Top 9 Ways To Unlock The Unlockable

Getting locked out of your home, your computer or anywhere else you want to be can suck. The same goes for those times when your gadgets prevent you from doing what you want to do with them, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are the top 10 ways you can break into virtually anything with a literal or figurative lock.

Title image remixed from originals by Odin M. Eidskrem and Lisa Fischer (Shutterstock)

9. Open A Garage From The Outside

This is pretty easy to do, sadly, but fortunately easy to prevent as well. To unlock a garage from the outside, all you need to do is thread a piece of wire or a coat hanger through the top of the door to open the emergency latch. To prevent it, all you really need is a plastic zip tie.

8. Unlock Your Computer Wirelessly

Whether you’re using your Android to unlock with Wi-Fi or practically any Bluetooth device to unlock your Mac (or Ubuntu), you can avoid unnecessary typing by just being in the vicinity. So long as you don’t put your phone or other gadget in the wrong hands you’ll have both safety and convenience.

7. Break Into An Aeroplane Toilet

You know, for emergency purposes. All you need to do is flip up the sign push the lever into the unlocked position. We verified this on a recent flight and the tip comes from our trustworthy friends over at Hipmunk, so watch your back next time you’re peeing on a plane. Or, of course, get that door open if someone is having an emergency and stuck inside the bathroom.

6. Eliminate PDF Passwords

It’s pretty annoying when you find a PDF or get one in your mailbox and it’s locked down by a password. If you want to get rid of that password, Amit Agarwal has a guide to opening PDFs regardless of their protection. You can also check out Free PDF Unlocker (Windows-only) if you only need to enable copy and paste functionality. Just be sure to only use these options if you lose a password or you have a good reason to break in.

5. Unlock Your Camera’s True Capabilities

If you’ve got a Canon point-and-shoot, you can install custom firmware CHDK to unlock a load of features Canon didn’t offer with your model. If you’ve got a Canon or Panasonic DSLR or micro-4/3rds camera, Magic Lantern can do the same (although it’s video-orientated). If you wish your camera was a little bit better or you can’t afford an upgrade right now, these hacks are great and providing you with features you probably should’ve had in the first place.

4. Access Locked Websites And Services Using A Proxy

When you’re on the web, you’re bound to run into blocked sites now and again. This sucks, but fortunately there are plenty of ways to get around those restrictions. Whether you want to access Pandora, Hulu, the BBC iPlayer, or anything else, you’re not out of luck. If there’s not a specific hack, you’ll generally be able to get through the blockage with a proxy.

3. Pick Locks And Crack Safes

Learning to pick locks (regular ones or on your car) and crack safes may seem like a thief’s trade, but knowing how to do it can provide you with a few legal benefits. First of all, you’ll have a better understanding of how locks work so you can survey your own and protect yourself against their vulnerabilities. Additionally, should you lock yourself out, you’ll know how to get back in.

2. Crack Passwords

Whether you’re cracking a Wi-Fi password or learning how to break into a computer, cracking passwords can be useful. As with anything that falls more on the dark side, knowing these unsavory tactics can help you protect yourself. But when it comes to Wi-Fi, sometimes you just need to borrow a network temporarily and that’s really not harmful to anyone. Also, you might forget your own password and need to break back into your computer. Whatever the case may be, use these skills for good!

1. Jailbreaking/Rooting Your Smartphone

Jailbreaking your iPhone and rooting your Android are just about the most necessary feature-unlocking hacks for one of the most relevant pieces of technology available today. If you need some incentives, here’s why jailbreaking is awesome and the 10 best apps that requite rooting your Android. Both are generally pretty easy to do and very worthwhile, so get to it!

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