Tips for storing old VHS tapes

VHS video tapes deteriorate over time. However, proper storage will help your video tapes maintain their quality for as long as possible. Of course, the absolute best thing you can do is have your old video tapes transferred over to a digital format. We can help with that, we transfer MiniDV, VHS-C, S-VHS, BETA and regular VHS tapes to DVD. We also transfer old film formats, such as Super 8 film and 8mm film to DVD. We do a whole lot more too! That said, if you still have precious memories on VHS, here are a few essential storage tips:

  • Rewind. Make sure you always rewind the tape after playing. This will help keep the tape tight. Tape sagging is one of the key factors in tape deterioration.
  • Store your tapes in cool, dry space. Extreme temperatures, both hot and cold, as well as direct sunlight can damage VHS tape. Also, it’s very important that the storage space is dry as it is possible for VHS tape to get moldy!
  • Use the case. Tape cases are there to protect the tape. Always store your tapes in their cases.
  • Do not leave in VCR. I know, right? Who still has a VCR? However, if you do, avoid the temptation of leaving/storing a tape inside the player!
  • Store tapes vertically. Be sure to store your tapes vertically (upright as with books on a bookshelf) as this will help avoid tape sag.
  • Room temperature is best. If, for some reason, your tapes have been stored in a cold space, allow the tape to come to room temperature before attempting to play it.
  • Handle carefully. This is not really a storage tip, but it is important all the same… do your best to avoid dropping your tapes, and do not, under any circumstances, touch the tape itself (behind the plastic door)!
VHS Videotapes