Play These Simple IT Pranks On April Fool's Day

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Happy April Fool's Day! If you're stuck in an office all day and don't have time to organise any elaborate pranks to play on your colleagues, don't fret. You can get into the spirit of the occasion and unleash your inner prankster with these simple IT tricks that you can use on unsuspecting co-workers.

We've included some of the tips from last year's guide and added some new ones in for your pranking pleasure. While some of these ideas require you to have access to your victim's computer, there are ones that just require a bit of legwork.

Alter Their Desktop With A Sneakily-Modified Screenshot

This one involves taking a screenshot of someone's desktop, subtly alter it, and then change the desktop wallpaper to that image. Among the better variants. It's a simple prank to execute and it's highly effective:

  • Take a screen shot of their screen, set it as the background wallpaper, open Task Manager and end the explorer.exe process. They'll be clicking so hard, but nothing will happen! (You can restart Explorer from Task Manager provided you know the keyboard shortcut.) For added excitement, rotate the screen upside down (see below for more on how to do this).
  • Create a folder in the centre of the screen and name it "Amateur Porn" or something similar. Take a screen shot, set it as background then delete the folder from the desktop. It's gone but the picture of the folder remains.
  • For a weirder variant, create a batch file that displays a message like "This is your computer: I hate you". Create a shortcut to the file, and change the icon and name to 'Google Chrome' (or IE or whatever).
  • The really extreme version is to share access to an individual's Windows folder to others, and routinely change desktop images and screen effects. This won't always work in environments with more robust security policies.

Changing All The Sound Your Colleague's Computer

On a Windows 10 PC, go into the Control Panel, locate Hardware and Sound, go into Change system sounds and replace all the default sounds for different functions with a hilarious .wav sound file. It's a similar process for older Windows computers as well.

You could use a recording of an explosion, the Wilhelm Scream or even create your own .wav sound file to do this. Then sit back and watch your colleague freak out to the noise when he opens a program on his computer.

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 one 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.

Replace All Pictures On A Website With Images Of Nicholas Cage

Confuse the hell out of your colleagues by making adding this nifty nCage extension to their Chrome browsers which changes all the images on websites they visit to pictures of Nicholas Cage.

Nasty Ways To Mess With A Mouse

There are so many ways to make a mouse non-functional:

  • Put sticky tape across its sensor.
  • Disconnect the cable (surprisingly effective if it's a desktop concealed under a desk).
  • Replace the batteries with flat batteries. For added effect, replace the stationery cupboard supply of flat batteries with flat batteries too.)
  • Plug a wireless mouse receiver into the computer, and then randomly move the cursor during the day.

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.

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

This story has been updated since its original publication.

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