How do I add multiple files into the queue at once in HandBrake?

I heard that multiple files can be added to the queue by selecting the folder. But when I select the folder as source, only the first file is added, rather than all the files.

Am I missing something?


After adding the folder as the source, File>Add All Titles To Queue

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  • I can't get the settings to apply to all the files. I select add all titles to queue, then it asks if I want to use the current settings, I click yes, but the settings seem to be reset. – Harry Jan 19 '13 at 6:28
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    @Harry I think you need to save the current settings as a preset. – Antony Stubbs Feb 10 '16 at 21:55
  • It's not correct. File>Add Titles To Queue...>Check all titles you want>Add. Also you probably need to go to Preferences>General>Output Files>"Turn on Automatically name output files" – Jonny Oct 28 '17 at 16:11
  • The key is that you need to select the FOLDER as your source, THEN add files, which is really counter-intuitive. Should be one or the other, not both. – SMBiggs Sep 27 at 21:48

I've wondered about automating HandBrake using the command line interface (CLI) and Automator. Here's a tutorial that covers lots of details of using the CLI, though I think it only processes one file at a time, rather than building a queue: http://www.mactalk.com.au/18/87490-guide-convert-movies-ipod-format-one-click-finder.html

While looking for a solution to answer this question, I came upon a thread about using Hazel (instead of Automator - not free): http://www.noodlesoft.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=859&p=3356#p3356

For the amount of labor I go through when converting videos, I'm considering giving this a try since it can help with other tasks such as copying to iTunes and my NAS.

For reference, here's a link to HandBrake's CLI Guide: https://trac.handbrake.fr/wiki/CLIGuide

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Here's your answer. It's a Handbrake add-on for Automator.

Download the most recent zip, open it, double-click on the automator action to add the Handbrake action to Automator.

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If you want more control over the HandBrake/Automator integration, I wrote a blog post covering a custom Service I made with Automator that uses AppleScript to talk to the CLI.


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  • Hi can you modify your script to include subtitles please? – Harry Dec 6 '12 at 23:21
  • @Harry I can't think of a good general-purpose way to add subtitles, which would work for everybody. If you'd like more information to add it to the AppleScript it runs, this link should help: trac.handbrake.fr/wiki/CLIGuide#SubtitleOptions That way, you will get your subtitles exactly how you like them. – Dov Dec 8 '12 at 2:02
  • @Harry this tool is incredible. I shall pour over it to learn. :-) – Danijel-James W Dec 18 '13 at 13:25

The only way to set up multiple files for processing is to use the 'Add to Queue' button (or the B shortcut) in Handbrake.

This is by design as Handbrake requires you specify a destination folder and file name for the converted video file. If you were able to add all files in a folder, how would Handbrake know the unique output location and name for each rendered file? It doesn't make any guesses about those things, it requires the user to specify them for each render.

Once you've staged each file in the queue you can use the Start button (or the S shortcut) to tell Handbrake to begin processing the queue.

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  • Thanks, I appreciate your answer, but come on, If you were able to add all files in a folder, how would Handbrake know the unique output location and name for each rendered file? Same location as the previous file? Don't change the name? Lol. – Harry Dec 18 '11 at 20:04
  • @Harry you'll have to take that up with the Handbrake developers. They've written in no logic to guess an output file name. You'll notice that's the case when you load new input files, output stays the same. I didn't write it, so your complaints are lost on me. – Ian C. Dec 19 '11 at 2:51
  • Actually, it ALWAYS guesses an output name when selecting a source file. It is the same as the original file name with a new suffix. – Andreas Wederbrand Aug 4 '12 at 17:16
  • @andreas yes, it's been improved since this question and answer were written. – Ian C. Aug 4 '12 at 23:49

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