How to Dislodge a Stuck VCR Tape

Archived Q&A and Reviews

July 2002

We have a newborn and a 22 month old and the other day the Elephant Show video tape got stuck in the VCR - a major tragedy. So, we ran out to Costco to pick a new VCR for the interim. My question is has anyone found an inexpensive solution to getting a stuck video out of a VCR? I'm pretty sure the actual tape is stuck and/or broken in there - I'm not concerned about recovering the tape, I'd just like to keep the VCR operational for the 2nd TV without having to spend a million dollars to get this VCR fixed. :) Hectic parent...

Try carefully inserting a screwdriver and pushing forward on the cassette while simultaneously pressing the eject button. Push gently but firmly on various parts of the cassette until it pops loose. (If that doesn't work, use the screwdriver to pry the sucker out!) Patrick
When my son's favorite tape got stuck in VCR, I just unplugged it and, with a screw drive, opened up the top of VCR. I could access to the inside of VCR now, gently removed a tape from it, and screwed the top of VCR back on. It may not be the best way to get your tape out of it, since you have a chance of breaking VCR itself. However, I think it may be worth trying since you cannot use that VCR with a video tape stuck in it anyway. It has always worked for me. Mika
Re:VCR with the tape stuck in it. My husband successfully unscrewed the top piece off our VCR, and we were able to pull the tape out of it. Since this VCR had had the problem before, we just left the top of it sitting in its place, but not screwed together, for subsequent stuck tapes. It has worked this way for several years, occasionally needing a tape pulled out of it. It's possible to carefully take the tape out without ruining it. You might want to get a headcleaner apparatus and run that through once you get the tape out. Good luck. Elaine
sometimes, if you unplug the VCR for a suitable period of time (1 hour to 1 day), then plug it back in, you can then hit the ''eject'' button and the tape will come out. (unplugging it seems to get the VCR to forget that it thinks it is ''empty''.) Greg