Most Popular How-To Guides of 2014

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Most Popular How-To Guides of 2014

We cover a lot of things here at Lifehacker, but we love nothing more than a good step-by-step guide. Here are our best how-tos from the year, from tech to life skills and everything in between.

This year we eliminated Windows crapware, powered up XBMC, put Windows on a portable hard drive, defeated bad breath, and more.

Most Popular How-To Guides of 2014

Windows has a lot going for it, but it’s also saddled with one of computing’s biggest annoyances: crapware. Here’s everything you need to know about identifying, avoiding, and removing unwanted software from your system.

Most Popular How-To Guides of 2014

We’re all guilty. Every day from the moment we wake up, we live our lives caring what other people think of us.

Most Popular How-To Guides of 2014

One of the best parts about XBMC, the kickass customizable media center software, is its browser-like extensions. If you’ve ever wanted to incorporate watching TV, listening to podcasts, or playing video games to your XBMC box, this is how it works.

Most Popular How-To Guides of 2014

Apple’s iMessage is a great way to get around text messaging fees and send messages to other Apple users for free, but it’s not without its problems. Unfortunately, unlike traditional SMS, the problems don’t seem to magically work themselves out on their own, so here’s how to fix some of the more common issues you might come across.

Most Popular How-To Guides of 2014

Whenever you search for something on Facebook, your search terms get stored in your Activity Log. Here’s how to view it (and erase if, if you so desire).

Most Popular How-To Guides of 2014

Most of us don’t like to see ourselves in photographs because we don’t like to see our imperfections. Here are a few tricks anyone can implement to look better when the shutter clicks.

Most Popular How-To Guides of 2014

Ever wanted a copy of Windows you can take with you wherever you go, to use on any computer you want? It’s possible: here’s how to install a portable version of Windows 8 on a USB hard drive that you can take anywhere.

Since its release, the $ 35 Raspberry Pi mini-computer has been hailed as the perfect all-in-one retro game console. Now, it’s easier to do than ever, and it doesn’t take any advanced Linux knowledge. Here’s how to make your own retro game console in about 30 minutes.

Most Popular How-To Guides of 2014

I’ve worked for a telemarketing company for two years and made a lot of unwanted calls. I have to keep making them because most people don’t know how to get rid of us, but the right approach can make all the difference. Here’s how you can get rid of telemarketers like me and save us both a lot of time.

Most Popular How-To Guides of 2014

Previously mentioned Virtual Router is the easiest way to create a Wi-Fi hotspot on Windows, but 7Tutorials showcases a method that requires no extra tools—just the Command Prompt.

Most Popular How-To Guides of 2014

It’s embarrassing when someone points out that you have bad breath or politely offers a mint with a knowing smile. There is very little you can do but apologize and swallow that mint with your pride. But if you are a little better prepared, you can avoid such awkward situations in the future

Most Popular How-To Guides of 2014

Healthy living isn’t easy. For some, it comes naturally, but for those folks who are already overweight—large enough that it’s difficult or even painful to do what thinner people can do—it’s even tougher to get started. Here are some tips to help.

Most Popular How-To Guides of 2014

“Critical Thinking” may sound like an obnoxious buzzword from liberal arts schools, but it’s actually a useful skill. Critical thinking just means absorbing important information and using that to form a decision or opinion of your own—rather than just spouting off what you hear others say. This doesn’t always come naturally to us, but luckily, it’s something you can train yourself to do better.

Most Popular How-To Guides of 2014

Regardless of which end of whatever pond you’re on, region blocked content is annoying. Whether you’re an ex-pat looking to watch reruns of The Wonder Years, or you’re hankering for a dose of Dr. Who, here’s the best (and easiest) way to get that content.

Most Popular How-To Guides of 2014

If you’ve ever tried to root your Android phone or flash a ROM, you may have heard about ADB and/or fastboot. These two tools are surprisingly powerful, but can be a bit overly complex to install. Here’s how to do it the easy way.

Most Popular How-To Guides of 2014

If you have an old computer with some life left in it, or you’re building a do-it-all home server that can store your backups, music, movies, and everything else you need backed up and secure,Amahi is the perfect utility for the job. Amahi can turn any PC into an at-home VPN, a NAS for all of your files, and more. Here’s how.

Most Popular How-To Guides of 2014

If you want to squeeze every last ounce of processing power out of your new computer or aging system, overclocking is a great—if slightly nerve-racking—option. Here are some simple guidelines for safely overclocking your processor.

Most Popular How-To Guides of 2014

We all overthink aspects of our lives. Whether it’s decisions, regrets, self-worth, or general worries about the future, we’re so often stuck inside our own heads that it feels like there’s no way out. Here’s how to quit overthinking everything and move on.

Most Popular How-To Guides of 2014

When you’re young, the world is your oyster and opportunities seem endless, but there can be a lot of pressure to decide on a life path. How do you know what career to pursue and what to do with your future?

Most Popular How-To Guides of 2014

Your home network is your fortress. Inside it lies tons of valuable information—unencrypted files, personal, private data, and perhaps most importantly, computers that can be hijacked and used for any purpose. Let’s talk about how you can, with the power of evil, sniff around your home network to make sure you don’t have any uninvited guests.

Handoff is Apple’s new feature that integrates Yosemite and your iOS 8 device so you can start working on one device and then continue it on another. For example, you can start writing an email on your phone, then flip it over to your Mac when you realize you’d prefer a keyboard. Here’s how to set it up and use it.

Most Popular How-To Guides of 2014

Building a hackintosh—that is, installing Mac OS X on non-Apple hardware—used to require extremely restricted hardware choices and quite a bit of know-how. Now your options are vast and the installation process is fairly simple. With that in mind, here is our always up-to-date guide to building a hackintosh that will walk you through purchasing compatible parts, building your machine, and installing OS X all on your own.

Most Popular How-To Guides of 2014

Some of the most influential people in history kept detailed journals of their lives. Those journals served two purposes: a permanent record for posterity, and cathartic release for the people writing them. Even if you don’t think you need either, keeping a journal has great benefits you can enjoy immediately. Here’s why you might want to sit down regularly to jot down your thoughts.

Most Popular How-To Guides of 2014

We talk a lot about both privacy and security here at Lifehacker, and while it’s relatively easy to be more secure than you are right now, it often feels like it’ll take a lot of work. So, we decided to run through a few of the most popular security and privacy measures, from chat encryption to secure backups, and find the easiest ways to make your online life secure without causing too much inconvenience.

Most Popular How-To Guides of 2014

Sometimes, you get to a point at work where your motivation is completely depleted. But circumstances dictate that you can’t quit. So how do you keep going? There’s always a way.

Most Popular How-To Guides of 2014

Yesterday, Microsoft announced the newest version of Windows. Today, the company is allowing adventurous users (like yourself) to try it out for free. Here’s how.


So there you have it. It has been a great year of how-tos and walkthroughs. Whether your favorite of the year made the list or not, we’d love to hear which guide helped you the most. And if you’re still hungry for how-to, take a gander at the most popular how-to guides from 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, and 2008.

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