How to Input Video via USB

By Wanda Thibodeaux

Updated September 22, 2017

Items you will need

  • Video capture software

  • Video capture adapter

  • Video device (e.g., VCR, camcorder)

If you have video in digital or analog format, it's possible to transfer your videos onto your computer to edit and burn to DVD. This is useful if you want to create your own movies or save data from old VHS tapes. Since nearly all computers have Universal Serial Bus (USB) ports as of 2010, transferring via USB is probably the simplest way to get your video onto your computer. However, like other transfer methods, this process requires special hardware and software.

Install the video capture software you will use to capture, edit and burn your video data.

Install the drivers for the camera and the USB video capture adapter, if applicable.

Connect the video camera or VCR to the video capture device or your computer. Bypass the video capture device and connect the camera directly to the computer's USB port if your video camera came with a USB adapter. Otherwise, connect the RCA audio/visual connections on the video capture adapter to your video device (e.g., VCR) and the USB end to your computer port.

Open the video capture program and start a new project. Select the import video option. This should be on the main interface, or under the "File," "Import" or "Edit" menus. If it's on the interface, the import option could look like a record button or something similar, but also could be text-based.

Click "Play" on the VCR, or select the video file from your video camera or other device, The capture program should give you the option to browse to the video file location if you're using digital video, treating the device on which the file is stored as a searchable drive.

Press "Stop" on the VCR and, if necessary, click a "Stop Capture" option in the capture program when done if you're transferring analog video. You probably won't need to manually stop the capture if you're transferring digital video.

Save the captured video to a desired location on the computer. It can be edited later.


Because video capture adapters can connect to most video devices, this method can also capture data from a TV to the computer.

The settings on capture software and video device can vary greatly. If you aren't sure how they must be set in order to function together, check the user manual or help guide within the software.