Repairing a vhs tape

VHS tapes are keeping your timeless memories alive for now, however they won't last forever. If you want to get your tapes converted to digital but they are damaged here's an easy guide of how fix them yourself:

Step 1

Use a screwdriver to remove the screws from the back of the cassette.

Place the cassette on a flat surface, making sure the front is facing up. Gently remove the front part away from the bottom half. 

Step 2

To remove the reels, press and hold the white lever at the bottom centre of the cassette. Keep holding the lever to take out the reels. 

Step 3

Use a blade or scissors to cut off the damaged part of the tape. Remember don't cut too much, as you're only removing the damaged part. 1.5 inches of tape is estimated to play 1 second of video in standard play mode, so as you cut away more tape you lose playable footage. Please be aware that as you have cut away part of the tape, there might be an odd jump cut in the footage. 

Step 4

To put the tape back together you can use 2 to 3 inches of scotch tape (or VHS splicing tape). Lay it flat on the surface with the adhesive side facing up.

Step 5

Attach one end of your video tape to the adhesive tape, so the inner of the video tape is covering half the width of the adhesive tape. Get the other half of your video tape and place it on the other half of the adhesive tape. 

Step 6

You can either wrap the adhesive tape around your video tape to secure it more, or you can cut the remaining adhesive tape off.

Whats a leader?

A leader is the clear part at the end of your VHS tape that attaches it to the reel. If a leader breaks the tapes is no longer attached to its reel and your video won't play in a video player (VCR). 

Step 7

Locate the reel that the leader broke from

Step 8

Wrap adhesive tape around the inside core of the reel a few times and leave several inches of the adhesive tape exposed.

Step 9

Attach the leader to the exposed tape.

Step 10

Put the reels back into the cassette

Step 11

Wrap the video tape around the shiny metal cylinders at the top of the cassette. One of the guides should have a smaller plastic cylinder, a guide roller. You need to thread the video tape between the outside of the tape guide and inside the guide roller.

Step 12

Turn the reels and wind the video tape back onto them. be careful not to overwind it.

Step 13

Replace the front half back into place and very carefully flip it so the back is facing up.

Step 14

Place the screws back into the cassette.

What to do if your cassette is broken?

VHS tapes are kept inside of a plastic cassette, held together with screws and springs. If the cassette is broken you can buy a replacement online.

Once you receive your new cassette, repeat steps 1 and 2 and transfer your tapes into the replacement cassette. Then complete steps 13 and 14.

What if it still doesn't work?

If you've made these repairs and it still doesn't play, then you'll need to take it to a professional.