With April 1st approaching, it’s that time of year when everyone is looking for that funny and unique prank to play on a friend. Here at MakeUseOf, we’ve covered a number of cool pranks. I recently wrote about Ask Peter, a unique prank you can use to make your friends think something paranormal is going on. Justin described 4 funny ways to prank your parents, and I wrote an article on funny prank call websites.
If that wasn’t enough, John wrote about prank news story websites, and now I’d like to cover 4 free April Fools prank ideas with small applications you can use to really fool your friends or family members. I’ve tested each of these programs, and as far as I can tell they are perfectly safe and very fun methods to prank your friends this April Fools.
Change Your Voice for a Funny Phone Call
Have you ever considered calling a friend and pretending to be an IRS agent or maybe a long lost relative? Maybe you would like to tell your friend that an unknown uncle died and left them millions? Your friend would easily recognize your voice. So, the best option is to use free voice changing software, and then dial out using your computer and your favorite VoIP application. Never fear! The perfect free voice-changing application is here, and it’s called Screaming Bee MorphVOX Junior.
This software is very fast and easy to set up. It sits between your microphone and any application you use and morphs your voice in whatever way you configure it to. The free version allows you to use an alternative male or female voice, or for a funny alternative, you can raise the level of your voice to sound like a tiny person! Another fun feature is the fact that you can click and insert sound effects into the call, such as a cuckoo clock, a drum roll (like after telling a joke), an alarm clock or a screeching sound.
Strange Windows Errors
If you share a computer with a friend or with family members, and you really want to play a funny joke on other people who use the computer often, you can install the little Dr. Windows app offered by DonationCoder. This application gets installed into the apps menu, and appears as just a small antivirus application called “Dr. Windows.” In reality, it’s counting down the minutes to when it delivers one of the strange error messages that you’ve set up.
Once you install the application, it appears in the system tray as a very small anti-virus application. Any user who isn’t very tech savvy should completely ignore it. When you first install it, right click on the icon and click on Options.
Make sure to enable “Hide Options” so that when the user right clicks on the icon, nothing will happen. The only way to enter settings is to hold down the Ctrl key while right-clicking. The software comes with about 50 random Windows error messages that pup up either when you trigger them with the hotkey combination, or at a set interval that you enter.
The messages are fairly random and all pretty funny. If you have anyone using the computer who is just completely non tech-savvy at all, these will really throw them for a loop. Just sit back and watch them panic and pull out their hair in frustration…just try not to snicker too loudly!
Install a Small Fake Virus
We certainly spend a lot of time here at MakeUseOf focused on helping people avoid or get rid of viruses, adware and spyware on their computer. However, in the spirit of April 1st, I’d like to propose a safe and very funny application called. Lappet is a completely safe and very funny fake computer virus that will inflict terror into the heart of just about any computer user who doesn’t know any better.
The reason I write that it would scare anyone who doesn’t know any better is because most of the savvy MUO readers would instantly recognize the progress bar as a very non-standard Windows app (what’s up with that horrid green color). But I’m sure many of you know someone who would completely fall for it.
Once the hard drive is “erased,” Windows crashes. Mind you – the app takes a screenshot and uses it as the background so that it appears the entire computer froze. The user may try clicking around, but almost nothing will work (there is the secret of simply pressing the “up” key to escape though).
Finally, the very last window reveals the truth – that the entire episode was just a funny gag. The application doesn’t require any kind of install, it’s just an executable, so you can deliver it to your friend in whatever format works best – an email, a download from your website or blog or anything else that gets them to run it.
Install a Very Scary Fake Computer Virus
Another great computer prank you can use on your friends this April 1st is a full scale computer virus, packaged up as a promotion for real antivirus software. It’s actually a somewhat realistic fake virus called Ultimate, which first asks if you really want to delete the Windows folder (it doesn’t matter what the user clicks, or whether they even click anything at all!)
Before you know it, the next screen comes up that shows sections of Windows Explorer literally getting “deleted” and turning into black space. To the savvy user, this animation looks a little bit cheesy. But to the standard or amateur user, it could come across as convincing enough.
Finally, once all contents of the Windows folder are deleted, the entire screen goes completely blank and stays that way, just long enough for the user’s heart to stop beating for a few moments. Then, very slowly, the following message prints across the screen.
After a few more keystrokes, the application closes and the user returns to their normal screen. This is also delivered in the form of a simple executable. If you can’t get your friends or family to run it from an email, you can always install it in the Startup folder on the computer of an unsuspecting friend of family member.
Do you know of any safe and scary or funny computer pranks that might come in handy for other MakeUseOf readers this April Fools? Share your own ideas for free April Fools prank ideas in the comments section below.