10 Genius Computer Pranks for April Fools’ Day

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April Fools’ Day is here once again. Employees everywhere will set aside their daily tasks to partake in tomfoolery and pranks of all different sorts.  Since we hang out with testers and programmers all day at the QASymphony office we thought it would be fun to put together a list of our 10 favorite technology pranks. Hopefully the below pranks will equip you to execute the perfect April Fool’s prank or to defend yourself from office pranksters.

1) Setup Task Scheduler Jobs to Launch Random Apps or Webpages

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Open Task Scheduler and create a new task, run through the wizard and pick the browser or app you want to launch, enter the site name into the arguments box, and then set the schedule to repeat the task every 5 minutes or so.

2) Trick 2 People into Thinking They Called Each Other

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Download Skype (you will need an account with a $10 credit) and set up a conference call with two people at the same time. Their caller ID will read “Unknown” or Private”.  Mute yourself once they answer, and they will be convinced that the other has called them.  If they call it an accident, continue calling.

3) Replace April with Fool

Go to System Preferences, Keyboard and select Text. Click on the “+” and enter a word, like “April”, that you want to automatically change every time they type it. Pick your alternative word, like “Fool”.  Note: this will only work in Apple apps.

4) Create a Shutdown Shortcut that Looks Like a Folder

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Create a shortcut to shutdown.exe on the desktop, and then change the icon to a regular folder, so when they double-click the folder, they will receive a system shutdown notice. We recommend changing the shutdown time to really far in the future so they won’t lose any work, but you still get a good laugh

  • shutdown -s -t 1925000 -c “System error: overloaded XXX folder”

5) Set the Mouse Pointer to Always Be Busy

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Open Control Panel, Mouse, Pointers and change the normal pointer to the busy one.

6) Change the Language Settings on Google to Bork, Elmer Fudd or Klingon

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Go to “My Account” in Google, click “Account Preferences”, then click “Language & Input Tools”.  There, you can choose the interface language of the search engine. We highly recommend Bork, Elmer Fudd, Hacker, klingon and Pirate.  This trick also works on cellphones.

7) Mysterious Mouse

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Color the nonstick side of a piece of tape with black sharpie and place it over the laser sensor on an optical mouse. Repeat several times throughout the day for an extra laugh.

8) Replace the Space bar with the word “SPACE”

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Create a new AutoHotkey script and drop in the following two lines of code—the first one is to hide the tray icon, and the second sets up the hotkey for replacing the text.

  • #NoTrayIcon
  • *Space::Send,SPACE

9) Invert Colors or Remove Colors from a Mac

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OpenSystem Preferences, Accessibility, Display and then choose Invert Colors or remove color by selecting Grayscale.

10) Quick Wallpaper Switch

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There are several options for wallpaper pranks from the classic cracked screen wallpaper to the dreaded Spinning ball, blue screen of death or you can customize your prank by taking a screenshot of their desktop (while the icons are still there).  Whatever wallpaper you pick just remember to hide their icons and task-bar.

11)  (BONUS!) Google Chrome Inspect Element Prank

Open Google Chrome, pick the element you want to change (highlight it) , left click inspect element, change the copy.  Take a screenshot (because it is temporary), send it to your developer friend and ask them what happened to their code.

What are some of your favorite April Fools’ Day pranks? Share them below in the comments section. And if you happen to be in the market for an innovative testing and test management platform check us out over at qasymphony.com.

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