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VHS, Cassettes & Floppy Disks: How Long Will They Last?

Got a bunch of VHS tapes holding your precious family memories? Well you may want to think about getting those memories off those tapes and onto another form of media. Even if you still have a working VCR, those tapes may not last much longer.

Why? VHS, like cassette tapes and floppy disks use magnetic storage. Magnetic tape is far from a permanent storage medium.  Under ideal conditions of temperature and humidity, a VHS tape could last for 30 years. In practical use, you’re going to start seeing some serious degradation after a decade or so. Possibly even sooner if exposed to extreme temperature fluctuations.

The same holds true for cassette tapes and floppy disks.  Now you may have some VHS tapes and cassettes that still play. But if there’s anything irreplaceable or important on there, you’ll want to think about transferring it to another medium.

You don’t want to pop that wedding tape or baby’s first steps in and have the tape break.

~ Cynthia