Ten epic Windows 7 pranks you absolutely must try

Ten epic Windows 7 pranks you absolutely must try

Summary: Ready to get your prank on? This isn't your average, run-of-the-mill Windows prank list, so pull up a chair and stay a while! There's plenty to learn here and lots of laughter to be had by you at your victim's expense!

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  • This is my variation of the age-old prank where you take a screen shot of someone's desktop and set it as their wallpaper. The end result of the steps to follow is a desktop that only half-works: some things can be clicked and interacted with while others can't. Here's what you do:

    1 - Open a program or document in windowed mode, then take a screen shot of the desktop by pressing the Print Screen key (or "Print," "PRNT," or some variation thereof).
    2 - Open Paint, press CTRL and V to paste your screen shot, then save it to some place like My Documents.
    3 - Navigate to where you saved the image, open it, then right-click on it and select "Set as desktop background."
    4 - Right-click on a blank section of the taskbar, click "Properties," click the box next to "Auto-hide the taskbar," then click the "Apply" button.
    5 - Open a program or document in windowed mode and position it so that it's partially on top of the window that's a part of the wallpaper you have set.
    6 - To complete this prank, simply move whichever desktop icons you'd like into a new folder, then place that folder somewhere else temporarily (or just leave it on the desktop, if you'd like).

    You're all done! Now, if you don't have the time to do all of that, then you can opt for a much quicker variation by taking a screen shot of the desktop as it is, setting it as a wallpaper, hiding the taskbar, and quickly hiding all the icons by right-clicking on the desktop, hovering over "View," then unchecking "Show desktop icons." Or, an even quicker choice is to hop on the computer and simply hide the taskbar and desktop icons.

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  • It's pretty awesome, all the options left at your disposal where configuring a mouse in Windows is concerned! I encourage you to explore them all, but to get you off and running quickly, try this on for size:

    1 - Click the Start button.
    2 - Click "Control Panel."
    3 - Click on either "Hardware and Sound" and then "Mouse" if you have your control panel items sorted by categories, or just select "Mouse" if you have your control panel items sorted by icons.
    4 - Click the "Pointer Options" tab.
    5 - In the Motion section, move the slider all the way over to "Slow."
    6 - In the Visibility section, check the box that says "Display pointer trails," then move the slider all the way over to "Long."
    7 - Click the "Pointers" tab.
    8 - Double-click "Normal Select" in the Customize section.
    9 - Scroll down until you see "aero_unavail_xl.cur" and then double-click it.
    10 - Click the "Buttons" tab.
    11 - Click the circle labeled "Left-handed."
    12 - Now click the "Apply" button.

    Congratulations! You have now royally messed up how the mouse acts and effectively confused the bejesus out of your victim.

    [Related Gallery: 20 of the coolest gadgets and must-haves for your office!]

  • Are you ready to absolutely confuse the heck out of your unsuspecting victim? I sure hope so, because everything I've covered thus far has all been to prepare you for this one glorious moment: the ultimate desktop prank! For the sake of brevity, I'm going to assume by now that you know how to do certain things like take a screen shot of your desktop. If you don't, refer to the previous pranks where I detail how to do everything.

    1 - Take a screen shot of the desktop with an app or document opened in windowed mode, then paste the screen shot in paint, rotate it 180 degress, and then save it.
    2 - Set that upside down screen shot as the wallpaper.
    3 - Follow all of the "mouse hijinks" prank.
    4 - Hide all desktop icons by right-clicking on the desktop, hovering over "View," then unchecking "Show desktop icons."
    5 - Hide the taskbar by right-clicking on a blank section of the taskbar, then "Properties," then the box next to "Auto-hide the taskbar," and finally, the "Apply" button.
    6 - Open a program or document in windowed mode and lay it partially over the window of the program/document that's a part of the screen shot wallpaper.
    7 - Finally, follow the "upside-down desktop" prank.

    The combination of these steps will have your victim so messed up that even the most seasoned Windows user would probably think they were hit with some sort of malware or script. Seriously. But it doesn't have to end here! If you can squeeze in the Dvorak prank along with some of the others to come, you'll soon be dishing out a massive amount of pain for your own twisted amusement! Mwah ha ha...

    [Related Gallery: 20 of the coolest gadgets and must-haves for your office!]

Topics: Operating Systems, Microsoft, Software, Windows

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  • RE: Ten epic Windows 7 pranks you absolutely must try

    appears that barrel roll does not work using ie9 on win 7 pro computer.
    Must I install google chrome / firefox
    thank you
    TALKIN
    • RE: Ten epic Windows 7 pranks you absolutely must try

      @TALKIN Ah, you're right! I guess Google checks the user agent of the browser and scoffs at Microsoft (go figure). It appears to work only with Chrome and Firefox. I will update the gallery to reflect this soon. Thanks for the feedback!

      [b]Update[/b]: It is due to a lack of support for WebGL in IE, which the barrel roll trick utilizes.
      StephenChapman
      • RE: Ten epic Windows 7 pranks you absolutely must try

        @StephenChapman I doubt that it is scoffing. It is probably using HTML, JavaScript, or CSS that IE doesn't support.
        grant@...
      • RE: Ten epic Windows 7 pranks you absolutely must try

        @grant I should have looked a bit deeper. Indeed, it appears to be a lack of support for WebGL in IE9 (or any other version prior to) which causes it not to work.
        StephenChapman
      • doesn't work in Linux

        @StephenChapman I couldn't get it to work on a number of different distributions and with 3 different browsers. Apparently it's a windows0only phenomenon. =(
        pgit
  • RE: Ten epic Windows 7 pranks you absolutely must try

    http://www.zdnet.com/tb/1-109286-2194125?

    I have followed ZDTv & ZDNet for a looooong time and I still Love It, Awesome job & thanks for the laughs!
    zinfandale@...
    • RE: Ten epic Windows 7 pranks you absolutely must try

      @zinfandale@... Hey, thanks! Always happy to hear from our long-time readers. Glad you enjoyed the gallery!
      StephenChapman
  • This is Awesome

    Great article, gave me a few laughs! Thanks
    smu122
    • RE: Ten epic Windows 7 pranks you absolutely must try

      @smu122 Thanks for reading! Hopefully, you have a few new tricks up your sleeve now. The upside-down desktop really is so simple, yet incredibly effective. =)
      StephenChapman
  • RE: Ten epic Windows 7 pranks you absolutely must try

    Changing the background to the desktop is a fun one I used to do in Windows 3.1.
    grant@...
  • RE: Ten epic Windows 7 pranks you absolutely must try

    On the mouse tricks you forgot switching the mouse buttons
    h82loze
    • RE: Ten epic Windows 7 pranks you absolutely must try

      @bwillingham@... They changed how to do that in Windows 7, which is what step 11 in "mouse hijinks" now does!
      StephenChapman
  • RE: Ten epic Windows 7 pranks you absolutely must try

    omg....this is so fun to do to family members. I supervise a computer sale and service store. My family is always calling me freaking out about their computers. I do this to the ones that keep getting Malware to scare them. Still havent told them....it's a joke......LOL!!! So funny!!!
    Kattarena
  • My version

    Add a new shortcut named something like "Advanced desktop 4.0", make it launch that shutdown command, give it an appropriate icon.
    Take a scren shot and flip it 180 degrees. Now hide all shortcuts but the new one. Make that picture the wallpaper, and flip the desktop and hide the taskbar. Now it will look like an ordinary desktop except for that icon - move it on top "itself" on the wallpaper, change it's icon to a transparent one and give it a name consisting of spaces (no visible characters).
    Clicking all other icons will now have no effect, but clicking that one will make the shutdown window appear - upside down! :D
    Natanael_L
    • RE: Ten epic Windows 7 pranks you absolutely must try

      @Natanael_L See, now THAT'S what I'm talkin' about, hahaha. Excellent idea! Hope to see more people contribute their own, too. So many excellently evil combinations to choose from!
      StephenChapman
      • RE: Ten epic Windows 7 pranks you absolutely must try

        @StephenChapman Childish. Mr Chapman, that is the singularly most thoughtless post I've ever read from you, and you've pushed out some hairy bombs in your time.

        Havent we had enough of LULZ that you think its clever to upset someone, prevent them from working and waste company time and resources undoing them?

        I do love a wind-up, but if anyone touched my work they'd get punched in the testicles for their trouble at the very least. I'd expect the same from any co-worker as well. But perhaps here in the UK, we prefer our jokes to come from our leaders, I dont know...

        Bad show, Mr Chapman. Are you so irresponsible you cant see the wave of misery and lost resources you just caused publishing this idiocy? Granted its all out there, but most people arent inventive enough to try it without being told.

        How about 10 Mac pranks? 10 Linux ones? Oh, my mistake. People who value their computer and/or OS wouldnt touch it with a ****** stick.
        SiO2
      • RE: Ten epic Windows 7 pranks you absolutely must try

        @StephenChapman
        Heh heh!

        I'll bet sharing an office with you and Natanael_L is...interesting.

        Yeah, interesting. :)

        Seriously, thanks for the laughs!
        clfitz
  • humor lost

    As an IT person who ends up fixing crap like this, I'd have a hard time distinguishing between one of these "tricks" and a generally misfunctioning Windows machine. Fiddle for 15 minutes, then rebuild...
    gdstark13
    • RE: Ten epic Windows 7 pranks you absolutely must try

      @gdstark13 Yeah, I see your point. But it's just plain cruel for someone to play one of these pranks on someone and let it escalate all the way to someone in your position before coming clean!
      StephenChapman
      • Other IE pranks, I can't find

        Stephen, great pranks, dude! :) I actually was looking for a certain IE prank you write a lil text thing for, that I had a year ago but deleted part of, & I can't find it online now. I'll add the part I have below. You're supposed to make an IE file that accesses this text file somehow, but of course, I don't recall how to do it. How about can you find out from a smart PC peep, or ask people? The best part is that you can add any text you want to it and it will print that on the screen when someone clicks the fake IE icon you must create-which, as said, I don't recall how to do. Just copying it & changing it to open using IE doesn't work. It's supposed to run it. So, here's the text, on wordpad.
        Dim fso, ws, file, APP_PATH
        Set ws = WScript.CreateObject("WScript.Shell")
        APP_PATH = """C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe"""
        ws.run APP_PATH

        do
        set shl = createobject("wscript.shell")
        shl.sendkeys "This is God! I saw what you did! Don't ever do it again!(Change this to whatever you want.)"
        wscript.sleep 8000
        loop
        Thanks! Love ZDNET! :)
        skye_hook@...