How to Adjust VCR Tracking

Written by ehow contributor
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The weakest link in any VCR is the tape you just inserted into it. That Disney classic you picked up at the rental store may have been played 100 times (and that's just your kids). As the tape stretches with use, the picture gets distorted. Time to adjust the tracking.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Look on the front of the VCR for a tracking knob.

  2. 2

    While the tape is playing, turn the knob to the left to see if the picture improves. If it does, leave it there.

  3. 3

    If turning the knob to the left doesn't work, try turning it to the right to improve the picture.

  4. 4

    When you're finished watching the video, return the knob to the central (neutral) position.

Tips and warnings

  • If you find that you constantly have to adjust tracking or that you can't get the picture to look right by adjusting the tracking-- regardless of what tape you are playing--you may need to clean the tape heads (see How to Clean VCR Heads).

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