HandBrake is a free and open source tool for converting video from nearly any format to a selection of modern, widely supported codecs. HandBrake is a cross-platform application, available for Windows, Mac and Linux.

Is HandBrake a video editor?

HandBrake can crop and resize videos as well as restore old and low-quality videos, but for more powerful editing tools you can try DaVinci Resolve, Shotcut or VSDC Free Video Editor, which are great free options.

Can you use HandBrake to rip DVDs?

Yes, HandBrake can rip any DVD or Blu-Ray discs that are not copy protected.

Can HandBrake compress 4K videos?

Yes, HandBrake can compress any 4K video to reduce video size, while converting the video format at the same time.

Is Handbrake better than FFmpeg?

Both HandBrake and FFmpeg are free and open source, both are compatible with Windows, macOS, and Linux, and both can convert video files. The difference is that Handbrake uses a GUI (graphical user interface) to convert media files, while FFmpeg uses the command line to encode or decode video files. In fact, Handbrake uses FFmpeg internally for conversion. Another difference is that Handbrake supports DVD and Blu-Ray video as input, while FFmpeg does not. Also, Handbrake only offers MKV and MP4 output, while FFmpeg supports many video output formats.

Features

One of HandBrake's strengths is its ability to open a wide variety of video formats. HandBrake uses FFmpeg under the hood and generally can open whatever FFmpeg will, in addition to disc-based formats like DVD and Blu-ray. HandBrake does not defeat or circumvent copy protection of any kind. It does not work with video files employing Digital Rights Management (DRM).

HandBrake's software video encoders, video filters, audio encoders, and other processes benefit from fast CPU and memory. HandBrake's hardware video encoders also benefit from modern GPU hardware.

Built-in Device Presets

Get started with HandBrake in seconds by choosing a profile optimised for your device, or choose a universal profile for standard or high quality conversions. Simple, easy, fast. For those that want more choice, tweak many basic and advanced options to improve your encodes.

Supported Input Sources

Handbrake can process most common multimedia files and any DVD or Blu Ray sources that do not contain any kind of copy protection.

Outputs

  • File Containers: .MP4(.M4V) and .MKV
  • Video Encoders: H.265 (x265 and QuickSync), H.264(x264 and QuickSync), H.265 MPEG-4 and MPEG-2, VP8, VP9 and Theora
  • Audio Encoders: AAC / HE-AAC, MP3, Flac, AC3, or Vorbis
  • Audio Pass-thru: AC-3, E-AC3, DTS, DTS-HD, TrueHD, AAC and MP3 tracks

Even more features

  • Title / chapter and range selection
  • Batch Scan and Queueing of encodes
  • Chapter Markers
  • Subtitles (VobSub, Closed Captions CEA-608, SSA, SRT)
  • Constant Quality or Average Bitrate Video Encoding
  • Support for VFR and CFR
  • Video Filters: Deinterlacing, Decomb, Denoise, Detelecine, Deblock, Grayscale, Cropping and scaling
  • Live Static and Video Preview

What's New

  • Beta version updated to 20240205

1.7.2 Release Notes:

Video

  • Improved automatic selection of Dolby Vision Level
  • Fixed an issue in AMD VCN, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, NVIDIA NVENC, and VP9 encoders that could cause the creation of an excessive number of keyframes (#5530)
  • Fixed unintentional automatic pass through of closed caption side data when using NVIDIA NVENC encoder
  • Miscellaneous bug fixes and improvements

Linux

  • Improved performance by removing duplicate graphic assets and reducing file size
  • Fixed Flatpak file chooser opening home directory instead of the previously selected directory
  • Fixed last item in the queue sometimes having the wrong destination path
  • Fixed some memory leaks in the graphical interface

Mac

  • Added a workaround to prevent a system crash when using VideoToolbox encoders with macOS 14 Sonoma on Apple Silicon Ultra
  • Added a workaround to prevent issues decoding H.264 video by disabling VideoToolbox hardware decoding for Level 6.1 and 6.2
  • Fixed a crash opening an empty folder

Windows

  • Added Automation Properties to some controls on the audio tab to assist screen readers
  • Fixed NVIDIA NVDEC option being ignored (#5569)
  • Fixed startup crash related to theme loading (#5567)
  • Fixed subtitle language order not being honoured (#5590)

1.7.0 Release Notes:

General

  • Added Apple VideoToolbox hardware presets
  • Updated Creator presets
  • Disabled interlacing detection and removal; assume creators are working with progressive sources by default
  • Updated Social presets
  • Target higher quality and frame rate over shorter durations, without interlacing detection and removal
  • Better suited for modern social sharing of short live action clips and screen/game captures
  • Removed Email presets in favor of revised Social presets
  • Please stop sending videos via email or use the new Social presets
  • Miscellaneous bug fixes and improvements

Video

  • Added AMD VCN AV1 encoder
  • Added NVIDIA NVENC AV1 encoder
  • Added support for SVT-AV1 multi-pass ABR mode
  • Added support for preserving ambient viewing enviroment metadata
  • Added QSV Rotate and Format filters
  • Improved performance on arm64 / aarch64 / Apple Silicon architectures
  • Latest FFmpeg provides faster HEVC decoding, 30% faster bwdif filter
  • New SVT-AV1 assembly optimizations provide up to 4x increase in performance
  • Improved video conversion speed by removing unneeded frame copies for better memory efficiency
  • Improved Dolby Vision dynamic range metadata pass through
  • Supported encoders: x265 10-bit
  • Supported profiles and cross-compatibility IDs: 8.4, 8.1, 7.6 (base layer only, converted to 8.1), 5.0
  • Improved HDR10+ dynamic range metadata pass through
  • Supported encoders: x265 10-bit, SVT-AV1
  • Improved QSV support on Linux (#4958)
  • Updated NVENC to not use multi-pass by default; user configurable advanced option
  • Renamed 2-pass encode option to multi-pass (#5019)
  • Fixed Intel QSV encoder outputting green video in some cases (#4842, #4876)
  • Fixed pixel format conversion slightly altering colors when using a 10-bit hardware encoder (#5011)
  • Fixed scan failures by using swscale instead of zscale when source resolution is not mod 2
  • Fixed incorrect PAR when reading from an anamorphic AV1 video track
  • Removed an artificial bitrate limit on VP9 CQ mode

Command line interface

  • Renamed --two-pass to --multi-pass and --no-two-pass to --no-multi-pass, removed -2 (#5019)
  • Fixed automatic cropping enabled despite using preset with cropping disabled (#5055)

Audio

  • Fixed low volume level when downmixing ac3 and eac3
  • Fixed left-only and right-only mono mixdowns (#3533, #5054)

Subtitles

  • Fixed locale settings potentially causing incorrect decimal separator in SSA headers
  • Fixed a potential issue affecting zero-duration subtitles

Build system

  • Added Meson build system for the Linux GUI

Third-party libraries

  • New libraries
  • libdovi 3.2.0 (Dolby Vision dynamic range metadata)

Updated libraries

  • AMF 1.4.30 (AMD VCN video encoding)
  • FFmpeg 6.1 (decoding and filters)
  • FreeType 2.13.2 (subtitles)
  • Fribidi 1.0.13 (subtitles)
  • HarfBuzz 8.2.2 (subtitles)
  • libass 0.17.1 (subtitles)
  • libdav1d 1.3.0 (AV1 video decoding)
  • liblzma (xz) 5.4.5 (LZMA video decoding, e.g. TIFF)
  • libopus 1.4 (Opus audio encoding)
  • libjpeg-turbo 3.0.1 (preview image compression)
  • libvpx 1.13.1 (VP8/VP9 video encoding)
  • libxml 2.11.5 (general)
  • oneVPL 2023.3.1 (Intel QSV video encoding/decoding)
  • SVT-AV1 1.7 (AV1 video encoding)
  • x264 164 r3107 (H.264/AVC video encoding)
  • x265 r12776 (H.265/HEVC video encoding)
  • zimg 3.0.5 (color conversion)
  • zlib 1.3 (general)

Linux

  • Added drag and drop support for video scanning
  • Added support for native file choosers via xdg-desktop-portal
  • Added Queue > Add All menu option
  • Added XML chapter import and export
  • Added bit depth and HDR information to video summary
  • Added option to pause encoding when switching to battery power or when power save mode is activated
  • Added automatic file naming options: {codec} {bit-depth} {width} {height} {modification-date} {modification-time}
  • Updated Queue, Activity, and Presets windows to no longer float on top of the main window
  • Updated existing translations
  • Removed obsolete update checker
  • Miscellaneous bug fixes and improvements

Mac

  • Added support for drag and drop of multiple files at once
  • Added support for selecting multiple files at once in the Open Source dialog
  • Added support for recursive folder scanning in the Open Source dialog
  • Added support for VideoToolbox H.265/HEVC, H.264/AVC, ProRes, and VP9 hardware decoders on macOS 13 and later
  • Enable/disable in the Preferences > Advanced tab always or full path only
  • Using hardware decoders on modern devices may decrease CPU usage and thus speed up some filters and encoding
  • Added GPU accelerated Crop & Scale, Rotate, Pad, Yadif, Bwdif, Chroma Smooth, Unsharp, Lasharp, Grayscale filters
  • Added "Same as source" destination option that automatically sets the destination path to the source path
  • Improved SVT-AV1 encoding performance by up to 4x on Apple Silicon Macs
  • Improved automatic file naming Preferences UI and added new options: {width} {height} {quality_type} {encoder_bit_depth} {modification-time} {modification-date} {codec} {encoder} {encoder_bit_depth} {preset}
  • Improved handling of security scoped bookmarks
  • Fixed Chroma Smooth tune options
  • Fixed Deblock Filter custom string field
  • Fixed an issue that prevented the VideoToolbox "speed" preset from being used
  • Fixed the file size display on the queue statistics window when file size info is not available
  • Miscellaneous bug fixes and improvements
  • Added new translations
  • Korean (�*�국�-')
  • Bulgarian (�'ÑлгаÑÑки)
  • Updated existing translations

Windows

  • Added support for drag and drop of multiple files at once
  • Added support for selecting multiple files at once in the Open Source dialog
  • Added support for recursive folder scanning in the Open Source dialog
  • Enable/disable in Preferences > Advanced
  • Added support for excluding file extensions when opening files in batch mode
  • Default exclusions are common image, subtitles, and text file extensions; edit list in Preferences > Advanced
  • Improved Preview window native video playback to support most containers and codecs
  • Modern codec support requires Microsoft Codec Packs from the Microsoft Store
  • Improved automatic file naming Preferences UI and added new options: {width} {height} {quality_type} {encoder_bit_depth} {modification-time} {modification-date} {encoder} {encoder_bit_depth} {preset}
  • Improved Queue window UI to optionally show additional status information on the left progress panel
  • Improved Presets panel
  • Manage Presets button replaced with a menu of discrete options for quicker access to functionality
  • Added an option to display the description for the selected preset
  • Added the ability to clone a preset (create a new preset based on an existing one)
  • Improved Add Selection window to make sorting feature more discoverable
  • Improved Process Isolation reliability
  • Fixed automatic file naming when using physical drive sources (#4859)
  • Fixed Title Specific Scan for physical drive sources (#4921)
  • Fixed an potential issue that could cause an unmodified preset to display as "modified" (#4909, #4908)
  • Fixed an potential issue where changes to queue order were not retained (#4922)
  • Fixed an Audio tab issue where using a non-fallback encoder could lead to duplicated tracks (#5012)
  • Fixed an issue where swapping graphics cards might cause hardware presets to be incorrectly shown as disabled
  • Fixed a potential crash on startup related to Windows Notifications Service failures (#5097)
  • Miscellaneous bug fixes and improvements
  • Added new translations
  • Czech (Äesky) (partially complete)
  • Greek (Ελληνικά) (partially complete)
  • Estonian (Eesti) (partially complete)
  • Basque (Euskara)
  • Finnish (Suomi) (partially complete)
  • Updated existing translations