How to Copy a DVD to Your Computerby Marshal M. RosenthalUpdated September 28, 2017
DVDs can be burned on computers to store backup data as well as home movies to watch and music tracks to listen to. You can copy the contents of a DVD onto your computer should the data, video or music go missing, by using the tools built into the operating system or through a free DVD copy program. The DVD is not damaged in any way by being copied.
Copying Data From a DVD
Eject your computer's disc tray. Put the DVD you want to copy onto the disc tray and close it.
Wait for the icon of the DVD to appear on the computer’s desktop. Double-click on the icon of the DVD to open its window.
Right-click on the desktop. Select “New folder” from the list of choices presented in the pop-up window. Name the new folder with the same name as the DVD.
Click inside the DVD’s window on the desktop. Select the “Command" + "A” keys on a Mac or the “Ctrl" + "A” keys on a PC to select all of the folders and files in the window.
Hold down your left mouse button over the highlighted files in the DVD's window and drag them onto the icon of the folder on the desktop that has the same name as the DVD. Wait as a progress window notes the progression of the copying of the files from the DVD’s window into the folder.
Right-click on the icon of the DVD when the progression window disappears. Select “Eject” from the list of choices presented in the pop-up menu. Eject the disc tray, remove the DVD and close the disc tray.
Copying a DVD to a Video Editing Program
Eject your computer's disc tray. Put the DVD onto the disc tray and close it.
Double-click on a video editing program, such as the iMovie program on a Mac or Movie Maker on a PC.
Select “Add File” from the video editing program's main screen.
Select the icon of the DVD from the left side of the window that appears and click on “OK” or click on the icon of the DVD in the pop-up window, to close the window.
Wait as the video editing program copies the contents of the DVD to the video editing program’s storage folder on the computer’s hard drive.
Name the copy of the DVD in the “Name” column in the video editing program’s main screen when the copying is complete. Quit the video editing program.
Making a Duplicate DVD
Eject the computer's disc tray, put the DVD on the disc tray and close it.
Download and install a DVD duplicating program to the desktop of the computer, such as the free trial version of DVDSanta (see "Resources" section for link).
Select the DVD drive from the “Devices” drop-down menu on the main screen of the DVD duplicating program.
Select “All” or “No” from the “Region” drop-down menu.
Click the “Save To” tab. Select “Desktop” from the “Locations” tab at the middle of the window that appears. Close the window by clicking the “OK” button.
Click the “Copy” or “Duplicate” button on the main screen of the DVD duplicating program. Wait as the progress bar moves from left to right.
Quit the DVD duplicating program when the progress bar is completely filled and the DVD has been copied as a digital file to the desktop. Eject the disc tray, remove the DVD and close the disc tray.
You can use double-sided blank recordable DVDs to hold twice as much as a standard blank recordable DVD.
Copyright-protected commercial DVDs cannot be copied to a computer.
- DVD image by vashistha pathak from Fotolia.com