April 1st is upon us – it’s the April fool day. And it’s the perfect day to show off your geeky skills by playing some geeky pranks. Here is the list of the coolest geeky April day pranks:

  1. The easiest and perhaps the oldest one: take a screenshot of the victim’s desktop and apply it as wallpaper. Then hide the desktop icons (right click on an empty area on the desktop – arrange icons by – untick show desktop icons). Don’t forget to put the start menu bar to auto hide as well.
  2. Install the BSOD screensaver (the nasty blue screen of death you got when your system hanged) on the victim’s pc. It’s a free download from Microsoft (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb897558.aspx). Your friend will go nuts.
  3. Download the cracked lcd wallpaper and set it as a desktop background. Hide the desktop icons and set the start menu bar to auto-hide.
  4. Install VNC on your friend’s computer and then remote control his pc. Then disable the taskbar icon of VNC and have fun controlling his pc remotely as your friend scratches his head ion confusion.
  5. If your friend uses an antique ball mouse, just hide the mouse. It sounds far too simple to actually fool anyone, but you’ll be amazed at how long people will curse and slam their unresponsive mouse onto the desktop before actually flipping the thing over.
  6. If your friend has an optical or laser mouse, just stick some tape over the sensor and watch the mouse movements go haywire.
  7. Use the autocorrect feature of MS Office. Try adding substitutes to commonly used words or the name of the person who uses the system (It would be really funny if someone types his name and sees something like Mr. Dumbass on the screen).
  8. Switch the keyboard layout to Dvorak. This will change the layout of the keyboard to an almost alien layout. To switch a keyboard layout in Windows XP, go to the Control Panel (make sure it’s in “Classic View” mode) and click on Regional and Language Options. Under the Languages tab, view Details. Click on Add and find “United States-Dvorak” in the list. Now you’ll see Dvorak show up in the drop-down menu of default input languages. Choose it and click Apply. Mac OS X is much easier: Go to System Preferences, click on International and select the Input Menu tab. Click the checkbox next to Dvorak. You might also check “Show input menu in menu bar” at the bottom of the window. A tiny icon menu will appear in the top right corner (next to the clock), allowing you to switch between keyboard layouts with a single click.
  9. If the Windows Messenger Service is active in your environment, write a small batch file that will broadcast a message to a colleague a few hundred times using the “net send” command. Then, watch in amusement as the target keeps on clicking OK on the hundreds of message box that appear on his screen. (Don’t forget to disable your Messenger service after; the victim will likely want to play the same trick on you!).
  10. Another simple trick: switch the keyboard and/or mouse cables or two nearby or back to back pcs. And then watch the fun!
  11. Modify commonly used desktop shortcuts (like that of MS Word) to point to some objectionable site. Or set them to shutdown or restart the system. Here’s how:

    First: choose a program your coworker/friend uses often. Back up the icon somewhere.

    Right Click on Desktop

    New > Shortcut

    For target type “shutdown -s -t 00 -f”

    Type the name of the program you chose (e.g. Microsoft Word)


    Right Click on shortcut > Properties

    Change Icon > Choose icon of chosen Program (e.g. If you chose Microsoft Word the path would be “C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\OfficeXX\WINWORD.EXE” Where XX is the number based on the version of Office)

    You can also copy the comment of the original icon to the shutdown button, so it is even more unnoticeable. Warning: this will cause the victim to lose ALL unsaved changes.

If you have ideas for more pranks, feel free to add them to the comments. Have a happy April fools day.

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