The Best April Fools’ Tech Tricks To Play On Your Colleagues

Tomorrow is April Fools’ Day. Mark the occasion with these simple tricks that will leave your colleagues confused. This is your chance for revenge from a year of idiotic support questions — make the most of it.

Angry worker picture from Shutterstock

Turn Screens Upside Down

So simple, so evil, so effective. Type Control-Alt-Down on any Windows machine and the screen will flip upside-down. Restore things to normal with Control-Alt-Up — but that can be hard to discover when you can’t use Google properly.

Turn The Internet Upside Down

A variant on the same thing is the much-loved Upside-Down-Ternet, which will display just web sites upside down. It requires a little skill in editing IP tables, but the instructions are fairly comprehensive. With everything in place, your victim’s web browser will display every site in reverse.

Swap Every Lightning Charger For A 30-Pin Dinosaur

If your office is anything like ours, then all the newer iPhone owners are constantly begging for a Lightning charger. If anyone leaves on plugged in at their desk, change their cable for an older 30-pin model, then sit back and watch the fun. If anyone asks, say that Apple has just announced it is reverting to 30-pin because of safety issues.

The Blue Screen Of Death (BSOD) Screensaver

OK, the Blue Screen Of Death looks a little different these days, but not everyone has updated to Windows 8. The BSOD Screensaver loads a fake Windows error screen to trick the viewer into thinking their computer has just experienced a major crash. There are several variants out there; hunt around for one that appeals.

Trick Colleagues Into Talking To The Printer

Another low-tech genius move, and one that doesn’t require any admin access. These realistic upgrade notices make it look like the printer has voice commands. Readers will start to recite the commands and get absolutely nowhere while you watch and enjoy. These original notices have 2010 copyright dates, which may not be an issue depending on the age of your office printer. If it is, they’re easily edited.

Enable Dvorak Keyboard Support

We don’t recommend using the DVORAK layout, switching a colleague to using it can make life amusing. Just search for ‘Keyboard layout’ on a modern Windows machine and alter the settings.

Use Text Expansion To Replace Common Words

Text expansion, it’s a term for a tool that lets you type a short sequence (such as “ph#”) that will automatically expand to a different and often larger block of text (such as “(02) 9999 9999”). Text expansion apps work with entries called snippets, which include the word you type and the text it expands to.

As a prank, you can enter common words as shortcut. For example, if your friend’s name was Harold you could enter a shortcut that expands Harold to the word Idiot.It’s a very simple trick to play and you can be as creative and detailed as you want. You can also be as appropriate or vulgar as your relationship with the victim dictates, making it a safe prank for almost everyone.

If you want to try this prank but need a recommendation for text expansion software, check out our top picks for Windows and Mac. You can even do it on an Android or iOS device.

What pranks would you add to this list? Tell us in the comments.

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