How to Fix Common VCR Player Problems

By Greyson Ferguson

Updated February 10, 2017

Clean your VCR so a videotape is able to play correctly.
i vhs image by Jovan Nikolic from

With the wide opening on VCRs, dust and other debris is able to find its way into the player. This causes problems with the video playback and recording of the VCR, often resulting in scratched lines across the video and static audio. However, there are a few general ways available to correct this problem, all of which you are able to perform yourself.

Check the cable connection running from the VCR to your television set. If the cable is not completely hooked up into both devices, the audio and video signal is going to be dropped.

Eject any tape inside the VCR. You are unable to correct the problem when a tape is inside the player.

Spray a few shots of compressed air into the VCR. This removes any large pieces of dust and debris that might be stuck on the player's heads, causing the distortion in the picture.

Insert the cleaning tape into the VCR and press "Play." Allow the cleaning tape to play for a few minutes, then push "Stop" and "Eject." The cleaning tape cleans the entire inside track of the VCR, removing small pieces of dust still clinging to the VCR heads.

Items you will need

  • Compressed air

  • Cleaning tape