We cover a lot ground every day on Lifehacker, but we get our greatest pleasure from putting together in-depth, step-by-step guides, making complicated tasks easy to do yourself. Here's a look back at our most popular how-to features of 2010.
When Apple released iOS 4, it brought a lot of great features (like multitasking) to iOS devices. Unfortunately for iPhone 3G owners, the update slowed their devices to a crawl (and subsequent releases showed little improvement). Some people had luck speeding things up with a few tweaks, but many of us found we were better off downgrading from iOS 4 back to iOS 3.1.3. (If you're one of the lucky few who found their 3G's iOS 4 performance satisfactory and are yearning for more, here's how to enable multitasking and home screen wallpaper on the 3G and iPod touch 2G.)
While not exactly a straight how-to, security expert John Pozadzides' explanation for how easily he'd hack your weak passwords was a good reminder how important password security is. That's why we also showed you how to set up an easy, any-browser password solution.
Apart from video game makers' fear of piracy, there's no good reason why you shouldn't be able to store your Wii games on a hard drive and skip all the optical disc clutter and the hassle of swapping out discs every time you want to play a different game. Our guide to backing up and playing Wii games from an external hard drive puts all your games a few clicks away, cover art and all. As an added bonus, see our guide to hacking your Nintendo DS for easy backups and single-cartridge playback.
Whether you use BitTorrent to deliver the latest Linux distribution or to fulfil your entertainment needs, our guide to boosting your BitTorrent speed and privacy will get your downloading faster and obscure your downloading habits from prying eyes.
We've walked through how to install OS X on non-Mac PC hardware - commonly referred to as a Hackintosh - a couple of times before, but with video walkthroughs of every step of the process, it's never been easier to build a Hackintosh Mac and install OS X.
We've had lots of fun running OS X on non-Mac hardware, but if you'd rather keep your regular Windows installation and occasionally run OS X in a virtual machine, our guide to running OS X in VirtualBox on Windows will get you up and running.
Can't remember the last time you went to sleep and woke up feeling rested? Our guide to rebooting your sleep cycle may be able to help you get the rest you need.
As Facebook's popularity grows and its maze of privacy options grow more complex, the social network has undergone a lot of scrutiny for the way it handles (or rather, doesn't handle) its users' privacy. Our guide to quitting Facebook without really quitting Facebook helps you stay connected without sacrificing your privacy.
Usenet is an old-school, online bulletin board that's also remarkably adept at downloading really big files really quickly. In most cases it's faster than BitTorrent, more secure and extremely reliable. So if you haven't already, here's how to get started with Usenet in three simple steps.
XBMC is easily our favourite open-source, hackable media centre application. We detailed how to build a silent, standalone XBMC media centre on the cheap last year, but our start to finish guide to your XBMC media centre is sort of like our XBMC bible, and includes our building guide, our step by step or turning it into a video game console. and a whole lot more.
Fancy the look and feel of the Windows Phone 7 interface so much you wouldn't mind having it on your desktop? This quick and simple guide will transform your Windows Desktop into a Windows Phone 7-style HUD in just a few clicks.
It's nice to be honest with people and avoid using dirty tricks to get them to bend to your will. Luckily our guide to manipulating people is less about the manipulation and more about spotting it to avoid ending up the gullible victim.
The catch to that awesome media centre you set up in your home theater? It may be powerful, but no matter how streamlined you made it, it's unlikely most of your loved ones have ever used something like it before. Make things easier on them: set up a geeky media centre non-geeks can actually use.
If your analogue media is collecting dust - or you wish it were - our guide to digitizing your life aims to save it from obsolescence.
Whether or not you've gone entirely digital, you've still got a considerable amount of data stored on your hard drive. But hard drives crash and files can be accidentally deleted. Our guide to recovering data like a forensics expert will help you get it back.
Don't feel like choosing between an iPhone or Android? Install Android on your iPhone and get the best of both worlds. It's not a perfect port yet, and as of this writing it works best on an iPhone 3G, but it's a helluva start.
And there you have it - one year of our best how-tos in one fell swoop. Have a favourite that isn't winning any popularity contests? Let's hear about it in the comments. And if you're still hungry for how-to, take a gander at the most popular how-to guides of 2009.
Republished from Lifehacker