Downloading and installing HandBrake

HandBrake is available for Linux, Mac, and Windows, at the HandBrake website.

This is the only official download source for HandBrake. For more information, see Where to get HandBrake.


Most modern computers can run HandBrake. To be sure your system meets the minimum requirements, see System requirements in the technical documentation.

To download HandBrake to your computer, click the download button on the HandBrake website’s Home page. You can also choose a version for a specific operating system from the Downloads page.

Experienced users may wish to try HandBrake’s nightly builds1.

Installing on Linux

If you have installed a HandBrake package from your distribution or other third-party package repository, please remove it before proceeding. See the section, Warning about broken third-party builds on Where to get HandBrake for more information.

The following instructions are for Ubuntu. They may also work on other deb-compatible distributions. For other Linux, please compile from the official source code.

From the command line, add the official releases PPA to your system.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:stebbins/handbrake-releases
sudo apt-get update

If you prefer HandBrake’s nightly builds, add the official git-snapshots PPA.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:stebbins/handbrake-git-snapshots
sudo apt-get update

Install HandBrake.

sudo apt-get install handbrake-cli handbrake-gtk

Run HandBrakeCLI to use HandBrake on the command line.

Run ghb to launch HandBrake’s graphical user interface. You may wish to right-click on the icon and select “Lock to Launcher” for easy access in the future.

Installing on Mac

Once you’ve downloaded HandBrake for Mac, open the DMG file in your Downloads folder. Your web browser (e.g. Safari, Firefox, or Chrome) may do this for you automatically. Then drag the HandBrake application to your Applications folder.

Installing HandBrake on Mac
Drag HandBrake to your Applications folder to install it on your Mac.

HandBrake is now installed. You may eject the disk image and move it to the Trash.

Mac Gatekeeper

The first time you attempt to launch HandBrake, your Mac may present this message to you2:

Mac Gatekeeper message
Gatekeeper may present this message when launching HandBrake for the first time.

This message doesn’t mean anything is wrong; rather, it indicates that HandBrake is not part of Apple’s paid program to validate Mac applications. Select OK to dismiss the Gatekeeper message.

Hold down the Control key and select the HandBrake icon to bring up the shortcut menu. Select Open and your Mac will ask whether you are certain you wish to open HandBrake. Confirm that you want to trust HandBrake by again selecting Open.3

Opening HandBrake using Finder's shortcut menu
Launching HandBrake using the Open option in the Finder’s shortcut menu will bypass the initial Gatekeeper message.
Gatekeeper message with Open option
Gatekeeper may also present this message when launching HandBrake for the first time. Selecting Open will tell Gatekeeper to trust HandBrake.

Now HandBrake is up and running. You should not have to repeat this process in the near future.

Installing on Windows

Once you’ve downloaded the HandBrake installer, simply double click to run it.

If HandBrake is already installed on your computer, the installer will offer to remove the previous version before installing the current version. Select OK to proceed and review HandBrake’s license terms.

HandBrake Windows installer: removing previous versions
The HandBrake installer will offer to remove previous versions before installing the current version.
HandBrake Windows installer
HandBrake’s Windows installer.

Next, the installer will ask you where you wish to install HandBrake. Unless you have a specific reason to change this, select Install to continue. Once the installation is complete, you may select Finish to exit the installer.

HandBrake for Windows installation progress
The installer will report its progress.
HandBrake for Windows installation complete
HandBrake is now installed.

You will find shortcuts for launching HandBrake placed on both the Windows Desktop and Start Menu.

Windows SmartScreen

When installing on Windows 8 or 10 with Windows SmartScreen enabled, you may see a message indicating that the HandBrake installer is not recognized by Windows.

Windows SmartScreen
Windows SmartScreen may present this message. Select More info to see more options.

HandBrake is not “signed” by Microsoft. This message doesn’t mean anything is wrong; rather, it indicates that HandBrake is not part of Microsoft’s paid program to validate Windows applications.

By selecting More info, you will be able to select Run anyway to continue the installation.

Windows SmartScreen - Run Anyway
Select Run anyway to dismiss the SmartScreen message and continue installing HandBrake.

Launching HandBrake

You may launch HandBrake by quickly clicking twice (double-clicking) on the cocktail & pineapple icon. Depending on your system settings, a single click may suffice.

HandBrake iconDouble-clicking HandBrake icon

Next steps

Continue to Checking for updates.

  1. Nightly builds are based on HandBrake’s latest development code, including new and experimental features that may be unstable or significantly different than the latest release version. Although everyone is welcome to try them, nightly builds are best suited for experienced users and developers.

  2. If Gatekeeper is disabled on your Mac, you may not see this message.

  3. These instructions are taken directly from Apple’s Gatekeeper support documents. You can learn more about Gatekeeper here and here.