I warn against the use of this instructable for illegal activity. I have provided this information for learning and entertainment use only. I take no legal or moral responsibilty for your actions.

Now that that is out of the way, some backstory. I started this project when my Dad bought dvd's from a Hollywood Video that was about an hour away, brought them home, and found that the cashier had left in the security bar that keeps you from opening the box. After tearing apart one box, utterly destroying it, i figured out a better way.

This is my first instructable. I will be trying to improve my skills as i continue to produce further articles.

Step 1: Gather Your Materials

First off, gather your materials. They are:

A movie with the red thing inside it (image two)

An incredibly strong magnet

A smaller but still strong magnet

The incredibly strong magnet was hard to come by for me. I tried making an electromagnet, but i couldn't get it strong enough. I don't have the money to go out or order from one of those retailers, so i spent two afternoons drilling through an old 3 gig hard drive (i told you it was old). The magnets inside harddrives are amazingly strong, so strong they can chip and break if you let them snap together, so be careful. The smaller magnets i bought at a Storables. Just look for any office supply store and look around the whiteboards.

Step 2: Lets Take a Lookie at That Red Thing

Though very simple in mechanics, the little red thing (from now on refered to as the lock) is made up of two parts. The first part is a small metal block that is wedged into the end of the lock, which i couldn't get a picture of that wasn't in shadow.
The second part, which is shown, is a thin piece of metal which protrudes away from the bar. This is the actual locking mechanism. It catches on a lip of the case, thereby making it difficult to remove.

Step 3: Let's Crack This Baby Open

When you place the smaller magnets on the lock, the piece of metal is pulled back so it is flat with the lock, allowing you to slide it out. Therefore, placing the magnet is on the side of the box is our first step.

The second step is to push down on the actual lock. I do this because some times the small piece of metal gets lodged in the case from previous people trying to pull the lock out. Pushing it back into the case allows the magnet to pull the metal bar flush with the lock.

The third step is to place the strong magnet onto the lock, covering it from view. Try to slide the strong magnet onto the lockface, as pulling on the lock before the stronger magnet has its full grip can conteract step two. This part can be tricky, depending on how powerful the magnet is, as the smaller magnet is attracted to the larger magnet and often becomes unattached from the case. Use both hands during this process.

Pull on the strong magnet, thus removing the lock. Be careful as the smaller magnets will fall off, and i assume you either dont want to spend more money or search around for it. Make sure you can catch it.

Step 4: Ending Notes

So there you have it folks. Simple. Easy. My next project is hopefully going to be a little more complicated: getting into those full-covering anti-theft cases.

One note before you try this. Using the magnet can cause some slight stretching of the plastic cover on the dvds. This damage is minimal, so i would still recomend this method, but if you have a problem with imperfections, be warned.

I again warn against the use of this instructable for illegal activity. I have provided this information for learning and entertainment use only. I take no legal or moral responsibilty for your actions.
<p>Well, the magnet trick didn't work, but a utility knife did. The case opened up at once. The DVD could not be popped out until the red plastic that prevents the DVD holder to be pushed down enough was not pulled out. No mess.</p>
<p>My magnets dont stick to the case! Is there a type of dvd lock that does not use metal? Say an all plastic lock? Any ideas how to open one like that? I have used several types of magnets. I considered taking the dvd back to Target but i bought it 2 weeks ago and no longer have the reciept. Very annoyed as my children are hassling me to watch it! Can you please help?</p>
with a magnet
I made a tiny tear on my Bourne Ultimatum box and then looked for advice, lo and behold an instructable on this very subject ;) I only needed two dinky little magnets, the type you use to attach a flashing badge bought at a concert/gig. Really amazed it was that simple to disable a disk lock - Cheers!
putting the magnets that close to a CD/DVD could erase the data sored on that disk.
I meant stored, typo
Possibly, but you must consider the way data is stored on a CD. It is "burnt" in with a laser, and the grooves it cause are read by another laser. Hard drives use magnetism to store data (hence the higher amount of data possible), making them vulnerable to a magnet. I'm gonna have to take an old DVD and magnetize it to see if I still have that data. Will update you with it.
they won't. CD's aren't like the old floppy disks, and won't be erased by magnetics. They do mess with hard drives because hard drives use magnetics to move the disc-reader head around.
it could if you run it very fast back and forth over it, but this won't. Just like a hard drive.
no, optical disks (CD, DVD, MagnetoFloptical, BluRay, HD DVD, and holographic disks) are affected by magnets, ever. The drives may be affected, but the disks won't.
Ok thanks for making that clear
no problem! hope you found it useful
haha shoot ink thats so funny lol
Yes, now be serious
hey next somewon should make an instrucatable on how to take those tan lump things on clothes like at goodys because ive been told by my mom that screwing with them makes them shoot ink
well if you can get it out of the store you put it in the freezer overnight then cut it off with sharp scisers
Or wire cutters.
good idea
actully those can be opened with magnets also, they do indeed spurt ink, kindof thike the thngs that they up in money, anyway put the two strong magnets on either side of the smaller peice, keep moving the magnets until it slide out do it gently though, so you dont break the ink tubes.
I bought a DVD in super market and went through the self service checkout. got home and found out there was one of these tags on it. If, I'd have know this is how to remove them, I would still have my DVD which is now lost amoungst all the others as it has no case now, due to me and a pair of tin snips!
Bought a dvd from Zavvi (virgin) the other day and had to rip the box open :( [The shop is 40mins away and a £6.50 train ticket ] This Instructable has just as much right to be here as any other. I wish i had read it earlier.
My bf bought me an early christmas present and the cashier at Hollywood vid. forgot to take off the security lock. After tearing it partially apart and still not being able to get the dvd out, I decided to look for a better way. This was the first site I found posted about it. Though I didn't have two magnets I used a magent that is used to pick-up screws and nuts that fall on the ground. I placed it on the lock and heard a "pop" and while still holding the magnet on the back, I pulled the lock out surprisingly easily. I had already tore it open and cut part of the plastic off the back, so next I'll just try the magnet alone and see if I get the same result. Thanks for the info.
mrmath: I can think of one non-thievery use right now. A while ago I rented a movie from a certain movie store. When I got it home, it had an antitheft devive on it. If I had known how to do this and had some magnets nearby I would have saved myself a 15 minute trip back to the store. This is implausible to do in a store anyways.If they didn't notice you then they're idiots.
Standard practice in the UK is to leave the boxes empty & keep the discs behind the counter. One can contemplate the relative merits of the two systems, but if you can steal the box, you can get the disc out one way or another. What is the point in relasing the lock when it's a steal? Otherwise for spotty minimum wage employee errors, see above. Appreciate the information on how these locks work, but of what use is it, how do you expect this knowledge to be used?
The locks often trigger the alarm if you walk out with them.
I'm working from: "...brought them home, and found that the cashier had left in the security bar that keeps you from opening the box." -i.e. it got past the alarm, with the lock on. L
right, some stores don't have an alarm, some do
The red bars that I found on my DVDs* had a recess in them that could accommodate those little <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.adamofgreyskull.co.uk/white%20security%20tag.png">white sticky alarm tags</a> that trigger the induction loops at the doors.<br/><br/>As an aside, having worked in a shop, those tags are only stuck to high-value items of course, and they are entirely dependent on shop-staff sticking them on. Invariably some stock is missed because of human error. <br/><br/>*legally purchased mrmath....<br/>
i expect this to be used against spotty minimum wage employee errors.
Pretty sweet! I actually have never had this problem with my dvds or games but now im prepared :P
I have had these tags left in on various DVDs I have BOUGHT on several occasions. The first one I had, I broke the case because I didn't know how to open it. I took the DVD (and another that still had the tag in) back to the store. I had pretty much ruined the case trying to open it, and the store still changed it, as they should. At best it's an annoying inconvenience when these things get left in, supposing you can go back to the store. I got one again recently, couldn't watch the DVD when I got home, and couldn't easily get back to the store this time either. I was pretty pissed off, given i'd paid good money for it. As usual, law abiding citizens suffer, due to the criminal fraternity and how some companies 'deal' with crime. Thanks for the info slyfox117, just got to get some magnets now!
Tis not information that kills, it's the application.
well i just got into one, but i didn't have a magnet, so i opened one end of the case and hooked the tweezers under the edge of the disk and popped it out with a ruler and slid it out the end of the case. once it was out it was easy to get the case open, i jamed the blunt end of a pair of teasers in there and yanked it open, then the little thing just slid out the end with a little persuasion with my fingers. and there is little damage to the case, its still usable, but its worse than it would be cos i didn't know how to get into it when i started, now i do it wont be so bad the next time.
And then before you know it, stores will have to keep everything behind glass cases, don't screw it up for other's that steal once in a blue moon. lol..
that is wierd.....
My brother used to work at Blockbuster, I could be wrong, but when people took home movies and they forgot to take out the lock, and people called all pissy, they told the person to use a box cutter or razor to CAREFULLY cut down the right side if the box on the front. They won't charge you for it, because its their fault and it's probably worth 3 cents. If this doesn't work and you slice your DVD, not my fault. Maybe I'll experiment and make my first instructable on said concept.
This happened to me yesterday, rented two DVDs from Blockbuster and they forgot to take off the yellow tags. Called them when I got home and they advised carefully cracking open the spine (used a pair of sharp scissors) and explain when returning them. Found this site with hopes of opening the case in an easier way but ended up doing as advised.
Right from which direction? Are they asking you to cut the dvd case open?
Right hand side of the front, VERY close to the edge. And yes, they are. I'm talking about only rentals. When you return it you just tell them what happened and return the disk, they replace the case at no charge.
bestbuy uses a similar mechanism on the clear plastic boxes they put everything in. not that i'd try to open them, though i'd love to get my hands on just the box, it's got a pretty rfid tag!
how about the locks that slide down the side not jut out like the one you show?
working on it.
I've never seen these red security devices before. I rent at Blockbuster and Hollywood Video. They use a different kind of box
If you simply need to get the DVD out, and aren't concerned with actually opening the case... 1) Push the box in the center while flexing it. You are pushing the button in the middle of the DVD to release it from the case. Once you get the hang of it, it's super easy. 2) Open the bottom edge 1/8" or so, and allow the DVD to slide out. You can squeeze it width wise, or use fingers.. also very easy to do. Takes about 5 seconds to do. You could also return a DVD to the case in this manner as well with a little practice.
Probably uses the same idea. I know what your talking about though. Those yellow strips that are vertical along the case. Ive looked at them taking them off, and it looks like a similar process. Dont know though, Blockbuster has been good about removing them.
LOTS of information is dangerous--so dangerous that in the wrong psychotic hands billions would die. That being said, there are easier ways to steal a movie than this method. I know people that download them all the time or offer to burn copies for other people. Therefore, I don't think this is too bad of a risk. It would look kind of odd as you were squatting in the video aisle trying to fiddle with some magnets without being noticed. Anyhoo . . . my local Hollywood video is the best video store in town. They always have what I want.
I just got back from Hollywood Video with 2 rented dvds that still had the red protection thing on them. I was so pissed off. Then I thought, I wonder if anyone out there has written instructions on how to remove these... Way to go, dude. The funny thing is I already had magnets that look exactly like yours, I got my big ones out of a hard drive a while back, and for the little ones I used the magnets that microsoft uses on thier lapel pins for certs, they look exactly the same as the ones you used in your pic. Sadly it was NOT as easy for me as it looked in your pics. I never could get it to work with the combination of the two magnets like you described. I had to use a thin piece of metal to pry instead of using the strong magnets to lift. I might be doing something wrong or my magnets just might not be as strong as yours. But your article gave me the basic idea anyhow. Thanks a million! I can watch my movies now!
I am appalled by some of the comments I have read here, some even requesting that this instructable be deleted. Some people here have claimed this instructable teaches you to steal. It is an import thing to be able to understand how to defeat security. It allows us to have insight from both sides. It also helps to improve future security by letting us understand how it was defeated. This instructable shows the workings of a security device and how to defeat it. That does not in itself encourage people go out and steal things. It actually helps us improve things. And even if somebody does use this information for illegitimate purposes it in no way makes this information illegitimate. Benjamin Franklin once said: "Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both." There is no such thing as dangerous information. Just dangerous people. (including the dangerously ignorant or idiotic)
Thanks Slyfox Extremly useful. I purchased a DVD for my son from an internet supplier but they had left the security bar in place. On Christmas morning I had to prise the bar out with a knife and slightly damaged the box. I wish I had found your instructions yesterday. I know what to co next time

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