April Fools' Day Pranks: 5 Totally Obnoxious Tech Tricks

I live with a practical jokester. It's in my husband's blood: his uncle is known for doing things like leaving open cans of tuna fish in his coworker's air vents.

Early in our marriage, my husband taught me that if you put a rubber band on the handle of a sink nozzle attachment, the next person to turn on the water gets sprayed in the face. Oh, and if you have any of those little firecracker snappers left from the Fourth of July, it's pretty entertaining if you line them under the seat of a toilet before a female uses the restroom.

Which is all to say, I don't necessarily approve of April Fools' Day tricks, because being the prankee makes a person feel like an asshole. If, however, you're looking to make someone else feel like an asshole tomorrow, I have a few good tech-related ones you can pull on your coworker—or spouse:


Screw up their mouse. Surprisingly easy, yet deeply rewarding: put a small piece of tape (color the nonstick side with a Sharpie, or use black tape) over the laser sensor on the bottom of their optical mouse to render it useless. Bonus points if they spend more than five consecutive minutes cursing and thrashing around before they finally turn it over.

Make their search page more exotic. This one's perfect for Google addicts—Google's home page has a Preferences option where you can choose the default display language or the search language. Serbo-Croation, anyone?

"Print. PRINT!" For this one to work, you have to hope for a little workplace gullibility, but I love the idea SO MUCH. Create a sign for the office printer (or copier, or fax machine, whatever gets used the most) that tells users the machine has been upgraded to accept voice commands. Encourage the person to speak loudly and clearly, being as how the software's kinda new and all.

Turn their screen upside down.
Rotate is a Windows desktop manipulator that randomly flips the desktop into all sorts of weird positions, and just to add to the general confusion, turns the user's cursor to a "?" Install it when they step away from the computer, then stand there shrugging when they come back. "I don't know, man, it just started doing this."

Transform their phone. One of the accessibility options on the iPhone is called "white on black," and it creates a high contrast appearance that's completely baffling if you've never seen it before. When someone leaves their phone unattended for a second, go to the iPhone’s Settings app and navigate to the ‘Accessibility’ options within the ‘General’ tab. Switch the ‘White on Back’ toggle to on and the colors will change instantly. Then just sit back and enjoy the show.

Hope you can put at least one of these to good use tomorrow!

Image via Flickr/basykes

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