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copy cd to pc

It’s one of the most commonly asked tech questions on the internet and can be a big part in learning how to use computers, so we’ve put together a brief guide on how to copy a CD & DVD to your PC


CD come with various file formats and ways to extract the information. Depending on what information you have on the CD changes the way you extract the information.


Protected information on a CD will usually be Music. If you buy an official CD album/single there is a good chance it will be protected. To get the music onto a PC you need to use extracting software to ‘Rip’ (meaning copy and paste) the files from the CD. The most simple and easy to use programmes tend to be iTunes or Windows Media Player but any software that can ‘rip’ will work.

It’s a super simple process:

  • Insert the CD
  • You will usually be prompted with this dialogue box

audio rip box

  • Select the “Rip Music From CD Option”
  • The PC will then automatically import the CD into ‘My Music’ using Windows Media Player (or iTunes)- Should take a few minutes
  • When complete the Contents of the CD will be copied into the ‘Music’ folder and be accessible from Windows Media Player/iTunes or whatever software you use
  • Note you can chose any media player you like and the process will be similar.

Unprotected files

Many CD’s will have had files added without encryption. Pictures, Personal Recordings, Documents and Home Movies.

These files can be dragged and dropped from the CD to your computer.

The way to do this is to:

  •  Insert the CD
  • You’ll see a similar dialogue box as before, but this time press the “open to view files option”


  • This will open to a screen with all the files in- They will be shown as separate icons
  • Select the files you want and drag them into the folder you want them in- In this case pictures are to be dragged to the ‘Pictures’ Folder

cd rip 2


DVD’s can carry much larger files and are therefore useful for Video.

For unprotected files you can use the same Drag & Drop technique for DVD as shown for CD’s

For Protected DVD’s the situation is a little different. As DVD’s tend to house movies the restrictions are far stricter. It’s technically illegal to Rip a movie from a DVD, even if it’s your DVD for personal use. It’s crazy, we all agree but that is the law. This is why the big firms like Windows and Apple don’t have official software that will rip your movies. This law has been challenged repeatedly over the years but rebuffed each time.

So, having said that, if you do have a DVD that you have the full rights to Rip the content for, all you need is software that will import the files. DivX, Roxio and a host of third party internet programs can help you there. Ebuyer does not endorse or review these programmes so check with an external source before you go ahead and rip.

The process from there onwards is as simple as importing a CD, but just takes longer due to its size.


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