Frequently Asked Questions about HandBrake




Windows GUI



What is HandBrake?

HandBrake is an open-source, GPL-licensed, multiplatform, multithreaded video transcoder, available for Mac OS X, Linux and Windows. It's video transcoder that takes your videos and transfers them to a format that's useful on your computers, media centers, and portable electronic devices. It converts most any video formats to a handful of modern ones.

Can I donate to the project?

We are honored by your desire to help, but unlike some other open-source projects, we are neither willing nor able to accept material donations of any kind. Too many complications can arise from acceptance of such offers, and we’d rather stand on our own unindebted to others and in good stead than for something unexpected to arise and risk bad blood with our users.


HandBrake appears to get stuck "Scanning Title x of x" or displays the message "No Title(s) found....". How do I fix this?

It means that one of the following are the case:

a) You've selected an input source which is in a format which HandBrake does not supported. (Find different software that supports the format.)
b) Your source is copy protected. (HandBrake is not a ripper, it does not support removal of copy protection.)
c) It's badly mastered or broken. (Find software to fix the source file)
d) Whatever software you used to remove the copy protection, either didn't do it's job, or broke something in the transfer. (Try different software)

Why are my chapters out of order? - OR - My source has a large number of titles, which one do I pick?

Sometimes, DVDs will contain many "dummy" titles to hide the real main feature. To verify you have the right title selected, play the movie in a DVD playing application, and see which title it uses.

See also: HandBr. stuck during scan, chapters out of order? Read this!

Source won't transcode? Try these steps:

First off, you should know that HandBrake is not a DVD/Blu-ray ripper. There are many of those out there. HandBrake's about video conversion, not stripping copy protection. For best results, you should feed HandBrake unprotected video.

My MP4 does not play after encoding and I get "MP4ERROR: (m_size <= (uint64_t)0xFFFFFFFF): assert failure" in the logs

Check the "Large file size" checkbox.

By Default, HandBrake outputs MP4 files with 32-bit chunk offset atoms (stco). This means that if the file grows above 4GB, it will be rendered useless.
Enabling this option will force HandBrake to use 64-bit chunk offset atoms (co64), however some devices do not support this.

As support improves, this option will likely become default in future versions of HandBrake.

The Constant Quality scale does not make sense, is there any documentation that explains how it works?

Read the Constant Quality Guide.

How do I add or modify chapters in an existing MP4 file?

Mac OS X: Subler
Microsoft Windows: Drax

I just want audio, not video. Can I do that?

Not with HandBrake, no.

My presets appear to be broken after upgrading HandBrake. How do I fix this?

Built-in presets will automatically update when you install a new version. If you have problems, you can try deleting the presets file and letting the application rebuilt it the next time it launches.

Any custom presets that you create will *NOT* be upgraded. There is often no easy way to upgrade presets so we recommend you re-create them when you upgrade to a new version. Again, if you have troubles, it's worth deleting the old presets file as it has been known to become corrupted during upgrades.

You can find the location of the presets files here

How do I use HandBrake to import my DVD into iMovie / Final Cut or other Video Editing software?

We strongly recommend against doing this.

HandBrake does not currently support any lossless intermediate codecs for encoding, therefore, if you convert video with HandBrake you will be throwing away quality for no reason.

Instead, we recommend use of another tool (MPEG Streamclip is one solution) to convert your DVD to a less-lossy intermediate format called DV, which will import into most editing software but result in far less generational loss (thus improving the quality of the final output). There are no plans to introduce DV output in HandBrake.

Mac Platform

How do I scan a single title in multi- title sources (dvd)?

Use Open Source (Title Specific ...).

It is a variation on how HandBrake normally opens a source. Normally when you choose a source in the open source window, the HandBrake does a full scan of the entire source, including all titles and chapters, etc. Now this is very convenient as the interface can load up all info from the dvd and allow you to select what you want right in the main window. However, with the advent of advanced copy protection including dummy cells, zero cells, and intentional "fringe" dvd mastering (to the point where some dvd's barely play on set top players) a full source scan can cause HandBrake to crash or otherwise fall on its face.

In these instances, it may help to use Open Source (Title Specific) where the HandBrake UIs act more like the cli in that you can specify just the exact title you want to open, avoiding much of the cruft that can come with a full source scan.

Here's how to use it (you will need to know the title number you wish to open, you can find this a number of ways like using dvdplayer and noting the title number of the main feature):

  1. Go to File -> Open Source (Title Specific) ...

Note: if you have just fired up HB and are presented with the Open Source window right at launch. Just cancel that window and then do this step.

  1. You will now be presented with the exact same Open Source window you are used to seeing. Choose your source as you normally would.
  1. Now you will be asked which title number you want to scan. Enter the title number that you got from running or the like.
  1. Click the "Open Title" button.

HandBrake will now just scan that title, hopefully bypassing some of the cruft in your source.

See also: HandBr. stuck during scan, chapters out of order? Read this!

Windows GUI

Where can I download the Microsoft .NET framework 4.0 Client Profile?

If you are running WIndows 7, it is available via Windows update.
Alternatively, you can download it from the Microsoft Website

Please Note: HandBrake only requires the "Client Profile" of the .NET Framework, not the Full framework installer.

HandBrake crashes or won't launch.

  1. Reinstall Microsoft .NET Framework 4.0, see Where can I download the Microsoft .NET framework 4.0?
  2. Uninstall HandBrake. There is a shortcut for this in the start menu group.
  3. Delete the HandBrake config file directories:

For 2000/XP

C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Application Data\HandBrake 
and possibly
C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Local Settings\Application Data\HandBrake

For Vista

C:\Users\<username>\Application Data\HandBrake
and possibly
C:\Users\<username>\Local Settings\Application Data\HandBrake

For Windows 7

  1. Clear your system temp folders by using the "Disk Cleanup" tool that ships with Windows.
  2. Re download HandBrake from the website, and install it.


Contributing Code

Code contributions are welcome from anyone, though only registered developers can check in code changes. Please see the Contribute page for more details.

Where do I start?

Please see Development Information part of the wiki.

Why doesn't HandBrake use my system libraries?

We statically link the required libraries for HandBrake for several reasons.

  • Many of the libraries are patched during our build process and these patches have not yet been accepted by upstream projects.
  • In order to provide a consistent experience, we need specific revisions of libraries which are rarely included in distributions which either have older or newer builds which may or may not work as expected.

Last modified 3 years ago Last modified on 08/26/13 17:31:06