Encode a DVD ISO image to an MP4 video with Handbrake for free

Here’s a quick walkthrough of the process on how to use the useful and free utility Handbrake to convert DVD ISO image files to MP4 videos with best quality.


Many people love to save their DVDs to ISO image files form convenient DVD content storing and transmission, especially through the Internet. However, the ISO image doesn’t lend itself to portability since no one mobile device supports this file type. Therefore, some users would like to convert DVD ISO image files to MP4 videos for playback on regular MP4 players like iPhone, iPad, iPod, Android, etc. If you’re looking for an easy yet free way to encode an MP4 video from a DVD ISO image file, you’ve come to the right place. Read on for details.

There are a lot of ways to do the ISO to MP4 conversion and a lot of different programs out there, but our favorite method uses a program called Handbrake. It’s easy to use, free and it’s available for Windows, Mac, and Linux, and it’ll convert your ISO image file into compatible formats for any device, like an iPad or Android phone. Overall, Handbrake is a free Windows/Mac OS X utility for ripping videos from DVDs yet discs image files including ISO files and saving them in various formats. Below is a quick walkthrough of the ISO to MP4 conversion process.

Step-by-Step Guide on encoding DVD ISO to MP4 with Handbrake

NOTE: The below guide takes Handbrake for Windows (Windows 10 compatible) screenshots for example.

1. Head to Handbrake’s homepage and download the program. Install it to your computer as directed.

2. Click Source dropdown button, then click Open File to locate your target DVD ISO image file.


3. Click the Browse button on the right side of the window. Navigate to where you want to save your movie file, and type in a file name in the box. Click OK.

1) The default location for Handbrake’s output files is the Desktop. Choose a different location if you’d like to save your file elsewhere, else just copy it over once it’s done.
2) Name the resulting video file. Handbrake will typically give it a default, but you may not recognize that name, so try and do so yourself.

4. Next, head to the bar on the right labeled “Presets”. This is where you’ll choose what format the resulting file will be in. If you just want to watch it on your computer, the “Normal” (output as an .MP4 file) or “High Profile” preset is fine. If you want to watch it on something like your iPod or iPhone, though, pick the correct preset from the list.


5. Hit the Start button at the top of the window. This will take awhile, so you’ll probably want to grab a cup of tea.

6. When it’s done, you’ll get a popup notification. From there, you can double-click on your movie file to watch it, or sync it to your device of choice. Enjoy!

Other Handbrake Tips that maybe Useful:

Once you’ve chosen the source and destination settings, you’re pretty much set to go. Just click on the Start button and the program will do the conversion for you. However, there are a few other settings to keep in mind in case you choose to get a little more involved.


1. Shrink the file. By default, you’ll be ripping the files at full-size. While that’s great for quality, you’re going to need a lot of storage space. Especially, if you ripping several movies or TV shows, you’re going to fill up your hard drive pretty quickly. Here are a few ways to save some space:

a. Cut out the credits by unselecting that chapter in the Source Settings. It’s usually the last one.

b. Movies are typically made for the big screen. Since you’re going to be watching the video on your computer or iPhone 6S/6/5S, iPad Air 2/mini 3 , you can afford to cut down on the picture quality.

c. You can select the desired size for the file, which is useful if you have only a limited amount of space.

d. You can also slim down the quality of the audio using Handbrake’s Audio section.

Best Handbrake Alternative to Convert ISO to MP4, MKV, AVI, MOV videos

Handbrake Limitations

  • It only supports MPEG-4 files as input, and MPEG-4 or MKV files as output.
  • It often crashes when dealing with encrypted DVDs and ISO files.
  • It can only let you add files one by one. You can’t use it to batch convert videos.
  • File output quality is compromised. The original video quality can’t be 100% preserved.

If you have trouble in using Handbrake or want to find another brilliant Handbrake equivalent without any (input or output) format limitation, Brorsoft DVD Ripper is highly recommended. The program can easily handle any kinds of DVD, DVD Folder (Video_TS) and disc image files including ISO, IFO image files. With it, you can do batch conversion from ISO image files to any various popular video formats like MP4, AVI, MKV, WMV, MPEG, MOV, FLV, MKV, 3GP, etc. as well as convert them to optimized video for playback on iPad, iPod, iPhone, Zune, Creative Zen, Archos, iRiver, Blackberry, Xbox 360 and more with fast speed and excellent output quality. If you are a Mac user, you can turn to Brorsoft DVD Ripper for Mac, which has the same function as the Windows version.

Tutorial: Converting ISO to MP4 in 3 clicks

Step 1. Add ISO image files

Run the program and click “Load DVD” button to add the ISO files. As you can see, you can also load DVD Folders and IFO files to rip. All added files can be previewed on the right viewing window and you are free to adjust the video volume and take snapshots of your favorite movie scenes.


Step 2. Choose output format

From the drop-down list of “Format” > “Common Video”, select H.264 MP4 as the output format. If you want to get better HD video quality, select “H.264 HD Video (*.mp4)” from “HD Video” category.


P.S. This ISO conversion app provides 100+ video presets for iPad Air, iPhone 6S, iPad Pro, iPad Mini, Samsung Galaxy Tab 3, Galaxy S7, S7 Edge, Galaxy Note and more, allowing you to convert ISO movies to fit your different portable media players.

Step 3. Start ripping ISO to MP4

Check to make sure all the settings are OK and then click the Convert button to begin the ISO video to MP4 conversion. After that, click Open to get the video clips and play, edit or share them anywhere you like.

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