How to Play Different Region DVDs on Your Mac (Mountain Lion Included)

Thanks to a stupid law, every DVD player (that includes the one in your computer) is sold being able to play only discs with the same region as the country it was sold in. That includes Macs too, sort of. On a new Mac, the DVD drive is automatically locked to the region code of the first DVD it is used with. From then on, this can only be changed four more times.

play different region DVD's on your Mac

You pretty much have two choices — either find the region code that you'll be using the most and set it to that one (since the four times are going to be used up sooner or later) — or "flash" your drive to the region free, which goes with the risk of destroying the drive.

When you insert a DVD with a different region with the one of your drive, you get the dialog above. If you click cancel at this point, the DVD will be ejected, so Cntl + Click on the DVD Player icon, hold down the Option/Alt key and then click Force Quit (you can set DVD player not to open when a DVD is inserted in System Preferences).

play different region DVD's on your Mac

Download and install VLC and open it, then select File > Open Disc.

play different region DVD's on your Mac

Click on the Disc tab -> click on DVD -> select the device -> click OK (usually this is selected by default). The DVD will now play, and your region code will remain intact.


I had switched regions a few times and had maybe 1 or 2 times left. Then I had to reformat my mac for other reasons and afterwards noticed that the region restriction was reset. Of course I wouldn't recommend reformatting your computer just for that - as it can be a long and arduous task. However, if you are desperate and don't want to use a third-party app, then this is one way to resolve your problem.
No. An all-region disc does not require a key from the player, so playing one does not set your drive to \"region 0\" or \"all region\" and does not use up a region change.
Hello, what can be done if I had already used the other four time? Now, my DVD driver is locked on zone 2 and I would like to get it back to zone 1. Thanks by advance.
You\'re right, some DVDs use the latest encryption to prevent others from ripping or playing. If you have Aimersoft DVD Ripper, use it to convert DVD to MOV format then you can play MOV files with DVD Player app.
Thank you for your reply. Before I do that...are you sure it isn\'t just because those videos are \'encrypted\' or \'protected\'? Turns out it\'s not just the USA videos. Also, when I tried to \'rip\' them (with Aimersoft DVD) the encrypted or protected ones wouldn\'t rip. (Which makes sense.) Annoying though...I just want to watch a DVD and my iMac computer\'s DVD player has run out of \'region changes\'. The less popular videos will rip...and they\'ll also play on VLC.
No , it doesn\'t work (unless I\'m wrong!), i.e. it still won\'t play in VLC when the DVD is \'protected\' (so that it can\'t be \'ripped\').
In that case, I suggest you to convert the DVD file to a playable standard format, say, MP4, which can be supported by many devices or players. Here you can refer to the following tutorial on how to make a DVD watchable:
Ps. I have VLC downloaded (and know how to get DVDs to play on it) but only a very few DVDs will seems that most of the USA ones won\'t play. Do you have any idea why that would be? Thank you again.
Does anyone know how to fix this? I actually bought an external dvd drive in order to watch foreign dvds on my Mac, since it\'s so stupid you can only change it 5 times. Ok, so at the beginning it worked fine using VLC and had no problems, but due to probably some update in the operating system now I can\'t even watch other region dvds on my external dvd player. It\'s ridiculous, I understand why they do it in their own products but they are getting so anal about this. Now in order to watch them I have to open Windows through Parallels and open VLC and then my foreign zone dvd plays fine. Does anyone know why VLC does not work anymore or my external dvd drive won\'t play foreign dvds on Mac but it will on Windows?
If you go to system preferences > CD\'s & DVD\'s, where it says When you insert a video DVD choose open other application and choose vlc, every time you enter a DVD, VLC will open instead of DVD Player.
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