Starting encoding

Now that you’ve got all your settings just right, it’s time to make your new video!

Selecting a destination

Destination is where your new video will go. You can select the Browse... button to choose a new location and name, or type it directly in the box.

Selecting a destination
Destination is where HandBrake will put your new video.
Browsing for a destination
Select the Browse button to choose a different location and name.

Please take special care to note your destination. Otherwise, you won’t be able to find your new video. You can move it later if you desire.

Starting the encode

Select the Start button on the toolbar to make your new video.

Main window toolbar
The Toolbar provides easy access to HandBrake’s most common functions.
Starting an encode
The Start button begins encoding your new video.

Video encoding requires a lot of computer resources and can take awhile to complete. Some videos may take minutes to create; others may take hours.1

Encode progress
HandBrake reports its progress during encoding.
Encoding complete alert
HandBrake shows an alert when finished encoding.

HandBrake will report its progress while it’s working and alert you when it’s finished. Then you will have a new video file at the Destination you specified.

Destination in Finder
Your new video is located at the Destination you specified.

Congratulations! You just encoded your first video using HandBrake. It’s now ready to watch on your devices.

Next steps

If you didn’t get a video file as expected, encountered an error, or had some other trouble, you can continue reading to learn more about how HandBrake works or jump right to Troubleshooting common issues.

Continue to Multiple encodes using the Queue.


  1. Encoding time depends on multiple factors, including the duration, resolution, and complexity of your Source; the settings used to make your new video; and the speed and computation power of your machine.