4 Techie Office Pranks For Mac And Windows Users

Looking for a way to liven up the office? Still reeling from a coworker’s successful April Fool’s prank last year? You’ve come to the right place. What follows is a list of 4 deliciously devious office pranks that are guaranteed to bring laughter and frustration to a cubicle farm near you. Whether you’re targeting a Mac or Windows user, you’ll surely find an appropriate target for these tried-and-true stunts:

1. Invert Screen Colors

While this prank is not exactly subtle, it’s quite baffling to any computer user who didn’t know it was even possible. This quick prank will allow you to get in and out of their cubicle within the space of a short bathroom break.


  1. Command + Option + Control + 8

Windows 7

  1. In the Start menu, search for “Magnifier.”
  2. In the box that comes up, click the gear icon to show options.
  3. Check the box that says “turn on color inversion.” Click OK.
  4. You may need to click the magnifying glass and/or minus button to get the screen back to normal and exit Magnifier (we don’t want anyone finding out how we did this, now do we?).

Windows Vista

  1. Hold down Alt + Shift + “Prt Scrn.”

2. Autocorrect Pranks in Word 2010

Imagine the utter helplessness your cubicle mate will feel when he or she types a proposal that “corrects” itself to sound ridiculous. Replacing “the” with “that there” and “a” to say “a dog gone” will read hilariously: “We developed a dog gone strategy to assist that there client.” Of course, you can really get creative (and evil) with this one.


  1. Open Word, then navigate to Word Options under the File Tab.
  2. Under Proofing, select the button that says “AutoCorrect Options.”
  3. The resulting window will be where you wreak your havok. In the blank space below Replace, add a commonly used word, like “the.” In the space under With, add the ridiculous replacement word(s), such as “that there.”
  4. Click OK to close out of both boxes.

3. Frozen Screen

This classic among pranksters can take a coworker from calm to panic in 2.5 seconds. They return to their cubicle after lunch to find nothing is working — the icons and task bar seem frozen. While this prank works best on a Windows OS, it is possible to create a similar effect on a Mac.

Note: This works best on a desktop with few files on it, as you can only hide hard disk, server, and external drives.

  1. Take a screenshot of the desktop, ensuring the dock is showing (Command + Shift + 3).
  2. Find the saved screenshot and control click it; select “Set Desktop Picture.”
  3. In System Preferences, choose Dock and check “Automatically hide and show the Dock.” It’s also a good idea to change the dock position on the screen, so the dock doesn’t pop up when the user hovers over the fake dock images.
  4. In System Preferences, go to Finder Preferences. Uncheck all of the items under “Show these items on the desktop.”


  1. Take a screenshot of the desktop.
  2. Paste into Paint or Photoshop, then save the file.
  3. Change the desktop wallpaper to the saved desktop image.
  4. Right click on desktop and under “Arrange Icons By,” uncheck “Show Desktop Items.”
  5. Right click on the task bar, and under Properties, check “Auto-hide taskbar.”

4. Cursed Cursor

Nothing stirs up anger more quickly and predictably than the cursed hourglass “busy” cursor. For more subtle agitation, you can bump the speed up or down slightly on the mouse tracking, or cause it to scroll at lightning speed.


  1. Go to System Preferences > Mouse.
  2. Bump the Tracking up (or down) a notch or two. For less immediate (but still entertaining) effect, adjust the scrolling drastically by bumping it all the way up.
  3. To change the cursor on a Mac, you’ll have to download a program—iCursor (free) fits the bill for annoying little effects like circus lights or soap bubbles.

Windows 7

  1. In your Control Panel, go to Mouse.
  2. In the Mouse Settings Window, go to the Pointer tab and find the Normal Select cursor.
  3. Click the Browse button next to it and select the hourglass or “busy circle of death;” click Apply.

What are the best pranks you’ve played on your coworkers in nearby cubicles?

About The Author:

David Ching is the marketing director at EQA Office Furniture which offers quality office furniture and free 3D virtual design services. Visit their website for prices on office cubicles and other office furniture.

Adam Thompson

Adam Thompson is the founder of RYP Marketing, where he specialized in Google Analytics consulting and conversion rate optimization.

1 comment

  1. This is a hilariously great post. Knowing how to do something like this is a great little nugget of info that will definitely come in handy whenever someone decides that they want to start goofing off at work. This will easily bring a little levity to the office and help to bring everyone closer together as they try to solve the case of the “forever frozen screen”.(haha) Really great post.

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