How to Get Your Old Home Videos onto the Computer


While I am writing this post, sorry sisters, I am dating us. Yes its true, our home videos are on VHS still. I have been wanting to put my old home videos on the computer for a long time now for two reasons.  One, because there is only one copy, I wanted to make sure that my family all have a copy of those important life moments. Two, I want to protect it by having it in multiple households and something that the dog can’t get into.

There are businesses that will do this for you, but I learned that I can do it myself!

Through research, the most simple way to do it is to get the Video Capture Cord and included software. This cord/software will allow you to record from any VHS, DVD, Camcorder or other device to your computer. When you visit this site, the white one is for Mac and the black one is for Windows.

This is a 2 minute video that I made to show you exactly how it works from start to finish.

For your viewing pleasure, this is a SUPER CUTE home video from our Family Home Evening called I LOVE POPCORN. Can you tell me the last time you were THIS excited about something?

Ah, to be 2 again.

and here is a throwback to the VHS days.


Next, while I still am feeling ambitious, I want to scan in all my baby pictures with a Photo Scanner. Do you have old videos that you need to do this with?

I found a killer deal on this Canon scanner.  This is a reliable brand, affordable and has great reviews.  This is the scanner for you if you want a high quality scanner for a great price.


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59 thoughts on “How to Get Your Old Home Videos onto the Computer”

  1. Hi! I have been looking for something like this for a while! Do you know if it will record old VHS movies, like Disney or other professional movies? I have a TON of VHS that I just want to convert to DVD for my use, but I can’t find one that will do it! Thanks!

    1. No, commercial videos output a special signal that TV’s can understand but that cannot be recorded on consumer equipment like this. You’ll get a picture that shifts throughout the frame and is not viewable. Sorry.

      1. Did someone in the comments ask about commercial videos? I missed that. This post is meant for home recored videos only.

      2. So, what if I recorded a commercial video onto a blank tape, then recoded that onto DVD with this device???

        1. As long as you recorded it straight to a blank tape from a tv/cable source,you should be able to copy it to your computer with this device,with no problems.

      3. Some pre-recorded vhs tapes (movies,etc) have a code built in,however not all do. Homemade tapes of course wouldnt have that code built in,so they should be easy to transfer. Unless of course its a rare video that was only released on vhs. Then i guess you`d have to try and see if it would copy to your computer. Good luck.

    1. I don’t actually know where they sell them, you could go to their website and see if they have a “find a retailer” but if you look at the link above, it’s on a pretty good clearance.

  2. I have the Dazzle, it comes with a program that you can edit your videos! I love it! I actually have converted most of my Grandmother’s home videos from VHS to DVD, I have most of them done!
    I am interested in seeing if this cord works out too!

    1. That’s what I need too. We did the little Sony Handy Cam tapes and the thing broke before we could stick them on anything else. 🙁

    2. Radio Shack did (at one time) sell a device in which you could place a mini-cam tape and then play it through
      that device VCR, just like a VHS tape. Hope this helps.

    3. It’s called a VHS Cassette Adapter. I have one that I got with my camcorder years ago. It essentially takes the 8mm (that you pop into it) and ‘opens’ the tape edge with rollers to make it playable in the VHS Player. Mine also uses an AA battery to give energy for the adapter. Mine is made by Minolta. Try camera companies, try eBay. Good Luck!

  3. I have been using TVWonder for years. It does the same thing but uses the coax cable to hook up instead of patch cords. I can then use my computer as a dvr for any of the tv shows too as my vcr is hooked up to the computer.

  4. Where you able to save the video of Laurel and Marie on the trampoline where Laurel was two and bossing Marie around. Its a tragic video, but one that should be saved so the world can know the tyranny Marie has had to put up with lo these many years.

    1. Tragic is right! I only wish I had video footage of a certain uncle splattering spaghettios all over the kitchen as result from obnoxious little nieces. Talk about tragic!

  5. Thank you for the info on the Video capture advice. I wish I had known about this before Christmas because I ordered a machine from the States to Canada & it was over $500.00 🙁 I have not tried it yet so I hope it works well.
    Thx. again!!

  6. Thanks! That was a great instructional video……some of it was hard for me to see, but it sounded good. I have LOTS of videos to transfer from when kids were born, when they were small, etc. Would LOVE to get this set up. Putting it on my radar for future and will not have to pay those high transfer fees. Then I can do it for other people’s home videos too and let it pay for itself! 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  7. Not ALL commercial VHS movies have the copy blocking signal … most of the newer ones do..but many of the old ones that we can’t find any more can be digitized at home. Sometimes it is in real time but that’s ok if they can be preserved. As long as folks aren’t trying to make a profit on it, there should not be any problem.

    1. Thanks for your comment Chalene. If readers are copying anything but home movies, I recommend that they research the laws:) We don’t want anyone getting in trouble.

  8. I used this to convert ALL of my commercial videos to DVDs. Because you connect this to the actual VCR it converts what is being played to digital and is now on your computer and then you can burn to DVD.

  9. Declan oreilly

    For folks who want to convert the old sony handy cam videos on cassette (the mini one) , you would have to hook up the RCA jacks to the camera itself and then hit play. That out puts it to the computer , that has the capture software running.


    Ps email addy is all lowercase , iPad not giving me the option for the correct case.

  10. We bought one of the older Elgato video devices, maybe, 6 years ago for our grandsons and they use is ALL THE TIME for capturing ‘game play’ from their Wii. I had no idea that I could use it for VHS conversion to my Mac. This is a great idea. We have old VHS tapes of their mother as a child, her wedding, etc, now I can have them forever without paying a fortune to have them converted.

  11. wow thank you for this. i make compilation videos for families and they always want to include their old home videos but there on vhs so this will be perfect

  12. Several years ago, my parent’s house was completely destroyed by fire and we lost years of family pictures, slides, and videos. Ever since, I share family photos with as many members as possible. Once she became more computer adept, my Mother kept saying, “I’ll scan all the photos and slides someday,” but she never did. (My sister and I offered to digitize the photos and slides many times, but my mother always insisted that she wanted to.”)

  13. Someone ask where to get it? When I clicked on the RED name of the product it took me to Amazon, yes they have it.

    There has not been a product yet, that I have not found on Amazon.

  14. Pingback: Do it yourself conversion of VHS to computer files | Creative Home Ideas

  15. Take a picture with your phone or digital camera of old family photos. The old photo is now digital. If you want to enhance the photo, open the photo in a program to crop, lighten, darken, or tint it then save. It’s now on your computer and in digital format. Just be cautious about the light source. Take as many pictures of the old picture you want. Easy. Don’t need a scanner for old photos.

  16. You just saved me! I was buying a converter for Father’s Day it’s just a transfer machine. I have so many VHS and it devastates my 6 kids not to be able to hear and see themselves as children. My grandchildren will be soooo amused. Thank you so much! You are a genius and I appreciate you sharing your valuable (me: $365.00 plus new DVDs) and I wasn’t sure I could handle or even store another contraption! So grateful! We’ll have the best FHE ever! Ahhh…FHEs all summer! Hugs, Susan

  17. Lol. I have a video being converted on my other computer as I am reading this post.
    I will however add, it is super important to have multiple backups. You do not want to accidentally loose a good memory.

  18. Is there anything this easy and affordable if you do not have a vhs player or the camcorder? My camcorder broke and the vhs quit playing.

  19. Hi. I was wondering about how much room on your computer o e full tape takes up? I want to put them all on an external hard drive but not sure of how big of one I should get. I have about 30 old home movies. Any idea? Thanks!

  20. I bought the Diamond software for Mac but I’m not understanding how to connect it to my computer. Can you please help me? I can connect the red, white and yellow cables fine but I’m having the hardest time figuring out how to connect the other side to the VCR…what kind of cord are you using? Does the other side look the same (red, yellow, white)? Thanks in advance!

  21. I spent countless hours scanning old photos. The best way I found is to photograph the photos close up then edit them, they come out high res and much faster. I just use my little Cannon 12MP pocket camera and they come out just great.

  22. Pingback: 30 coole DIY-Ideen für Ihren Computer - Dekorationen

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