How to Rip CDs on My Laptop

by Perry Piekarski
Visage/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Putting your music CD collection on your laptop is an ideal way to back up your music. Along with offering a safe way of storing all the songs you've purchased over the years, you can use the audio files in portable MP3 players and iPods. Ripping your CDs to your laptop is an easy task that takes only a few minutes, but it will require the use of a media player such as Windows Media Player or iTunes.

Windows Media Player

Step 1

Open Windows Media Player. If you have a desktop shortcut, use that. Otherwise, go to the Start menu on the task bar, click "All Programs" and find Windows Media Player on the list of programs that appears. If it isn't there, you may need to download and install Windows Media Player to your computer. The download is available for free on

Step 2

Insert the CD into your laptop's disc drive.

Step 3

Click the "Rip" tab in the media player. A list of all the songs on the album will appear. Uncheck the boxes next to any songs you do not want to import to your computer.

Click "Rip Music" to import the songs to Windows Media Player. The CD will then begin ripping, and the program will notify you when the process is complete.


Step 1

Open iTunes. If you do not have it on your computer already, you must download and install it. It is available for free download on both Mac and PC at

Step 2

Insert the CD into your laptop's disc drive.

Step 3

Click "Yes" when the prompt appears asking if you would like to import the songs from the CD. If you click no, you can still import the songs by clicking the CD on the sidebar and clicking "Import CD" at the bottom right corner of the page. You can also choose which songs are imported by unchecking the songs you do not want to rip to your computer.

Wait for the songs to finish importing before removing the disc from your computer.


  • Do not remove the disc or power off your computer until the CD is done importing. Doing so may corrupt the process, and you'll have to do it again.
  • iTunes and Windows Media Player can only find the track info of the CD if your laptop is connected to the Internet. Keep this in mind when importing CDs.


  • You can edit the import settings on both Windows Media Player and iTunes. In Windows Media Player, change these settings by opening the Options menu and selecting the Rip Music tab. In iTunes, change these settings by clicking Edit at the top of the window and going through the Preferences menu.


Photo Credits

  • Visage/Stockbyte/Getty Images

About the Author

Supported by his wit, charm and love for language, Perry Piekarski is a professional writer holding a Bachelor of Arts in professional writing from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania. Piekarski is the former Executive Editor of Binge Gamer, a full-time sales associate at Best Buy and, whenever he has an extra moment, a freelance writer.

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