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How to Get a VHS Tape Out of a VCR

You know the VHS tape is stuck when hitting the eject button only produces a dull grinding noise. Try this salvage job that leaves the case, and hopefully the unfurled tape, intact.


  • Step 1: Reel tape back Reel as much tape as you can back into a VHS cassette by flipping up the front flap. Push the button beneath the flap on the right side to hand-crank the visible tape back into the cassette.
  • Step 2: Pull gently Push the eject button while simultaneously pulling gently on the front of the cassette to see if it will come out on its own. If not, you're going to have to coax it out.
  • : Unplug the VCR from the electrical outlet. Don't chance getting electrocuted while performing this seemingly simple rescue feat.
  • Step 3: Disassemble the VCR Inspect your VCR to determine how to remove the housing cover, either from the top or on the bottom. Use the screwdriver to remove the screws and gently pull away the cover.
  • TIP: Consult the manufacturer's instructions for the best way to disassemble the VCR.
  • Step 4: Free the ensnared tape Scrutinize the inside of the VCR to determine how the tape is trapped. Use tweezers to carefully pull the tape upward and away from the VCR components.
  • Step 5: Remove cassette Once the tape is loose, hold the door open so as not to snag or twist the tape and pull the cassette out of the VCR.
  • Step 6: Reattach the housing Screw the cover back on. Now you can plug the VCR back in for your viewing pleasure.
  • FACT: The first professional Quad videotape machines, introduced to the U.S. broadcasting world in 1956, used 2-inch wide reel-to-reel tape.

You Will Need

  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Tweezers
  • Manufacturer&';s instructions (optional)

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