Introduction: "The Unusable Computer"

A simple prank to play on someone using their computer desktop and it's features

Step 1: Control-Alt-PrintScrn

Use control-alt-printscrn to take a snapshot of the current desktop

Step 2: Paint!

Go to Paint and copy "snapshot" into Paint then save it, giving it a name that the victim won't immediately identify with the prank

Step 3: Back to Desktop

Go back to the desktop and right click on the background...when the options window comes up, click on Active Desktop then click on Show Desktop Icons...all the desktop icons will disappear...

Step 4: Desktop Continued

Click on an empty space on the toolbar and move it to the opposite side of the desktop from where it usually is, i.e. left to right, top to bottom, etc. and use the hide feature so that it can't be seen...

Step 5: Next to Last Step

Call up the snapshot of the desktop that you saved earlier and set it up as the background for the desktop...

Step 6: Finally

Walk away from your victim's computer or, better yet, call them over and ask what's wrong with the computer and show him/her that you click on the "desktop icons" and nothing happens, and nothing happens when you click on the "toolbar"'s sort of easy to figure out what's happened after a while, but it's fun to watch them panic...


unominame (author)2009-09-24

what do i do i have a keyboard that print screen and systemRq sahre the same key

Jimmacle (author)unominame2010-11-25

All keyboards have that. You can probably press Shift to do SysRq.

whatsisface (author)2006-11-24

at our school we can flip the screen by pressing ctrl, alt and an arrow key. Does this work with anyone else out there?

RedFlash (author)whatsisface2009-07-24

Works with all the computers at my old school. I went through the computer lab changing the screens upside down and when the teacher came in, he went psycho. He went round to every class in the school and asked if anyone knew anything about the upside down monitors. He didn't know how to turn them back until I sent him an email from a dud hotmail account telling him to hit control and the arrows...

munchman (author)whatsisface2008-12-04

It is an option in some graphics processors.

I3uckwheat (author)whatsisface2008-11-17

it works with ours

adityagautam (author)whatsisface2008-07-21

To enable monitor rotation, right click on the desktop, click on properties; select the settings tab; from there click on advanced; then chose your graphics driver name tab (like mine is Intel Extreme graphics 2). From there, click on the graphics properties button; then select the rotation tab and checkmark the enable rotation checkbox. Whoa!! One might as well write an Instructable to do this!!

Not my school's, but mine does


Airsoft Sgt. Cook (author)2007-12-22

Gahhh I Handcuffed myself and now i cant GEt tHem Off

Idiot always have a paper clip to hand, with it you can pick your way out of most handcuffs in minutes, I know I've done it!

Try to straighten the paperclip, relax and dont try to rip them over your wrists that wont work, just straighten a paper-clip, insert the tip into the keyhole and bend the tip of the clip to look like an L, about same size too, now insert it into the hole and try to wind it gently around the( O ) and hey presto you are free!

If at first you dont succeed try, try again and relax, cuffs are held shut by a tiny ratchet inside and top right of the ( O ), if you can put enough pressure on the spring holding them shut they will open, the pin will release!

( O' <-- See tiny pin diagram U-------o' <--- what paper clip should look like, mini key with round o and tip bent to catch the tiny ' <--pin

If you rush and panic it wont work, you have to relax and take your time, its very rewarding when you figure it out and you'll feel like houdine!

I was cuffed to a lamp post once for being sick in an alley and drunk, but a fight broke out away from where I was staggering about and the cop left me handcuffed to a lamp post, I bet he was very surprised when he came back to find his cuffs swaying in the wind! He must have thought I was a ghost!

a tiny piece of square metel will be jutting in or out of a part of the mechanism! Takes a lot of practice and patience dude, I used to put them on people, only pair I couldn't get out of was a pair of 1962 ones with a very old mechanism!

If you can see a tiny o that is the tamper switch release, if thats been engaged you have to disable it or the ratchet wont release!

Do that by poking the straight bit of the other end of the paper-clip in the tiny o before tackling the big ( O )

It took me two hours my first time, and my wrists where sore when I had finished, but with patience and dedicated practice you can get a standard police issue pair of hand-cuffs off in about 3 to 5 minutes!

Without the key which is hardly what I would call a key in the sense of the word, but if they used a yale then its a simple case of boring the pins out the locking mechanism itself, its amazing what you can find out in a life time of watching other people loose their keys!

It's a skill set, escapology and lock picking, but if you cant pick it, you can always angle grind or plasma cut it, although not in your case, that would hurt!

But these techniques can also be used for evil which is why I wont mention things like bolt croppers and a slim jim... :P

Do you realize, that the person handcuffed his/her wrists way back in dcember, and you tell the person how to unlock them three months later? What do you think, the person would be waiting on his/her desk for three months before a certain ichtacaiuiti comes and tells him/her how to unlock them?!?!?

HardCoreHacker (author)2008-05-27

For Mac users, Left Shift Apple 4 Now select your region

Anonymiter (author)2007-11-22

I can't seem to be able to take a snapshot... is there a specific place that it gets saved or does it prompt me when it does?

You may have to use the Function key "fn". It should be close to the ctrl key

dudeguy1234 (author)Anonymiter2008-03-21

hit prinstcreen, open paint, hit ctrl-v. It copies to clipboard, so just paste it in a blank file.

MrTheTooth (author)2006-08-29

Left shift + left alt + print screen. That's high contrast mode. I love doing that one on the computers at best buy. It makes them look like crap

Zrakkie (author)MrTheTooth2008-03-26


HardCoreHacker (author)Zrakkie2008-05-27

Great!!!! Crap, I lost my desktop

robodud3 (author)2006-12-04

wher is printscrn

zaro12345 (author)robodud32007-07-05

printscrn is right above the inser key.

robodud3 (author)zaro123452007-07-06

ohhhhhhh i cant blive i never saw that i was trying 2 press all the buttons at once ha

If you have an old keyboard it might just say 'Break' or even 'SysRq' instead of Prt Scrn

Oorspronklikheid (author)2006-12-31

pressing ctrl alt and arrow key works at my school. How does one edit a comment?

one doesn't, unless one means delete, which is next to reply and flag.

evilflame2 (author)2007-08-14

you dont have to hit control alt to take snapshots. just hitting the key will work nicely

munchman (author)evilflame22007-12-26

True, also, if you have a laptop, you may need to push a function ker or simmilar.

Anonymiter (author)2007-11-23

Nvm... I didnt't realize that hitting printscreen only copied the screen. So its just like hitting Ctrl+C except it copies the screen instead of the highlighted region. And once you open paint or any other image editor you can just paste(Ctrl+V) and there the image is!!

rabbitkillrun (author)2007-10-18

I used to do this at school but i'd take a photo screenshot of the login window and hide use it as the background and hide the login box in the corner.

mabufo (author)2006-06-06

Are you all Sadists? Find something constructive to do.

themasterpyro (author)mabufo2007-09-21

you wouldnt make a good resistance fighter then.besides come on its fun(as long as it dosent happen to you)

ursus57 (author)mabufo2007-09-10

Alrite, sorry....

Yerboogieman (author)2007-07-30

put a black screen saver on and when someones asks why its off just say theres a loose connection somewhere and you have to hit the table to activate the loose connection when its just the mouse..

bigpinecone (author)2006-12-19

this doesn't work across accounts, i was trying to mess with my sister 'cuz she's gone but it didn't work

Yerboogieman (author)bigpinecone2007-07-30

oh sorry i was trying to reply to Oorspronklikheid's comment

Yerboogieman (author)bigpinecone2007-07-30

nope windows XP SP2

binnie (author)2007-02-02

i know a better way... take the snapshot and shit, set that as the desktop background then control alt delete processes explorer.exe end task the end it removes the mouse and everything, the only way to get it back is 1 restart OR 1 control alt delete (applications) 2 NEw Task 3 explorer.exe simple as that

binnie (author)binnie2007-02-02

plus it dosent work on xp

Yerboogieman (author)binnie2007-07-30

yeah it does

duct tape (author)binnie2007-06-28

yes it does.

black hole fun (author)2007-07-10

i've been doing this for a while now at my school. works best when someone accidentally leaves themselves logged on. another idea for this is to create files on the desktop that would be... embarrasing for a person to point out to a teacher or support person. use the same process only leave the desktop up but remove the "embarrassing" file from the actual desktop. then watch as your friend tries in vain to remove the file from the desktop before someone else sees it.

Oorspronklikheid (author)2006-12-31

I've been doing this at my school for a while now. The only differences is the purpose and the taskbar remains at its place. I do this to hide my unallowed programs when the eacher passes by

jake2k3 (author)2006-10-16

Lol This is great!

joshuajahr (author)2006-08-05

my laptop wont let me do this wahhhhhhhhhhhh

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