Happy April Fools Day! Pranks are undeniably pretty awesome, when carried out currently. You’ve most likely already pranked a few unfortunate people in your life at some point. Maybe you used the Whoopee cushion or the vacuum on someone who was fast asleep. It’s a lot of fun, but are you really living up to your prankster potential? You’re a tech whiz, and it’s about time your pranks reflected that. We’ve come up with a few suggestions…
Flip the computer display screen upside down
For Windows: Hit Ctrl + Alt + Down arrow (the same combination with the up arrow will flip it back). If for some reason this does not work, right click on the desktop > Display Settings (or Screen Resolution on older versions) and change the screen orientation.
For Mac: Hold Command + Option at the same time, while still holding those keys go to System Preferences. Go to Display (while still holding the two keys) A new menu called Rotation should appear, and you can flip the display and save it or undo.
Adjust the mouse pointer to look busy all the time to make people crazy.
This easy joke will trick your victim into thinking their machine is constantly hanging when it isn’t. I get frustrated whenever I see the busy cursor. I can’t help myself. The mere thought of this joke being played on me makes my eye twitch. However, if you agree not to use it on me, here are the instructions:
For Windows: Go to the Control Panel > Mouse > Pointers and change the Normal pointer to the working one.
For Mac: This prank option isn’t readily available but you can still mess with the cursor. Go to System Preferences > Accessibility > Display and drag the cursor size all the way to the right to make the mouse pointer gigantic.
Actually, while you’re at it, you might as well mess around with the other display settings like inverting colors and turning the contrast all the way up.
Learn how to use autocorrect additions to your advantage.
This simple yet extremely aggravating prank can be carried out in a variety of ways, depending on the victim’s device or smartphone. The basic idea is to use the AutoCorrect keyboard function to add a custom entry to replace a common word (or the spacebar) with something else entirely.
You can be subtle by simply substituting a typo for a correctly typed word. Isn’t that irritating? You can also go for shock value by changing “Hey” to “I love watching Barney reruns.” Really be ready to deal with any consequences that can arise.
For Microsoft Word: Choose File from the main menu (or the Office button in older versions of Word) > Options > Proofing > AutoCorrect Options. If you want this to be system-wide, you can use AutoHotkey instead.
Word on Mac: Word > Preferences > Autocorrect.
For Mac: System Preferences > Keyboard > Text > Click the Plus sign at the bottom left.
For Google Docs: Tools > Preferences. Add away. Make sure the box next to “Automatic substitution” is checked.
For Android: Go to Settings > Language & Input > Google Keyboard (or other default keyboard) > Text Correction > Personal Dictionary.
For iPhone: Go to Settings > General > Keyboard (make sure autocorrect is on) > Text Replacement > tap the Plus sign at the top right and add your “corrections.”
Switch the keyboard layout to DVORAK
This is a fun way to screw with someone without having to do much as a fast alternative. All you have to do is allow the Dvorak alternate keyboard style, which is unfamiliar to the majority of users.
Select the Dvorak layout from the Control Panel > Region and Language > Keyboards > Change keyboards menu, then press the Add button on Dvorak layout (or any other random layout you want). After that, pick the default option from the drop-down menu above. You’ll probably want to hide the Language Bar tab as well, so the tricks can’t be easily worked out.
Block their mouse sensor with a Post-it
In a hurry? This is the prank for you.
Give your victim a heart attack with a cracked screen wallpaper
This one is not as simple but changing someone’s wallpaper can be startling sure, but for better results, you can take a screenshot of their home screen and overlay the broken glass effect on top of it. On Android and iOS, there are a few applications that can help you with this.
Use task scheduler jobs to launch random apps or web pages
Imagine while working a new tab to a certain page keeps opening every couple of minutes. It’s a headache. Imagine attempting to troubleshoot it quickly and failing miserably (while the new tab keeps popping open repeatedly.) That is exactly what will happen if you bury the job in the scheduler. Create a new task, go through the wizard to select the browser executable, enter the site name in the arguments box, and set the task to repeat every 5 minutes (or every minute, depending on how insane you are).
Replace system sounds
For pranksters who are short of time, the straightforward solution is ideal: Download a range of ‘.wav’ files and use the Control Panel to replace the prankee’s default device sounds. When they open a new email in Outlook or another email client, for example.
If you want to be more discreet with this prank, use a sound editor (like Audacity) and add a lot of silence between the default sound (for receiving email or something else) and the sound files you’re using. This creates a significant difference between the sound’s origin – logging into Windows, a User Account Control window appearing, or whatever else you want – and the sound effect you’ve selected. A common suggestion is horrific screams, but why not mix it up a bit, picture a child’s voice whispering something…
Move desktop icons, take a screenshot, set as the wallpaper
Take a screenshot of the victim’s current desktop and set it as the wallpaper, then hide the icons and taskbar. All will seem fine at first, but nothing will respond to mouse clicks. Another choice is to take a screenshot of their desktop, set it as their wallpaper, reorganize their icons, and then take another screenshot. Repeat until you have a cluttered desktop with just a few working icons, leaving the victim to look for what’s available.
Use a wireless mouse and keyboard to control a computer from a safe distance
There used to be trojan-like (but benign) VNC programs that you could run to mess with people, but those are no longer usable. Installing something like TeamViewer, on the other hand, is a more elaborate choice for a prank, but one that will require more preparation than others.
If you’re in an office with desktop PCs, however, you can monitor the prankee’s computer from your desk by plugging a wireless mouse and keyboard receiver into the back of the computer. When the mouse begins moving by itself, starting programs, and typing strange messages on the keyboard, the receiver will be confused. You’re in for a good laugh if you combine this with one of the pranks mentioned above.
What are you really waiting for?
Establish your mission, rein in your crazed laughter, and get to work.
Need help putting the settings back to the way they were? Radiant Technology Solutions can help! Contact us today!
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