After video DVD conversion, store tapes in their cases. This prevents dust and dirt from entering the tape cassette, which can increase the amount of magnetic particles rubbed off during playback and exacerbate magnetic charges.
Store tapes in an upright position, like a book on a shelf (as illustrated in photo at right). This helps prevent damage to the edge of the tape. Never stack tapes one on top of the other.
Watch important tapes as little as possible to prevent wear and tear. Transfer video tapes to DVD when you want to watch them over and over, then watch the DVD instead and carefully store the original tape.
Break the tape's write-protect mechanism. Doing this prevents the tape from being recorded over accidentally. To do this, use a small regular screwdriver to break off the small square tab that can be found on the tape's spine (the opposite side from the tape mechanism).
Maintain your VCR and camcorder as well as possible. Use head cleaners to eliminate the dirt that can cause abrasive conditions for tapes. Cover machines and store camcorders in cases to prevent dust.
Never touch a cassette's plastic tape with your fingers.
Don't splice and reuse broken video tapes. Splicing can damage a VCR's heads. And don't clean tapes contaminated with adhesives, fungus, or other substances yourself. Leave repair work to the professionals.
Transfer to DVD so your videos are safely backed up! Converting old tapes to DVD is the only sure way to preserve your memories forever.