April Fools! IT Pranks to Mess with your Co-Workers

Disclaimer: The following pranks should only be played on people who will find them funny. If your co-worker or boss is in the middle of a huge project, or just doesn’t tend to have the same sense of humor as you, steer clear.

Masking Tape Mouse

Put a small piece of masking tape on the underside of a computer mouse, just over the red, laser-type light. This will prevent the mouse from working, and your colleague won’t have a clue why.

Change the background screen

If you surf online for any image, you should be able to right click on the image and click “set as wallpaper”. This will change the background image of any computer. Imagine how surprised your colleague will be to come back and see their computer background is now My Little Pony! (This prank will not work if your colleague is clever enough to lock their computer when they step away from their desk. Oh, and general hint and best practice- lock your machine when you are away from your desk. Even if it’s just for a minute.)

Revolving Background Creeper

There is a setting in Windows 7 where you can have the background image change automatically after a certain amount of time. Take multiple screen shots of their background, only on a few random ones, add in the corner a tiny little picture- maybe of a face. It will look like it keeps randomly popping up on their screen. See how long it takes for them to notice.

Reset Sleep Clock

Head into the Control Panel, under “System and Security”, under “Power Options” there is a link to “change when the computer sleeps”. Change the setting to “Turn off the display” to 1 minute. This means that if they don’t do anything on the computer (typing, moving the mouse, etc.) for just 1 minute, their display will turn off.

There is another option there to “Put the computer to sleep”, but it’s best just to leave that one alone.

Phantom Keystroker

This one takes a little money to pull off. There is a device you can buy on ThinkGeek called the Phantom Keystroker. You plug it in to a person’s machine, and then you can have crazy things happen, like their mouse moving unexpectedly, or random gibberish typing.

Voice-Automated Printer

Place an official looking sign on the printer, informing everyone that the printer has been upgraded to voice-activation. Sit back and count how many people start yelling at the printer. Here’s a great example of a sign. And here’s another one.

Frozen icons

Take a screen shot of someone’s computer screen, and then set it as their background image. Then, hide all the icons on the desktop, so only the image is left. They won’t be able to click on the icons and it will drive them crazy.

Slow mouse

Change the mouse speed to slowest setting. Under the Control Panel, under “Devices and Printers”, right click on the mouse and then click on settings. There will be an option there for how fast or slow the mouse should go.

Ghost mouse

Hook up the receiver for a wireless mouse to the computer, and then randomly throughout the day make their mouse cursor move. This is a prank that works best in close quarters.

Blue Screen of Death Screensaver

Download this on someone’s computer, set their computer to go to the screensaver after 1 minute of inactivity. This blue screen will start randomly showing up and they will think their computer has crashed.

Happy April Fool’s Day! Have fun!

Have you tried any of these? What happened? What are some of your favorite April Fool’s Day pranks?

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