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April Fools PC tricks to play on friends and co-workers

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April first is coming soon. Here are some harmless PC tricks you can play on spouses, friends, co-workers, or even your boss if you're brave enough. Try them on your computer first so you know how to do them quickly.

Make all of their desktop icons disappear
This can be done in as little as two or three seconds. You can restore their icons just as quickly.

  1. If you can't see any portion of the desktop, hit WINDOWS+D to minimize all windows. See this modifier keys article if you're not sure how to use the WINDOWS key.
  2. Right click in a blank area on the desktop (where there are no windows).
  3. A menu will appear. Place the mouse over the "View" menu option ("Arrange Icons By" in Windows XP).
  4. A submenu will appear. The “Show Desktop Icons” menu item will have a check mark next to it. Click it. Their icons will disappear.
  5. If you hit WINDOWS+D in step 1, hit it again to un-minimize their windows.

After the prank, simply right click the desktop and click “View" | "Show Desktop Items” again. Their icons will appear again.

Turn their display upside-down or sideways
This will only work if they have the right display adapter. You can find out simply by trying it. See this modifier keys article if you're not sure how to use the CTRL and ALT keys.

  1. If you hit CTRL+ALT+DOWNARROW their display will be upside-down.
  2. If you hit CTRL+ALT+LEFTARROW their display will be turned to the left side.
  3. If you hit CTRL+ALT+RIGHTARROW their display will be turned to the right side.
  4. Hit CTRL+ALT+UPARROW and their display will be restored.

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Have fun on April Fool's Day and enjoy doing these harmless pranks.

See "PC tip of the day" articles. Read a new tip every day for a year.

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