How To Fix a Broken VHS Tape

Many people still have VHS tapes stored somewhere in their homes. Some of these VHS tapes may contain precious moments that haven't been transferred to CDs or DVDs. Although VHS tapes are not used as often anymore, they still have some use, like recording companies that like to have the format available for recording. Some people like to hang onto their VHS tapes even if they've transferred the contents into a digital format, as they like the idea of having it around as a master copy. Still, proper care and maintenance must be given to these tapes, as they can be damaged even when not in use. Moisture can gather on the tape and cause damage, making the tape stick together. Sometimes the tape breaks in the middle of playing on the VHS player or comes undone as it breaks free from the spool. A VHS tape can be easily repaired with a little patience.

  1. Prepare the work area and tools. You'll need a Philips screwdriver to use on the screws and a clean work area free from other clutter. Try to place a piece of plain colored cloth on the table or work area so it can help stop small pieces from rolling off. Place the VHS tape on the work area with the clear windows facing the bottom.
  2. Unscrew and open the plastic casing. There will be five screws to unscrew, but peel off the label sticker first. Once you've unscrewed all the screws you can now slowly open the plastic casing. Take care not to lose any of the little parts that fall out, and once you get the case open, take note of where all the little pieces fit like the plastic and silver rollers, and the spring which controls the flap. In the middle you will see a white plastic piece that locks the reel in place, make sure it does not pop out. If this part comes off, you'll have to position the spring so it pushes the plastic part, just like the spring on the flap that pushes it into a closed position.
  3. Put together the broken tape. If the tape has broken somewhere along the length of tape, you can put it back together with a piece of cellophane tape. You can't use the thick kind like a masking tape because it may damage the VHS head. Instead, try to find the thinnest and strongest kind. Locate the broken VHS tape part and cut two pieces of thin tape enough to cover the separated ends. Place a piece on the backside and another piece on the other side. Press firmly to make sure it sticks to the ends well enough to handle the tension.
  4. Put the casing back together. You can now put the plastic case back together. Carefully place the part you took off in the beginning back on top of the other piece making sure all the parts like the reel, and rollers line up properly. Now screw the case together and put the label back on. Test your repaired VHS tape in the VHS player.

It's easy to open up the plastic case of the VHS tape and do quick repairs to the tape or the small pieces like the plastic rollers or springs. Just don't lose any of the little pieces.


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