Can You Play Blu-ray DVDs on Your Laptop?

You have an extensive collection of Blue-Ray DVDs, but can you play them on your laptop?

The answer to this question is sometimes.

Have you ever put a Blue-Ray disc into your drive and then nothing happens?

This is a fairly common occurrence because the fact is that Blue-Ray is not compatible with all laptop media drives.

There are a few ways that you can tell if your laptop drive will play Blue-Ray disks.

We will discuss the different options to check if your laptop is Blue-Ray compatible in this post. So, let’s get right into it.

How to know if your Laptop can play Blue-Ray DVDs

Blu-ray Disc

One of the most obvious things to check for on your laptop is a sticker with “Blue-Ray” on it somewhere on your machine.

It may be on the bottom of your laptop, on the top, or on one of the sides.

If you don’t see a sticker, your next option is to look at the system settings for your laptop.

You need to look for your media disk drive in your system settings to see what specifications it has.

If your laptop is pretty old, then this is just likely to be CDs and DVDs.

You should be able to find out if your disk drive can write to these disk formats as well. The spec will also tell you if your drive is Blue-Ray compatible or not.

Another thing that you need to know is that even if your disk drive is Blue-Ray compatible, you may put in a Blue-Ray disk, and then nothing happens. This is because you need special software to play Blue-Ray on your laptop. 

You can download an app from here to check if your laptop is OK to play Blue-Ray disks. This is totally free, but you will need to enter your name, email address, and country to download the app. The download size is less than 20 MB.

Check out: The best portable DVD players

The Cyberlink app will allow you to check if your laptop is compatible with normal Blue-Ray, Blue-Ray 3D, and ultra HD Blue-Ray. It is easiest to choose the standard Blue-Ray check because if your laptop does not support this, it will not support the others.

You need Windows 7 or above on your laptop to play Blue-Ray and a minimum of 4 GB of RAM. The app will also check that your disk drive is Blue-Ray compatible and that you have an appropriate graphics card.

If you want to play Blue-Ray on your laptop and do not have the right hardware, it may be possible to upgrade.

The first thing you need to check is if you can update your graphics card if the one that exists is not up to the job of playing Blue-Ray.

It is often difficult or even impossible to upgrade graphics cards on laptops.

If your graphics card passes the Blue-Ray test but you do not have a compatible disk drive, you can look at upgrading your drive. If this is not possible, then there are external USB Blue-Ray drives available.

If you have a Mac laptop, please note that Apple does not make any Blue-Ray disk drives. 

There is an external USB super drive that you can buy, but this has no support for Blue-Ray. You will need to use a third-party external Blue-Ray here.

How to Play Blue-Ray Disks on your Laptop

The way you can play Blue-Ray disks on your laptop depends on the operating system you have.

We will discuss Mac laptops a little later, but it needs to have at least Windows 7 installed if you have a Windows laptop.

On Windows laptops

There is a free method to watch Blue-Ray disks on a Windows 7 or Windows 8 laptop, and that is to convert your Blue-Ray disks into digital format. Unfortunately, it takes a long time to do this and it is easy to make mistakes here. 

You will need the MakeMKV app and the Handbrake app, which are both free to download. Use the MakeMKV app to grab the Blue-Ray data and then use Handbrake to compress the data you retrieve.

If you don’t compress the data, the file size will be very large and if you have a lot of Blue-Ray disks, you will soon fill up your internal storage.

You can use VLC Media Player to watch Blue-Ray disks on your laptop without the need to convert them. There are a few tweaks required to VLC, but it is a good option. 

There are premium applications for playing Blue-Ray on your laptop and one of the best available is Power DVD 19 from Cyberlink. It costs around $70, but it will play all the different kinds of Blue-Ray disks.

Not only that, but Power DVD 21 will also play ISO files from either DVDs or Blue-Ray disks and it can also play videos from sites like Vimeo and YouTube. It will even play 360º video. It works straight out of the box. You will need the 64-bit version of Windows 7, 8, or 10 to use Power DVD 21 from Cyberlink.

On Macbooks

If you have a Mac, then Cyberlink Power DVD 21 is not an option for you as it is only compatible with Windows.

Aiseesoft has a Mac Blue-Ray player that is reasonably cheap and has some good features. For example, you can play a Blue-Ray from an ISO file if you want to play directly from a Blue-Ray disk.

The Mac Blue-Ray player will also play 4K and HD resolution. Of course, your Mac laptop will need to have the hardware to support the playing of 4K.

With this player, you can also play most video formats such as MP4, MOV, AVI, MKV, and more. At the time of writing, a lifetime license for the Mac Blue-Ray player was $39.20.


Most modern Windows laptops will be compatible with Blue-Ray, but it is best to check this first if you purchase a new laptop.

Remember that it is not just a matter of having a Blue-Ray compatible disk drive; you need a graphics card that can handle Blue-Ray as well. Then you will need software that can play Blue-Ray.

If you have a Mac laptop, you are stuck with third-party options as Apple does not support Blue-Ray.

There are external Blue-Ray drives available and apps to play the disks as well. We sincerely hope that this guide answered the question, “can you play Blue-Ray DVDs on your laptop?”

Chris Martin is a professional tech writer. He's been covering tech tutorials, hardware reviews, and more as a professional writer for over seven years now and it doesn't look like he'll be stopping anytime soon! In addition to writing about the latest gadgets on the market, he also covers topics such as how to set up your home network or troubleshoot any computer problems you may have.

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