Introduction: How to Make a Fake Window - PC Prank

This is a simple but effective prank that you can do on any PC in less than 5 minutes. It creates a fake window that does not respond and looks 100% real. People think their computer is going crazy and they try to fix it by messing with the task manager, restarting, and many other crazy things.

Step 1: Print Screen

DO NOT ACTUALLY PRINT YOUR SCREEN! There is a button on most keyboard that says Prt Scr (or print screen). On my keyboard it shares a key with SysReq, but it still works.

First, close (not minimize, close) all of the windows you currently have open. Press the print screen button. If you don't know where it is, look at the picture. It should be around the area to the upper left of the keypad.

Step 2: Post to Paint

Open MS Paint. If you don't know where that is, you can go to start, all programs, accessories, paint. Once you have it open, click edit, paste. TADA! You now have your desktop in paint.

Step 3: Open a Window and Take a Picture

Now open up anything you want. It could be a game, Powerpoint, Instructables, etc. Make the window small enough that it doesn't cover any icons and fits neatly in the middle of the screen. Now press the print screen button again, open another paint (keep the plain desktop open separately), and paste the screen.

Step 4: Copy From One to the Other

Use the select tool and draw a box around the window you have open. Right click and copy, then go over to the other paint (the one with the normal desktop) and paste it. Adjust it so that is matches up perfectly with the background.

The reason I do it this was is so that the final product doesn't have a bar at the bottom indicating a program is running. This can sometimes ruin the prank when the current bar covers up the fake one.

Now click file, save as, then choose pictures, then name it "desktop". Click save.

Step 5: Set As Desktop Background

Now go to my pictures and open the fake desktop you just made by double-clicking it. Right click it and select "Set as Desktop Background".

Step 6: Finished!

HOORAY! Now exit all of the windows you have open and you should see a mysterious window that looks real even though the computer says that no programs are running.

This is a very easy prank and it is even easier to fix. All you have to do is find the picture that was originally your background, right click it, and select "Set as Desktop Background".

Happy Pranking!


jamesbond207 made it! (author)2012-03-05

dont not work for a lap-top fustrating

E_MAN made it! (author)2010-08-07

I made a screen shot like you, but without the window. Then I wrote a small vb app that would not close, but you could move it around, I also block control + alt + delete. Then a stopped explorer. Really freaked my brother out.

XOIIO made it! (author)XOIIO2011-08-22

Can you post the code for the VB app?

E_MAN made it! (author)E_MAN2011-08-22

Actually I will post an In sometime soon..... follow if you want it!

patriots8888 made it! (author)2011-03-08

Any way to do it for mac?

dark sponge made it! (author)dark sponge2011-03-12

Probably, I don't use macs.

yoyology made it! (author)2010-08-17

You can save some time in Step 3 by using Alt+PrintScreen. That will grab an image of just the active window.

Great, simple prank. I love people finding good uses for MSPaint! :-)

dark sponge made it! (author)dark sponge2010-08-17

Thanks for adding this! I didn't know that at the time I made the Instructable and never updated it.

vyncynt made it! (author)2009-04-15

end tasking the explorer.exe would make the taskbar disappear

dark sponge made it! (author)dark sponge2009-04-15

Cool! I don't want to try because I don't want to mess up my computer, it's pretty new.

vyncynt made it! (author)vyncynt2009-09-23

your right, better mess a machine that's old enough for re-format or even junk, but i have tried it many times already, and it only disorders the arrangement of your open apps in the taskbar.

camram made it! (author)camram2009-09-22

It wont mess up your computer. If you stop explorer.exe, you can just restart it by opening task manager and starting explorer.exe again!

miseleigh made it! (author)2009-04-09

It can be more fun (if you don't mind being a little mean to your roommate) to then remove all the icons from the desktop. The images will still be there from the screen capture, but suddenly none of them work...

camram made it! (author)camram2009-09-22

or you could just right click on the desktop -> view -> show desktop icons instead of deleting them

stargazer418 made it! (author)stargazer4182009-04-12

Yeah I do that to my mom all the time!

dark sponge made it! (author)dark sponge2009-04-09

Cool idea! Thanks! Once I did this with the microsoft office assistant instead of a window. I took a screenshot of it, cut out clippy, pasted him on the desktop, and set that as the background. They thoght MS Word didn't close down properly, and spent forever trying to fix it! Don't forget to rate and vote!

m4573rk3yb04rd made it! (author)2009-07-13

at my school, i made an empty folder and named it principle's porn pix and print screened it so the porn was always there and nobody could delete it or click it......i never got caught

dark sponge made it! (author)dark sponge2009-07-17

That's hilarious! Did you print sceen the image of the folder being open and put it on the background?

m4573rk3yb04rd made it! (author)m4573rk3yb04rd2009-07-17

no, the lady who monitors the computers came around right when i deleted the file, and told me to stop using up computer time(others were waiting to be on the computer)

jay019 made it! (author)2009-04-09

Sweet, I know what im doing next time i walk through the department stores.

stargazer418 made it! (author)stargazer4182009-04-12

Lol! that would be great!

dark sponge made it! (author)dark sponge2009-04-09

Ha! Genius! You would see all of the employees running around like ants trying to figure out what is wrong. First they would mess with the task manager (no luck there). Then they would restart them all (that didn't help either). Finally, they would just give up and just call a computer repair guy. Don't forget to rate and vote!

About This Instructable




Bio: Hi! I've loved electronics and electricity for as long as I can remember, and electric projects are something I do in my free time ... More »
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