5 TikTok Computer Hacks That Actually Work (And 3 That Don’t)

April 25, 2022 • Shannon Flynn


Millions of people are posting viral videos on TikTok featuring “genius” computer hacks. Not all of these videos are legitimate or trustworthy, though. A few viral computer hacks do work and might even save you some money. Others could potentially damage your computer or leave you vulnerable to cybercrime. So, before you test out the latest hacking trend from TikTok, try these computer hacks that actually work – and know which “hacks” to skip. 

TikTok Computer Hacks That Actually Work

1. Salvaging Hard Drives From Old Cable Boxes

One TikTok user suggested an interesting way to get hard drives practically for free. This viral hack recommends buying old cable boxes from thrift stores and popping them open to get the hard drives inside. Surprisingly, this hack works. Before trying this one, there are a couple of things you should be aware of. 

Most cable boxes have some kind of security screws on them to keep people from opening the box. Removing these screws requires specialized tools and may be dangerous. The hard drives inside cable boxes may offer 500 gigabytes or even 1 or 2 terabytes of storage. Unfortunately, these disk drives are often not fast enough to run video games. You can definitely use them for storing miscellaneous files and data, though, which frees up space on other drives for your games. You may also need to reformat the drive to get it to work properly with a PC.

2. Using Inspect Element to Remove Paywalls

More and more websites are using paywalls to force users into paying for subscriptions in order to view articles and other content. This computer hack may not work on all paywalls but can get past a surprising number of them. 

Simply go to the page where you want to get past a firewall. Right-click on your mouse anywhere on the page and select “Inspect”. This will pull up a side window in Chrome showing some code for the page with a toolbar at the top. In that toolbar, select the gear icon to go to the page settings and scroll down to “Debugger”. In this section is an option to “Disable Javascript”. Select this option and refresh the page. On many sites, this will remove the paywall and allow you to read the article you wanted without paying for a subscription. 

3. Using Inspect Element to Edit Any Webpage

This TikTok computer hack is perfect for those looking for a fun way to prank friends. The same “Inspect” menu used in the previous computer hack can also be used to edit the appearance of web pages. It should be noted that this doesn’t actually change the content of those pages. It simply changes how they appear on your screen and only your screen. 

To test out this computer hack, go to the “Console” tab of the “Inspect” menu for any web page. In here, you’ll find a small box to type in your own code commands. In this box simply type in “document.designMode=“on””, including the quotation marks around “on”, and hit enter. This will allow you to change the text on any webpage just like you would in a Word document. To change the page back, all you need to do is refresh the page. 

4. Hiding Any Folder By Changing Its Icon

Another viral TikTok computer hack helps hide sensitive files on your computer. This is good for hiding something like a password document or digital journal from anyone who might be snooping on your laptop or PC. It also won’t harm or alter any of your files, either. 

To hide a folder on your computer, first move it to your desktop. This hack works by hiding the file in plain sight and disguising it. Right-click on the file on your desktop and select “Properties” then select the “Customize” tab. In this tab, select “Change Icon” and choose any icon from the built-in collection. After selecting the new icon, return to the desktop and rename the file to match its new icon. 

5. Instant Hearing Aid With AirPods and an iPhone

While this TikTok hack is for iPhones instead of PCs, it is still a great trick that can be highly useful. iPhones have a built-in feature that can turn any iPhone and Airpods into a hearing aid or remote listening device for some amateur spycraft. Simply connect your AirPods via Bluetooth and go into the Settings app then scroll down to “Control Center”. 

Here you can add new controls to the pull-up control center on your Home screen. Add “Hearing” to your controls and return to your Home screen. Anytime you want to use your iPhone for remote listening, turn on “Live Listen” from the Hearing control. This will allow you to hear anything your iPhone’s mic picks up as long as it stays within Bluetooth range, even from another room. 

TikTok Computer Hacks You Shouldn’t Try 

Unfortunately, most “computer hacks” on TikTok are either completely fake or even dangerous. At best, they don’t work. At worst, they could ruin your computer. These are three of the top viral TikTok computer hacks you shouldn’t risk trying. Be careful testing out any hack found on TikTok, though, since these tips almost always come from people who are not tech experts or professionals. 

1. Using Deodorant As CPU Thermal Paste

More and more people are building their own custom gaming PCs, which requires assembling the computer yourself. A small but critical part of the assembly process is thermal paste. One viral TikTok computer hack recommends using deodorant as thermal paste. 

This may seem like an easy way to save money on thermal paste, but it will be better for your wallet than your PC. Deodorant has no conductivity capability, so it will just melt when your CPU begins warming up, which will happen quickly since the CPU cooler won’t be able to do its job. This computer hack may leave your PC smelling nice, but it won’t run well at all. 

2. Putting Your PC in the Freezer

Another debunked TikTok computer hack is putting your PC in the freezer to cool it down. PC gaming enthusiasts often struggle to keep their computers cool when running processor or graphics-intensive games. Storing your PC in a mini freezer by your desk may seem like the perfect cooling solution. 

However, this tactic is likely to backfire. If your PC is running hot enough for cooling to be a major issue, it will outpace the freezer sooner or later and end up heating the freezer up. You are much better off upgrading your fans or cooling system. 

3. Hacking Private Instagram Accounts With Inspect Element

One TikTok computer hack blew up on social media for revealing how to view private Instagram accounts. The TikTok user suggested that you can use “Inspect” to “unblock” private profile pages on Instagram’s desktop site. Unfortunately, this trick doesn’t actually work. If it ever did, Instagram fixed the problem, protecting users’ privacy. 

The Internet’s Easiest Computer Hacks

The computer “hacks” that go viral on TikTok are generally the most harmless type of hacking, far from creating malware or stealing personal information. It is still wise to be careful about testing TikTok hacks. Checking the comments section on a “TechTok” is a good place to start since other users are likely to comment if the hack worked or flopped. At the end of the day, these hacks are supposed to be fun tricks that take advantage of computers’ existing functions and features.