15 April Fools Pranks with a Hi-Tech Twist

15 April Fools Pranks with a Hi-Tech Twist

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Taryn Williford
Mar 31, 2010

033110_tf_aprilpranks.jpgTomorrow is April 1st. It's the day we all watch our backs for merry pranksters around the office, the neighborhood and even inside our own apartments (A sleeping roommate is the most unsuspecting victim). In an effort to keep the spirit of April Fool's Day alive, here are 15 tech-centric pranks.

A great prank needs three things: A smart joker to set the trap, an unsuspecting victim to fall into it and a prank that hits hard at something the victim loves (It's the difference between the snake-in-a-jar and the toothpaste-on-the-sleeping-hand—people love their sleep).

Well we'll give you (the now-educated prankster) some ideas at messing with your target's TV, computer or phone (stuff they love). All that's left for you to do is find a victim.


  1. Sneak over and right-click on a buddy's icon for a commonly used program like Firefox. Edit the properties and change the target to: %windir%\system32\shutdown.exe -r -t 00. Every time your former friend tries to start up the browser, his machine will restart.

  2. Create a funny/embarassing message in a text editor (depending on how mean you're feeling) and move it to the startup folder. When they log in the next morning, they'll get the message loud and clear.

  3. The Think Geek Annoy-A-Tron was built for April Fool's Day. It sounds off a short, but very annoying, beep every few minutes. Your target will have a hard time finding the sound because the beeps vary in intervals from 2 to 8 minutes.

  4. 03312010_tf_annoyatron.jpg
    The Annoy-A-Tron: Even when they find it they won't know what it is.

  5. Make a screen capture of your victim's desktop then hide all of his desktop icons inside a single folder. , When you install the captured image as the desktop background, so your target tries to click on icons and shortcuts that aren't really there. For an added bonus, sneak over and do this when they have a working document open.

  6. Change the autocorrect settings on your friend's computer or phone so that it will automatically change their name to "Idiot McGee"—or something even more mean, if you're feeling ballsy.

  7. Connect a wireless mouse or wireless keyboard to a nearby computer to confuse your victim as he tries to work. They key to making this age-old prank a day-long success is patience and subtlety. A "right click" here, a "caps lock" there and a few extra letters while they're typing an email will make the target think that they're just not on their game.

  8. In the mouse settings, change the cursor from the standard arrow to an hourglass or spinning wheel. Your target will think his computer's always thinking!

  9. TV-B-Gone is a key chain gadget with the almost super-hero-like ability to shut off every TV in it's radius. Fun for the whole family in the living room or the whole group of patrons at a sports bar.


  10. Use TeleSpoof.com or SpoofCard.com to call a friend with a custom CallerID. You can specify what number you want their phone to say the call is coming from. Your victim can get a call from their boss, law enforcement or even their own phone (weird!).

  11. Coming from the techs at Microsoft themselves, installing the BlueScreen Screen Saver will make your former friend think that their machine has seen it's last click.

  12. KeyExtender is a program that will let you re-map a friend's keyboard so you can change 2's to 5's or exclamation points to question marks—a great way to silence that aggresive punctuator in your office!!!!!!!! "C'mon guys?? We can do better this quarter??? Guys??"

  13. Change a supply-stealing officemate's Outlook Rules so that every time you send them an email, a mariachi band plays and it prints out 5 copies on their paper. IOr try something else. Outlook Rules offer endless prank possibilities.

  14. Place the TV Poltergeist between the couch cushions of your victim's theater room. With the LED aimed at the TV, it will turn the set off and on in random intervals for as long as the three AA batteries inside can last.

  15. 033110_tf_tvpoltergeist.jpg
    It's not April Fool's Day, it's April Fool's however-long-until-the-Dancing-With-The-Stars-Finale.

  16. Print 100 sheets of paper with an 8-point, 25 percent gray line of text in the bottom corner (be as creative as you feel is appropriate—we won't tell). Take those sheets and stick them right back in the printer for others to make their copies.

  17. Just like the "extra mouse" gag, stealing a friend's cell phone to broadcast a hack text message is as old as the hills. But for a new twist, instead of "My penis is small!!!!1!!1!" text that gives away the prank, try something more believable like "I had a dream last night that we had a fight. Are we OK?" Your target is guaranteed to receive replies all day.

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