April Fools' Day is one day in a year when you can play pranks on friends, colleagues and family members and actually get away with it. The age-old celebration of human fallibility has been embraced by the tech community lately, making tech-related pranks one of the best and funniest antics to participate in.
In the spirit of geeking out, IBTimes UK has compiled a list of some simple tech pranks that you can play on friends and colleagues. If you are not tech savvy, fear not, the pranks listed below are simple enough for anyone to pull off successfully.
The most important thing to remember is to ensure that you have access to your unsuspecting victim's smartphone or desktop. However, ensure your victim stays away from their workstation or their devices while you get to work with your prank.
Mentioned below are some simple pranks to annoy, befuddle and bamboozle your loved ones:
Make your victim's MacBook go to sleep with magnets
Get some small magnets and place them on the left of the MacBook and watch it immediately go to sleep. To make the prank more effective, hide the magnets inside a coffee mug or a stuffed toy and watch as your victim freaks out over his/her MacBook "dying".
Switch contact names to Harry Potter and LOTR characters
Get some alone time with your victim's smartphone and quickly go about switching their contacts' names to characters from Harry Potter or the Lord of The Rings (or any other movie or TV series that you fancy). It will drive people nuts and hopefully get them a few funny texts from Messrs Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs. Fun tip: change your name to Gandalf and when they try asking you to send in your real name, text them this: "You shall not pass!"
GIF your victim into thinking your typing
If you and your friend are regulars on iMessage, this is the prank for you. You can use a cleverly designed GIF into making your friend think that you are typing out a gigantic message to them and watch them go slowly from impatient to fuming mad. The GIF is available here and can be saved on your iPhone by just holding down on the image.
Turn their world topsy turvy with upside down computer display
This is a simple enough trick, which can be played on both Windows and Mac users. All you need is to do is type in a few commands on the keyboard and then you can watch as your friends scramble to make sense of it all.
Windows: Hold down Ctrl + Alt + Down simultaneously or try going to the desktop display settings and then change the screen orientation. (Hitting Ctrl + Alt + Up will get the screen back up normal again)
Mac: Hit the Command + Option keys simultaneously and open up System Preferences as you hold down the keys. Go to Display and when you see the Rotation menu, flip the display screen and save it. (You can undo the prank by following the same process and flipping the display screen back on as before.)
Mess with the iPhone Autocorrect so nothing is corrected
This prank is sure to result in some interesting texts from your friends and will leave them stymied for a while. All you need to do is go into Settings in the iPhone and select Keyboard and scroll down to Add New Shortcut.
Once there, you can change all of the set autocorrect words and phrases and even add in a few new ones. The most effective way would be to use the most common words and add some humorous twist to it.
Mouse-block your colleagues with a post-it
This is perhaps the simplest and low tech but effective prank that you can try out. All you need is a post-it, a mouse and a few minutes to create tech chaos on your friends at work. Take a post-it and cover the bottom of the mouse, especially the area from where the red light emerges. It will effectively render the mouse useless and drive your friends to madness.
Take a screenshot of homepage icons and set it as wallpaper
This heart-attack inducing prank can be done for both desktop and smartphones. All you need to do is take a screenshot of the icons, set it as wallpaper and then either move or hide all the icons. To your victim, everything will look normal, but when he/she tries clicking on the icons, nothing will respond or work.
Remotely Control your victim's computer
This prank gives the prankster a lot of control and is fairly low tech as well, thanks to a helpful app called Remote Mouse. The app is available for both iOS and Android phones and once installed will help you control your friend's computer. Once you have access to their computer, you can let loose and go digging for embarrassing pictures or even make your victim think that he/she is being hacked.
Make that couch potato move by blocking the remote
No this prank is not about just hiding the remote from your couch potato partner/sibling/housemate/friend. Go one step further by blocking the remote's sensor with a piece of clear tape (on the back of the remote). Then, sit back and watch as the frustrated couch potato tries to work out what has gone wrong with the beloved remote.