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March 26, 2014

Top 5 April Fools computer pranks

Practical jokes that are easy to pull off (and to rectify!)

By Claire Vanner

The first of April is fast approaching, which means if you’re planning on playing any April Fools practical jokes, you should consider your options.

Computer pranks are always a fun way to play a harmless joke, whether it be in the office or on an unsuspecting friend or family member.

Here are six pranks that are easy to pull off (and easy to rectify once amusement subsides into anger!)

Broken mouse prank

Do you remember the days when you could make someone think their mouse was broken by just taking out the rubber ball in the base used for the track pad?

Well, while you can’t remove the laser from a mouse, you can stop it from working. It’s as simple as putting a piece of tape over the sensor. If you want to be really sneaky, colour it in black with a permanent marker to blend in. Or you could leave a little message to let them know they’ve been fooled!

Blue screen prank

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Anyone who is a PC user dreads the blue screen of death unexpectedly popping up. Ironically enough, Microsoft actually provides a free download of the much-maligned blue screen as a screen saver.
If you can download it onto your friend or colleagues computer (and even better alter the screensaver time to be just one minute) you can make them panic every time they step away from their desk or even drop off into a day dream for a minute…

Print screen desktop prank

A classic computer prank, although not quite as effective on the new Windows 8 platform, taking a screen shot of the current desktop and setting it as the desktop wallpaper makes it seem like all icons are unclickable.

If you want to remove the icons altogether, then right click on the desktop, select ‘View’ and uncheck ‘Show desktop icons’.
If you’re looking for a similar prank to play on an iPhone, take a screen shot of the homepage and set it as the wallpaper in ‘Settings’. Then drag all the app icons off the homepage so that you have to horizontally swipe to get to them, or you could delete them, but that seems a little harsh. It will seem like all the apps on their homepage aren’t working.

Upside down screen prank

Simply clicking three keys can cause a lot of frustration if you don’t know how to rectify the problem. By hitting ‘Ctrl’ ‘Alt’ and the down arrow, the whole screen is turned upside down on the monitor, with the mouse operating in reverse as well. Hit ‘Ctrl’ ‘Alt’ and the up arrow to put them out of their misery and flip the screen back the right way.

Google language prank

Google usually helps ease confusion for most people, but changing someone’s language settings on Google can make searching for answers even more of a headache. Log on to Google and select ‘Settings’ on the bottom right of the screen. Under ‘Languages’ the language can be changed to whatever you want.

If a foreign account doesn’t seem funny enough, you can even opt for Klingon, Pirate, Elmer Fudd, or appropriately, Hacker. To change back to English, click the ‘’ link on the bottom right of the page, or adjust the language through the settings menu.

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