How to Prevent VHS Tapes From Being Recorded Over

By Kathryn Hatter

Prevent VHS tapes from being recorded over by adjusting them.
i vhs image by Jovan Nikolic from

Although VHS tapes are fast becoming a relic of the past with DVD and HD video formats replacing them, a substantial number of people have collections of VHS tapes lurking in their homes. Often, the content on these VHS tapes is as old as the VHS tapes themselves, making it valuable and irreplaceable to the owner. Prevent VHS tapes from being recorded over with a fast adjustment to the tapes themselves and preserve your VHS memories.

Hold the VHS tape so the label edge is facing you.

Look on the left side of the label edge to find a plastic tab. The square tab connects to the VHS tape on one side only--the other three sides are detached.

Insert your index finger beneath the tab and pull it toward you to remove it. By pulling, you will be breaking off the tab from the one remaining side where it connects to the VHS tape.

Discard the tab. Now, if you insert the VHS tape into your VCR and accidentally press "Record," nothing will record and your content on the VHS tape will stay intact.