Career / Career Progression

Top 10 IT Pranks

by Raju Woodward
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Published on October 30, 2014

Here are some of the best IT pranks that have been pulled off by CBT Nuggets fans, as well as some of our trainers!

10. A mouse that doesn't move. Clear tape has many good uses. For example, it's ideal for discreetly covering a mouse lens. It's a lot of fun watching people get frustrated with their mouses (mice?). Or take it step further and switch up the mouse buttons, so a right-handed person has to use left-handed controls.

9. Off go the lights. One CBT Nuggets fan shared this story: His coworker was replacing a mainframe hard drive. While inserting the drive, the prankster turned off the lights, and the hapless victim thought he caused the electricity to go out! You can imagine the look on his face when the lights were turned back on.

8. Unwanted Windows. Trainer Anthony Sequeira shared this one: His wife is a die-hard Mac user. So once, Anthony configured her computer to boot up Windows. It really threw her off and needless to say it was one-time prank for Anthony.

7. Rogue emails. You should never leave your email open and up on the screen while you're away from your desk. If someone you know does, he/she might start receiving random birthday wishes, strange meeting requests, or bizarre announcements.

6. Upside-down screen. There are a lot of commands that can perform quirky tasks. One of our fans shared that ctrl+alt+down flips screen displays upside down. How's that for the ultimate "What the heck?" prank?

5. Phantom emails. Trainer Steve Caseley recalled a time when he gained access to his office's email system and created an invisible email account. For several months, his coworkers received weird emails from the "Purple Phantom." There's no word if anyone figured out who the phantom really was.

4. Musical keyboards. Swapping a few keys here and there on a coworker's keyboard is sure to cause some confusion. Offer to help by signing the victim up for a keyboarding class. Word of caution: Be careful not to break the keys!

3. Wrap it up. Wrap everything on a coworker's desk with cling wrap. Or even better, bubble wrap. And after that, does anything need to be said? Of course, you should probably also offer to help the victim unwrap and clean up. It can be a messy and time-consuming affair.

2. The screenshot. This is by far the most popular IT prank, according to our fans: Take a screenshot of someone's desktop and set it as their wallpaper. If it's a Mac computer, make sure to hide the dock. If it's a PC, you'll want to deselect the "Show Desktop Icons" option. Then watch (and laugh) as they helplessly click on desktop icons that won't open. It's a classic.

1. Turn it off! Who doesn't love listening to novelty songs such as "Friday" over and over? If your office has an audio system (we do at CBTN HQ), pick an annoying song, put it on repeat, and lock the system. Then watch your coworkers' expressions change each time the song is played again.

Good-natured (not malicious pranks) can be healthy. Having a sense of humor in IT is vital, according to trainer Chris Ward. He said that if IT pros can't laugh at and with each other, it can make for a depressing work environment. Harmless pranks can help teams bond.

What is the best IT-related prank you've been a part of?


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