April Fools’ Day Computer Pranks

April 1st, otherwise known as April Fools Day, is a great day to have some fun with your colleagues in the office.

So we have compiled our favourite 5 (fun but harmless) jokes to play on your colleagues or friends. Probably best to avoid playing these on your customers though ūüôā

1. Turning the screen on its side

This is such a simple trick to play on someone, and if they don’t know the shortcut it can be really frustrating to fix.

In Windows:

  • To turn the screen on its side, press Ctrl + Alt + Right-Arrow (all 3 keys together)
  • To turn the screen upside down, press Ctrl + Alt + Down-Arrow
  • To turn the screen the right way up again, press Ctrl + Alt + Up-Arrow

For Mac:

  • Press Command + Option (together). In the ‘Display’ dialog box which appears, change the rotation setting.
Rotated Screen

Here we have turned the screen upside down!


2. Connect a wireless mouse or keyboard and remotely control their computer

If you have a spare wireless mouse or keyboard, it can be great fun to drive your colleague mad by subtly adding letters, or extra spaces as they type. Or making swift jerking movements of the mouse at critical moments. Just plug your wireless device in while your colleague is away, ensuring enough time for the drivers to load while they are away, then enjoy the fun! The more subtle you can be with this prank the longer you will get away with it, and the more frustrating it will be for the receiver, as it will not be obvious that anyone is doing anything untoward.

Top tip – If you can hide the wireless receiver in some way, behind a docking station, or desktop computer this makes the prank last even longer!


3. Taking a screen print of their desktop and setting it as¬†the background… nothing they click will work!

This is a great prank but takes a little bit of time so you will need to practice on your own computer and then do it to your colleague when they are taking a coffee or comfort break.

Firstly, take a full screen print (Using the PrintScr button)¬†of their desktop (including taskbar)¬†and save the image somewhere. Then use this image and set it as their desktop background image. Now you have their desktop set as their background but you will still have their icons showing, so you will need to cut and paste (not delete)¬†them to a folder somewhere to leave an entirely blank desktop. Finally, remove the taskbar at the bottom of the screen by right clicking on it and selecting properties. Then ticking the ‘Auto-Hide the taskbar’ option. Press OK and you should be all set for your poor colleague to return.

Taskbar properties - Auto Hide

They will try to click on the desktop¬†icons but they won’t work. Then will try to click the start menu but that won’t work either. All they are seeing is a desktop background image which contains icons and a start menu but doesn’t do anything! Depending how computer savvy they are it should keep them baffled for a few minutes!

A cheeky alternative to this is to set a Blue Screen Of Death as their background image. You’ll still need to hide the icons and taskbar though! *careful though, if they have unsaved work you may wish to steer clear of this as they may just turn off their computer!

Blue Screen of Death

4. Stick some tape over the mouse optical receiver

A nice little variation on an old prank to remove the roller ball from the mouse. Now (almost) all mice are optical your best option to cause havoc is to tape over the optical receiver. Your colleague will unplug the mouse… plug it back in… unplug again… plug in again… and then reboot their system before they think to check the mouse over. You’ll be in stiches!

5. Make their CD/DVD drive repeatedly pop out

This is our favourite prank as it is so unexpected. Assuming you have a CD/DVD drive on your colleagues computer, you can run a simple script to make their DVD drive pop out repeatedly. As soon as they push it back in, the code will wait a few seconds and then pop it back out!

Its very easy to do, simply open notepad and copy the below lines of code in. Rather than saving it as a .txt, select ‘Save as type’ – All Files, name the file “AprilFool.vbs” and save it on their desktop.

 Set oWMP = CreateObject("WMPlayer.OCX.7")
Set colCDROMs = oWMP.cdromCollection
For j = 1 to 60
wscript.sleep 10000
if colCDROMs.Count >= 1 then
For i = 0 to colCDROMs.Count - 1
For i = 0 to colCDROMs.Count - 1
End If
MsgBox("Happy April Fools' Day! The DVD drive will stop opening now :)")

Finally click on the AprilFool.vbs icon on the desktop and wait for the first opening of the drive. When your colleague returns they will push it back in and the fun will begin! The script will keep running for between half an hour to an hour, and then they will get the message “Happy April Fools’ Day! The DVD drive will stop opening now :)”.

DVD CD Drive automatically ejected

That’s the lot. Hope you have some fun with these pranks. If you have any great April Fools’ please add them to the comments below for others to enjoy.