5 Weird Windows Bugs & Easter Eggs You Have To See

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weird windows bugsWe all know that Windows isn’t perfect. I will take a leap and say that no program is. The thing is, Windows errors, more than anything, can drive people crazy.

But apart from plain old errors, there are also some bugs and Easter Eggs hidden in all versions of Windows. Care to discover 5 of them?

1. Naming & Renaming Folders

For the first one, try to create a folder named CON and you will see the following thing happening:

weird windows bugs

The same thing happens when you try any of the following names:

PRN, LPT1, LPT2, (…), LPT9, NUL, COM1, (…), COM9, and CLOCK$

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All of the above names are reserved device names, which cannot be used as file names or folder names, regardless of the file extension. This is a relic from DOS, which has made its way through all versions of Windows, including Windows 7.

Source: Wikipedia

2. Advanced Calculations

Let’s do some basic maths together. Please use your head first. Highlight the next two lines to see the respective answers.

What is the square root of four? It’s two, isn’t it?

And what do you get if you subtract two from two? Zero, right?

Now let’s do the above calculation using the Windows calculator. Type in 4, take the square root and from the result subtract 2. What do you get now?

windows bugs

See why they don’t want you to use calculators at school?

To my knowledge, there is no explanation for this result. The operation returns different numbers in different versions of Windows, so it’s possibly a bug by design or an Easter Egg and not some weird functional error. What was your result?

3. Notepad Bug (XP Only)

This bug no longer works in Windows Vista or Windows 7, but if you’re still running Windows XP, give it a try.

Launch Notepad and type the following sentence: Bush hid the facts

Now save the file as anything you like, close it and open it again. What do you see?

windows bugs

If you did this in Windows XP, you probably see some weird unicode characters or Chinese characters like in the screenshot above. By the way, I have to admit that I ‘forged’ the screenshot because I no longer run Windows XP.

The explanation for this bug lies in the Windows function ‘IsTextUnicode’. When a text file is encoded in Windows-1252 it is interpreted as UTF-16LE, resulting in the so-called mojibake. It means that Notepad recognizes unicode characters representing Chinese characters and translates them back into Chinese characters.

Source: Wikipedia

4. Microsoft Word Trick

Open Microsoft Word and type the following: =rand (5,10)

weird windows bugs

What happens is that Word creates 5 paragraphs, each containing 10 identical sentences. The sentence will vary, depending on the primary language of your operating system. On English Windows, you will see this sentence: The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.

This is not a bug, it’s a feature! Many of you certainly know that the above sentence contains all letters of the alphabet. In this case it’s nothing more than a dummy or placeholder. Depending on the numbers you pick, you can make it appear in many more paragraphs and copies. The trick is also known as =rand (200,99).

5. Solitaire Bug (XP Only)

Here is another trick that apparently disappeared in Windows 7. Please try it if you have Windows XP.

Open Solitaire and click the following key combination: [ALT] + [SHIFT] + [2]

When you click the above key combination, the game ends right there and you see the cards jumping to the front in waves, as they do when a game is completed successfully.

What did you see when you tried to reproduce the above bugs and what are your favorite Windows Easter Eggs?

Image credits: Antonov Roman

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Comments (46)
  • Larry

    The problem with the calculator is a bug that microsoft forget and it’s totally normal!!!

    you should remain from commenting on computer science if you don’t know anything about it!!

    In every math calculator, only the software can show up the correct decimal value.

    See IEEE754 for to understand how math chip are working!!!
    that something as a programmer I do know!! I’m a specialist, obviously, not you!!

    • Tina

      Thank you for weighing in, Larry. Glad you’re here to educate us.

      As you correctly pointed out, I’m not a computer science or math specialist. My specialty is writing and editing. Of course, we all try our best and make mistakes. It’s human, you know? :)

      By the way, the calculator issue persists in Windows 10. Must be hard to fix!

  • Tejas Dc

     the calculator bug holds good for sqrt of any number minus the answer..
    ex:sqrt16 – 4 , sqrt36 – 6  , sqrt81 – 9 all gives random results..

  • Aibek

    great article!

  • Kartik

    type Q33N in notepad and change the font to  size to 72 and font to wingdings
    you will see the secret about world trade center attack.

  • JD

    Haha that weird result from the calculator doesn’t only happen “virtually”. Some real scientific calculators don’t even know how to subtract specific numbers…

    Neat article!

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Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.