How to Copy VHS to Flash Drives

By James Clark

Copying a VHS tape onto a flash drive involves converting the analog signal on the tape into a digital format that can be stored on the portable drive. This requires a computer connected to an analog-to-digital converter box, which transfers the VHS signal from a VCR. The converter box creates an MPEG file of the VHS tape. The MPEG format can be played on software like Windows Media Player, burned to a DVD or stored on a USB-type flash drive with a capacity of at least 20GB.

Things You'll Need

  • Composite AV cable
  • VCR
  • Converter box
  • USB cable
  • Computer with USB ports

Step 1

Hook up the three plugs on each end of the composite cable from the VCR's yellow, white and red AV Out jacks to the color-coded input jacks on the converter box.

Step 2

Plug the converter box into the computer using the USB cable.

Step 3

Insert the software disc that comes with the converter box in the computer's disc drive, close the tray and install the software by clicking the prompt buttons on the screen. Restart the computer when finished.

Step 4

Double-click the name of the software program to open it on the computer.

Step 5

Insert the VHS tape in the VCR and rewind to the beginning, if necessary, or any point on the tape to begin copying. Press "Play" on the VCR.

Step 6

Click the "Record" button on the software screen to begin capturing the VHS tape and converting the signal to digital. Click "Stop" when finished.

Step 7

Insert the USB plug on the end of a flash drive into a port on the computer.

Step 8

Click "File" and choose "Save As" on the recording software to select the flash drive, which will be assigned a letter. For example, the computer's hard drive is typically labeled "C:" and the disc drive for CDs and DVDs is often labeled "D:" to distinguish between the two drives. The flash drive will likely be labeled "E:" if it is the only other drive connected to the computer.

Step 9

Type a name for the converted VHS copy and click "Save" to store the recording on the flash drive. Do not disconnect the flash drive while the LED on the side is blinking.

Tips & Warnings

  • A two-hour VHS tape converted to a digital format requires approximately 20GB of storage.