Today is April Fool's Day so why not wreak some havoc on a friend or a good-natured co-worker with a prank.

But before you resort to whoopee cushions and putting clingfilm over the toilet, check out these free downloads that will help you pull some tech-related pranks. (See also: April Fool's Day tech pranks 2010)

Avoid

It's late in the day and your friend is starting to zone out a bit. It's the perfect time to launch Avoid.

Every time your friend tries to click on the Start button, it jumps away.

The Fix: Move the mouse pointer to the top-left corner of the screen, and a window will display to let you know the program has closed.

Rotate

Bored with spinning around in your chair but still craving that rotational stimulus? This program may help you.

Amuse yourself and your friends with this desktop manipulator, which will randomly flip the desktop into all sorts of weird positions.

The screen can flip over, reverse, or flip and reverse. The mouse pointer also changes to a question mark to aid in the confusion.

Each time you run the program the effect is different. Never be bored again.

Shakedown

Put a virtual earthquake in someone's monitor. This program will shake the desktop violently, not only annoying your victim to no end but also giving their eyes a good strain.

Run this on a friend's computer when they're gone, and wait for them to arrive with that puzzled look. With a simple mouse click or a press on the keyboard, Shakedown will close.

Slippery Mouse

Load this program and watch the mouse pointer slip, slide, and accelerate across the screen.

The Fix: Carefully move the pointer until you get it over the program icon in the taskbar. Right-click and then close the program.

NEXT PAGE: Even more free PC pranks

  1. Have some fun at your friend's expense with these free downloads
  2. Even more free PC pranks


Tomorrow is April Fool's Day so why not wreak some havoc on a friend or a good-natured co-worker with a prank. But before you resort to whoopee cushions and putting clingfilm over the toilet, check out these free downloads that will help you pull some tech-related pranks.

Special Occasion Fax

This program, also known as Fax From Santa, simulates receiving a fax.

Now you're limited only by your imagination. You and the kids can finally get 'personal faxes' from Santa Claus.

You can also use this program to generate missives for holidays, birthdays, and other occasions.

Start Moving

This joke makes the Start button move across the taskbar.

Ideal for anyone who seems to know more about PCs than you could ever possibly know.

The Fix: The Start button returns automatically to its original place when you either resize the taskbar, restart Windows, or return the Start button to its original place manually.

Telepath

This file makes it seem as if you are telepathically communicating with your PC.

To set up the prank, step out of the room after asking your friend to make a selection from a menu of choices.

Then, upon re-entering, you can tell them what their choice was - without even looking at the computer screen.

Sound too amazing to be true? It's really a simple trick, although it does require a bit of arithmetic (nothing more difficult than what a five-year-old can do).

Online help and a complete explanation are provided, as well as optional sound effects.

Typewriter

Install this program onto someone's PC, and every time a key is hit everyone will hear the racket of a typewriter from the PC's speakers.

Hit the Return key, and you'll hear the familiar ratchet-and-ring sound.

The only thing missing? A sheet of carbon paper.

The Fix: Uninstall the program and go back to the ordinary sounds of your PC.

  1. Have some fun at your friend's expense with these free downloads
  2. Even more free PC pranks

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