How Do I Copy VHS Tapes onto DVDs?

Updated February 21, 2017

Unfortunately, VHS tapes do not last forever. Each playback reduces the lifespan of the tape, and age breaks down the delicate video ribbon. The memories stored on VHS tapes might be invaluable, and it becomes necessary to transfer the video from VHS tape to DVD. Online and retail VHS-to-DVD services are available, but you can accomplish the same task at home, often for a fraction of the cost.

Purchase a VHS-to-DVD recorder. This device looks like a combo VHS/DVD player, but it is designed to transfer the video from a VHS cassette to a DVD disc. Connect the player to your TV with the included video cables by following the instructions that come with the device. Turn on both your television and the VHS-to-DVD recorder.

Insert a blank DVD into the recorder's DVD slot, then insert the VHS cassette you want to record into the VHS slot. Put the recorder into "VHS to DVD" mode; you may need to slide a switch or press a button. Consult with the device's instruction manual for specific instructions.

Press the "Record" button. Instructions may appear on the screen. Follow the prompts, pressing the remote buttons indicated to make selections and choose settings. Recording will begin after you complete the prompts. You may or may not be able to watch the VHS as it is recorded, depending on the VHS-to-DVD recorder you use.

Select "Finalize" if prompted, once the recording is complete. This will make the disc playable, but it will prevent you from adding additional content to it later on. Wait for the finalisation to finish.

Remove and label the disc.


Only copy copyrighted VHS tapes if you have written permission from the copyright owner.

Things You'll Need

  • VHS-to-DVD recorder
  • Blank DVD
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About the Author

Based in New England, Quinn Marshall began her writing career in 2004. She was a featured writer for Laptop Logic and contributes to publications such as "Smashing Magazine."