is software that will work for the type of camera you are using and possibly a video file convertor to make sure the video camera files are burned in the correct format to play correctly on a DVD player.

    • klanguedoc profile image

      Kevin Languedoc 6 years ago from Canada

      Great tutorial! Very clear instructions. I didn't know about DVDFab HD Decrypter, it is a very useful tool and the price is fantastic. I do know about about DVDShrink but I thought it wasn't supported anymore. This tutorial is come in handy.

    • profile image

      LillyP 6 years ago

      Your step by step instructions seem very helpful, hopefully you have the answer to my question which is How can i burn a video recording to dvd successfully? My spouse and i have a few home videos that we recorded using the video record function on my camera. We have tried to burn them to dvd discs using the "burn files to disc" in our windows media. It will play on the laptop, but not in our dvd player. Your advice seems to be geared specifically towards those wanting to burn dvd movies so im not sure if i would follow those same steps or if i need to do something else. If you can, your help would be greatly appreciated.

    • profile image

      jponline 6 years ago

      Anthony, there shouldn't be any reason why this method wouldn't work for torrents as long as the torrents are in the correct format for a DVD player. If they are not in the correct format, just get a converter (like mentioned above) and convert them to the correct format.


    • profile image

      Anthony 6 years ago

      Very good instructions. I use Torrents like kickass torrent to download movies.Will this method help me to burn the movies that i download to a dvd disc

    • profile image

      jponline 6 years ago

      Use DVDFab HD Decrypter to decrypt them from disc.

      Then DVDShrink to shrink them and back them up to your hard drive. They must be in correct format. If the files aren't decrypted directly from the DVD and in the wrong format, you may need to Google for a free convertor that will convert the files to the correct format for playing on a DVD player. You might try: for this. However, if you copy them direct from disc using the DVDFAB, DVDShrink, and Imgburn as exactly described in the instructions above, you shouldn't have any problems. If the movie is over two hours long (like Schindler's List for example) then the movie will need to be split in to two separate DVD+R or DVD+RW disc, as the files will obviously be more then 4.7GB when they are compressed. Hope this makes sense to you and helps.

    • profile image

      imakulate 6 years ago

      Ok,I've been using Windows "Burn files to disc" option to burn movies files from my hard drive to DVD+R so my Son can play them on a DVD player. From what I understand now, these discs will not be usable for DVD playback.(I do not have a DVD player to test) I should have used the "Burn a DVD video disc" option. So, I tried that and also Sony Architect, but I can only fit a fraction of the files using these methods and I feel my 4.7GB discs are going to waste. I thought maybe I could use the DVDshrink on my files and get all the files I want on one disc, but I see no such option. Sorry for my babble, but how is the best way to do this. The movie files vary in format..avi,mp4,etc. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    • profile image

      jponline 6 years ago

      Engineer, thanks for sharing. I'm glad my guide was helpful for you.

    • profile image

      jponline 6 years ago

      You're welcome! I'm glad my guide was able to help you.

    • profile image

      Jennifer 6 years ago

      This was a huge help! Thank you so much for this information. I have been struggling with this for days!


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