Mar 31

April Fools!  Photo by Michelle Dennis, used under license April Fool’s Day is tomorrow, April 1st.  It’s an annual “holiday” when humor reigns, and pranks and practical jokes are expected and allowed. 

Computers are a great medium for April Fool’s jokers because most users have no clue what goes on behind those blinking computer lights.  So when a hapless user is hit with a computer prank, they immediately suspect a malfunction, virus or worse.

Normally DevTopics is a source of helpful information to increase your knowledge and productivity, but today we will help you be a little naughty.  Following are the best April Fool’s computer pranks found on the Web.


Swap Keyboards and Mice

If you work in an office where the desks sit close together, you can swap keyboards, mice or monitors between computers.  For example, you can unplug the keyboard from one computer and plug it into another computer, and vice versa.  When the person next to you types something, nothing appears on her screen, until you start typing.

Qwerty Qwonfusing

Dvorak keyboards may be superior to the traditional Qwerty layout, but the only keys in common are A and M.  So if you switch the keyboard layout to Dvorak, when the user types, all they will see is gibberish.

Hunt and Peck and Hunt Again

If your co-worker cannot type without looking at the keys, you can carefully pop off a few of the keys from the victim’s keyboard and switch them around.  If the victim is a “hunt and peck” typist, this will cause great confusion.

On the Other Hand

Swap the mouse button functions in the Windows Control Panel.  So when the user click the left mouse button, it acts like a right-click, and a menu pops up.

Crazy Mouse

This idea is great for playing a prank on your co-worker in an adjoining cubicle.  Plug an extra mouse into one of your victim’s spare USB ports and snake the wire back into your cubicle.  While the victim is working, give the spare mouse an occasional nudge.

Dead Mouse

Tape a piece of paper over the ball underneath a conventional mouse, or over the electronic eye underneath an optical mouse.  Be sure to write “April Fools” on the slip of paper.

Broken Monitor

On most computer monitors, if you turn the brightness control all the way up and the contrast all the way down, the screen will appear to be blank.

Disappearing Text

Change the victim’s default font color to white.  This will cause great confusion as all of their text will suddenly be invisible.

Start ‘Em Up

Change the startup sound on your victim’s computer to something funny or embarrassing.  Make sure the volume is turned all the way up when he or she arrives to work.

Nowhere to Start

You can hide a user’s Windows Start bar.  To do this, right-click on the Start Bar and uncheck the “Lock the Taskbar” option.  Then drag the Start Bar to a different edge of the window (so if the Start Bar is currently at the bottom of the screen like on most computers, drag it to the top).  Right-click again on the Start Bar and select “Properties.”  Check the “Auto-hide the taskbar” option.  The Start Bar will now be moved and hidden where most users cannot find it.

Blue Screen of Death

Make your victim think their PC crashed when they return from lunch.  Install the Blue Screen of Death screensaver, a free download ironically from Microsoft.

Frozen Apps

Change the cursor on the victim’s computer.  Open the “Mouse” settings on the Windows Control Panel and select the “Pointers” tab.  Then change the default cursor to the hourglass image.  Now the victim will think their computer is perpetually busy.

Frozen Desktop

Minimize all the windows on your victim’s computer so that only the desktop is showing.  Take a screen capture of the desktop and save it as the desktop wallpaper.  Then delete all the icons on the desktop (or move them to a special folder so the victim can recover the icons after you’ve enjoyed your prank).  The user will then be unable to click, move or delete any of the icons on his desktop.

Google This, Silly Wabbit!

When your victim leaves her computer unattended, go to Google’s home page and click on “Preferences.”  There you can choose the interface language of the search engine.  Klingon, Hacker and Yiddish are all excellent choices, but Elmer Fudd is our personal favorite.  As Elmer, you can use the Google Diwectowy, perform a Google Seawch or find out if you’re “feewing wucky.”

Sly Like a Firefox

If your victim uses Firefox, install the Total Confusion Pack Firefox extension.  This enables a number of devious “features” on April 1st only, including “Two Steps Back” (makes the back button go back twice at random times), “Rick Roller” (occasionally switches a video clip with the infamous Rick Astley video), “Not Funny” (adds LOL, *sigh* and various other commentary to web page text), and “Watch It” (makes it look like the web page is taking forever to load).

Spoof Mail

HoaxMail provides a simple and powerful service to anonymously send spoof email and text messages.  You can send messages from any address to anyone.

Prankware

RJL Software offers a Fool’s Tools CD-ROM collection of classic computer pranks such as Random Farter and Mouse Mayhem.  The CD includes 25 pranks and a fast, stealth installer for quick prank installations on another computer.  PC World also offers its own collection of prank software.

Want More?

There are entire sites dedicated to April Fools computer pranks, such as ComputerPranks.com and RobRob8.

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Article published on March 31, 2009




10 Responses to “Best April Fool’s Day Computer Pranks”

  1. Video | Enjolt.com | Innovate for Success Says:

    […] […]

  2. Emily Says:

    ok i got my mom by doing this. hold down the control along with the alt. button and hit one of the arrows like down. it turns your computer in that direction. my mom was flippin’ out….”WHATS WRONG WITH MY COMPUTER!?!”

  3. jler Says:

    good idea,i try it.thx for sharing:)

  4. tex Says:

    found a site to perform some of classical pranks in an advanced way : http://www.virtualprank.com

  5. Vikram Says:

    Cool Pranks..

  6. Matt Langley Says:

    New one I just spotted, depending on their graphics driver, there is often a Graphics Properties option on the desktop context menu. You can then often rotate rotate their entire monitor output!

    It takes some hand eye gymnastics or a swivel head to swich it back though!

    Personally I think this one is so good it would be wrong to save it for April 1.

  7. Alloy Casting Die Says:

    coooooooooooool

  8. matt Says:

    you should put caps lock on the computer and when he or she tries to type there password if they have one it won’t work also check out aprilfoolszone.com for good pranks my email is mattwiley123@hotmail.com if you want to email me be sure to send a joke or prank bye

  9. George Says:

    I always use http://www.hoaxMail.co.uk to send out spoof text messages and emails, you can pretend to be from anyone you want. Hilarious!

  10. Best April Fool’s Day Computer Pranks Says:

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