Mac software to back up Blu-Ray discs

I just ordered a computer Blu-Ray drive. I’m looking for reasonably priced software to help me back up my discs to my PLEX server. Any one knowledgeable about this your comments are welcome.


Will Handbrake work? I used it a few years back to rip DVDs to my home server.

I have used Make MKV for Blu-ray ripping for backups and then converted (shrink) the file with Handbrake for viewing on my AppleTV. Make MKV is always in beta and you can download it and use it for 30 days, and after that, delete it and then download it again.

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I believe HB lacks the ability to remove the DRM

MakeMKV is the tool to use for Blu-Ray. Just beware that a full Blu-Ray can be like 50GB, which is a big step up from the ~4GB of a DVD!

You can convert the MKV with Handbrake to something else, but I gave up on that ages ago because it takes too long. Instead, I just bought a very large external drive, and when I fill it up, I’ll buy another one. YMMV.


I use MakeMKV to rip the movie, then I use Handbrake to convert it to a more useful size and format. I then transfer the MakeMKV movie to an external drive (it is a very large file) and delete the original from my Mac drive. I’ve found the MakeMKV version very useable but run it through VLC simply because I dislike the Quicktime player - just my personal quirk.

BTW I don’t find Handbrake taking a great deal of time - works pretty quickly and the file it creates is excellent.


But if you’re using Handbrake, I assume then there is some compression. If the OP wants the original resolution of the disc, then using MakeMKV or similar would be the best. Handbrake can be time-consuming depending on the compression level and the computer you have so that’s another issue.

You can get a high resolution copy using Handbrake. Again, I do not find it a long conversion process - I’m talking less than an hour by a long shot. The MakeMKV is a very high resolution which is not as satisfactory in terms of ease of use as using, for example, MDRP to convert a standard DVD.

Backing up a Blu-ray Disc is not a real satisfactory experience on a Mac but the two programs together provide valuable copies of the video. Hope this helps.


Thanks. My drive came today and my late 2015 IMac doesn’t seem to see the drive. So I’m back to square one. I’ve never had a drive not work on an Intel Mac, so first time for that. But thank you all for your help. MakeMKV sounds like a good choice.


What model/brand of drive is it? If it’s one of those bus powered ones that work with laptops, it might require a power adapter if on a USB port.

Also, check in your System Report under USB if that is the connection if the drive is listed there.

It’s an ASUS BW-16D1 HT, an Internal drive placed in an external case. It draws power from the mains. The drive description only mentions Windows compatibility but I’ve never had a SATA drive not work with a Mac. My CD/DVD drive worked fine in that enclosure. It works fine with my old Windows laptop. But jockeying files between computers is a pain.

But can you see it under System Report under the Apple Menu, About This Mac? If not, then maybe you need some type of firmware upgrade or your case is the issue. Someone mentioned in this forum that it was recognized on a Mac:

My LG came in an external enclosure so no issues so sorry I have no experience with ASUS.

It now shows up under Disk Burning. I’ll give it a try with MKV Tools.

There’s no native facility for reading/writing BluRay disks included in macOS (I believe this is something Jobs negotiated with the studios years ago). There are 3rd party utilities available but I don’t use them. I’m not sure if VLC would work or not. However: MakeMKV absolutely recognizes BluRay drives.

No need to delete old copy of MakeMKV when it times out after 30 or 60 days–just replace with newest version. Best solution is just to pay for the eternal beta version: free upgrades forever and you’ll be supporting a developer who seemingly doesn’t tire of chasing the breaking of new forms of copy protection.

YMMV. I’ve never converted a BluRay rip from mkv to m4v in less than 1.5-2 hours with Handbrake. Depends on the settings, I guess, which can be varied to who knows how many different points in Handbrake. Still, the best solution I’ve found!

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More precisely, macOS should have built-in support for reading and burning data discs. It should also be able to burn a disc image directly to Blu-Ray media.

But you will definitely need third-party software to read or author a Blu-Ray video disc. Fortunately, there are several good software packages (both commercial and free) you can use for this.

See also:

This article is from 2017, so it might not be completely up to date, with respect to specific software packages, but the general principles should still be valid.

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Mac OS does have the ability to read and write Blu-Ray data discs as that’s built into the Finder. The article you mentioned is one I’ve used and posted previously in another forum in regards to using tsMuxerGUI to utilize high definition video files to make a Blu-Ray video disc capable of playing in regular players as well as computer drives. That software is updated consistently as well as MakeMKV which I’ve used only a little since I don’t want to bother copying a lot of discs just to be on a server. It took me enough time over the years to rip my CD’s and digitize some records/tapes.

Finding good Blu-Ray authoring software for Mac is a different issue as there is not a decent piece of software like multiAVCHD which is for Windows. I have an old Windows laptop I’ve used to do the authoring and then bring the files to the Mac for disc burning. But since I decided to keep a VMWare Fusion Windows partition on my Mac, I will use that instead next time I need it. If you’re only placing one video file or movie without any menus on a Blu-Ray disc, then tsMuxerGUI is all you need. You will waste some of the disc space probably but single-sided Blu-Ray discs are not that expensive but double-sided are a bit more last time I checked.

It doesn’t matter if MakeMKV recognizes a Blu-Ray drive if the Mac doesn’t see it in the first place. The OP didn’t say what caused the drive to be recognized later, but as I said before some smaller drives need USB power or a power adapter. Also, plugging a burner in a USB hub may not work as connecting directly to a port on the computer is safer.

See my post below but Mac does read and write Blu-Ray and DVD assuming the disc is not protected. I think you’re referring to copy protection issues which the movie studios have fought for since the days of Beta/VHS.

You can use Roxio Toast Pro for this. It is not free ($150 MSRP, currently discounted to $120), but the product page says it can author Blu-Ray discs. (Note, however, that the less expensive “Titanium” release does not include Blu-Ray authoring capabilities - it can only author DVDs.)

Whether you consider Toast to be “decent” is something I’m not going to comment on, because I don’t have enough experience to have an opinion. The last time I used it was a long time ago - I found its DVD authoring capabilities at the time to be minimal, but acceptable. But if you (or anyone else here) have used the current version, I would love to hear your opinion.

I haven’t used Toast for some time since programs like Burn work well for CD’s and some DVD work. Toast has had a lot of negative reviews for some time. It is an expensive program for what it does but it is one of the few out there. It’s not something I need and others who are doing Blu-Ray burning probably aren’t using it either but they probably also use Windows programs instead even if they’re mainly Mac users.