VHS Tape Lifespan: How Long Do VHS Tapes Last? Do They Deteriorate?

If you have a stack of old VHS tapes in your home or even in your company’s storage facility, you might have wondered how long do VHS tapes last? And given the average VHS tape lifespan, will memories and footage on those tapes begin to deteriorate over time?

At Current Pixel, our experience has shown that VHS tapes deteriorate over time no matter how they are stored. The magnetic tape inside makes the VHS tape lifespan shorter as the tape itself deteriorates.  Even tapes stored in professional tape storage environments will still experience some deterioration, and of course the overwhelming majority of tapes are not stored in perfect environments.  

VHS Tape Lifespan

How Long do VHS Tapes Last? VHS Tape Deterioration Rate

Although the VHS life expectancy varies from one VHS tape to the next, VHS tapes have been found to deteriorate 10 to 20 percent over the course of 10 to 25 years. Tapes that were made with better quality will have a slightly longer lifespan, and of course if you have kept your VHS tapes in a climate controlled space with optimal temperature and conditions with minimal to no use, they will last a lot longer.

However, your favorite VHS tapes are likely the tapes you have viewed many, many times, making them deteriorate more quickly, and most of us do not have the ability to store VHS tapes perfectly. VHS tapes at home are subject to dust and can start to degrade as a result of tape-eating bacteria and deterioration from the elements.

Digitize Your VHS Tapes to DVD

Your memories are too precious to leave up to chance or even to slight deterioration. If you want to keep your VHS tape footage safe, your best option is to convert your VHS tapes to a more updated, easily stored media format like DVD or digital file.

Current Pixel can convert your VHS tapes to DVD or digital files like mp4 for convenient and easy viewing and safe storage. Archival grade DVDs have a shelf life of 100 years or more, and you can store your digital files to the cloud or an external hard drive to keep them safe from harm and leave more space in your cabinets! For more information, contact Current Pixel today!