Has one of your camcorder tapes wrinkled? Twisted? Snapped? Or does it jam when playing in a camcorder? With this simple fix guide, you can learn how to repair camcorder tapes like 8mm, Hi8, Digital 8, Mini DV and even VHS!

This guide is a temporary fix designed for those who are wanting to digitise their tapes.

Since camcorder tapes are becoming fragile and worn, it is best to repair your tape right before having it digitised to prevent further damage. If you want to receive the best quality transfer of your tape, I recommend leaving the repair to a professional who has the correct equipment and knowledge for it.

You Will Need:

  • Small, magnetic crosshead screwdriver
  • Sharp scissors
  • Clear sellotape
  • Gloves

Instructions To Repair Camcorder Tapes:

1. Place your tape facedown on the table and unscrew all five screws fixed in the back*. Keep the screws in a safe place for later.

*If your tape does not have visible screws: you will need to send it to a tape repair service. This is because the plastic casing will need to be forced open, and your magnetic tape will need to be rehoused.

2. Carefully unpeel the back of the case off, ensuring you do not move any of the parts inside. If you are fixing a VHS tape, I recommend taking a picture of the inside to know how it should look after fixing.

3. As a pre-warning, take special care when cutting the film. You will need to make sure that both of your cuts match when you stick them together. A clean, straight cut is what you are aiming for.

Whilst wearing the gloves, gently unravel the damaged reel until you reach tape in good condition. Cut off all the damaged strips of film, ensuring you make a clean, straight cut. Do the same with the second reel.

4. Align the two edges of your film together. When joining the two strips of film, you cannot have any gaps or overlap.

5. Using a small strip of sellotape, stick the two strips of film together. Any bits of sellotape hanging over the magnetic tape will need to be cut off – do not wrap the sellotape around the edges!

6. Wind your reels until the magnetic tape is tight again and check everything in your case is in the correct place.

7. Place the back plastic casing on top and fasten in the screws.

8. Congratulations on fixing your camcorder tape! Now use a camcorder conversion service to ensure your memories are preserved forever.

Please see our Convert Camcorder to DVD and Camcorder to USB pages if you're interested in converting your old camcorder tapes to these formats.