How to rewind a VCR tape

Updated March 23, 2017

Tapes used in VCRs are known as VHS tapes. Most VCRs have a function that allows you to rewind a tape when you finish watching it. You can usually use this feature by pushing "Rew" or "Rewind," depending on the VCR. However, if you do not have a VCR, or if its rewind feature is not working, you may need to know how to manually rewind a VCR tape. The key to this is knowing which side supplies the tape reel and which side receives it.

Turn the VCR tape over to view the back. You should be looking at two white ports. The port on the left is the supply reel, and the port on the right is the take-up reel.

Turn the port on the right to the right. This retracts the tape from the take-up reel and brings it back to the supply reel, which manually rewinds the tape.

Continue turning until the tape is fully rewound. Do not force the tape to turn farther once it is rewound as this may break the tape.


You can use your finger or the tip of a blade or tool, such as a large flathead screwdriver, to manually rewind the tape.

Things You'll Need

  • Large flathead screwdriver (optional)
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About the Author

Leonardo R. Grabkowski has been writing professionally for more than four years. Grabkowski attended college in Oregon. He builds websites on the side and has a slight obsession with Drupal, Joomla and Wordpress.