Introduction: PC Shutdown Prank!

Picture of PC Shutdown Prank!

This instructable is entered in the April fools contest, if you like it Please VOTE!!
I'm going to show you how to use a desktop shortcut to prank your friends/family. It will simply just shutdown the computer when they click the shortcut and they think there going to open internet explorer. This will NOT hurt your PC in anyway or delete any files.

Step 1: New Shortcut

Picture of New Shortcut
On your desktop right click, click new, then click shortcut
like this:
  • right click>new>shortcut

Step 2: Shutdown Code

Picture of Shutdown Code
A window should pop-up...
Now type this in the entry: Shutdown -s -t 30

  • The number are how many seconds it will take for the computer to shutdown, you can change the number if you want.

Click next.

Step 3: Name the Shortcut

Picture of Name the Shortcut

It is best to name the shortcut Internet Explorer because people use that the most and they will fall for it. Now click Finish.

Step 4: The Disguise

Picture of The Disguise

Now you want to disguise it so it looks like internet explorer to do that simply:
Right click on the shortcut and click properties,
Now go on the shortcut tab and click change icon,
Just find the internet explorer icon and select it,
Now click apply and OK.

Note: Windows XP will have a older version icon but if you use vista then it has a new version of the icon.

Warning: Don't fall for your own prank!

Your Done and Have fun!

Feel free to ask questions, comment, and VOTE!


BoazP (author)2015-12-27

now when my grandpa logs on he will get shutdown

noob_hacker (author)2010-03-23

can anyone tell me on how to send it over e-mail to other people.

You cant send .bat files :3

~KnexBuild~ (author)noob_hacker2011-10-18

that is illegal

OnurD (author)2015-03-19

This program is awsome. I pranked every month

joshua.madonia (author)2015-03-03

when you send it through Email it doesnt work

~KnexBuild~ (author)2011-10-18

what type of operating system do you have (example:linux, windows XP, macintosh)

M4industries (author)2011-03-08

Put this little .exe file in the startup folder. Enjoy their sorrow over how the computer is pretty much done for.

duck_tape_ (author)2009-03-23

Does it warn you it is about to shut down?

amakerguy (author)duck_tape_2009-03-23


Edgod007 (author)amakerguy2009-05-15

if you type shutdown -s -t 30 -c "whatever you want to appear"
it will type it!!!
lol nice instructable though...
lol cya

Kwitmeh3 (author)2009-04-18

I have xp butt with the newer internet icon in my progrm files

zascecs (author)2009-04-07

Soo Cool! Voted for ya!

amakerguy (author)zascecs2009-04-07


grevious (author)2009-03-21

hey look you have "windows vista"

amakerguy (author)grevious2009-03-22

Yeah vista has it's problems, I cannot believe Microsoft is not going to fix vista! I'm starting not to like windows and starting to fall into Steve Jobs hands, but I can't get a macbook because I'm only 13 and I don't have a job.

reddog92396 (author)amakerguy2009-04-07

Macbooks are great and you could use your old vista cd to run vista and OS X at the same time through parallels or Bootcamp, I'm 13 too just more spoiled...sorry.

acidbass (author)amakerguy2009-03-23

i am with u there windows sucks i prefer Linux and i might get a lenovo idea pad and look for a refurbished mac a u could probably get one for a bout 500 dollars i feel your pain i am only a couple of years older than u

amakerguy (author)acidbass2009-03-23

I have never seen or used Linux is it good? Do you need to get special Linux software? could you run Adobe CS3? Do you have to get a Linux compatible laptop or can you run it on a dell? Because I got a Dell inspiron 1525 for my birthday last year (the day I turned 13 and signed up for instructables) and I still love it.

acidbass (author)amakerguy2009-03-23

yeah u should be able to wipe the memory of your vista (make sure that u back up everything) then order some ubuntu linux then you want install that but i will have an ible about that up on the site in a few weeks once i get a break off work CHEERIO;)

amakerguy (author)acidbass2009-03-23

OK I'll be watching!

acidbass (author)amakerguy2009-03-31

yeah mate u really need to look into the whole Linux thing to see if u even like it (i think u will) and also once u wipe the memory and change programs try installing open office software u can get it for free at and install Google new chrome or Firefox and u can also get those for free mate G'day

acidbass (author)amakerguy2009-03-25

like i said mate it should be up soon

ReCreate (author)amakerguy2009-03-22

Hey,Upgrade to Xp SP3

amakerguy (author)ReCreate2009-03-22

you mean downgrade. and I do not want to do that.

ReCreate (author)grevious2009-03-22

Ha man yeah

Dascooby (author)ReCreate2009-03-22

You only 'not like' Vista because nobody else does. Vista is fine.

ReCreate (author)Dascooby2009-03-22

Yeah vista is fine i just agreed with him how vista sucks in its ways,Really everything sucks in a way ,even Xp does

xACIDITYx (author)ReCreate2009-03-30


ReCreate (author)xACIDITYx2009-03-30

for instance,its not by default nice and shiny,like vista No built in speech recognition

E-R-IC (author)Dascooby2009-03-24

yea, most people don't like it just because it is unfamiliar. but i like it.

acidbass (author)grevious2009-03-23


BIGJIMinCT (author)2009-04-01

I did this to our computer at work, with the manager's program which records our sales. Our clerk fell for it hook line and sinker, he tried and restarted 3 times before I let him know it was a prank. It was priceless, thanks.

force9000 (author)2009-03-31

If your in xp to change the IE icon to the modern one put this in to the icon location : "C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe"

Craigers102598 (author)2009-03-26

Im doing it on xp but eeach time i click on it a command prompt pops up for 1 seccond but then nothing happens

amakerguy (author)Craigers1025982009-03-26

well did you type the code correctly: shutdown -s -t 30 remember to type the spaces

LordBowser (author)amakerguy2009-03-27

i think its got to be: -f -s -t XX, the f means force, s means shutdown, t means the time in seconds. i would say you replace the 30 with 00, orelse the person could undo it.

amakerguy (author)LordBowser2009-03-27

well I think the code I published works if you have no other windows open.

Instructed_Chris (author)2009-03-26

And if you happen to click it, try shutdown -a from the run box

Dascooby (author)2009-03-21

To get the icon for any program just choose the .exe file. Now you can get the new icon in XP or you could always disguise it as another program, such as Firefox or anything else the victim uses alot. Also, is there a way to get the actual program to start up as well as setting the shutdown timer? So then you could set the timer to, lets say, one minute. When the victim double clicks the icon, Internet Explorer opens up, then one minute later the computer shuts down.

flashcactus (author)Dascooby2009-03-22

you can redirect it to a *.bat file that says: @echo off start path Shutdown -s -t 30 exit Just replace "path" with the address that was in the target field.

amakerguy (author)Dascooby2009-03-22

but this shortcut does not open what it looks like.

ReCreate (author)2009-03-21

you should really either crop the windows or press CTRL-ALT-PRTSCRN (It will take a screenshot of the active window)

amakerguy (author)ReCreate2009-03-22

oh thanks I never knew that one. And try pressing ALT+TAB this will let you switch between windows.

ReCreate (author)amakerguy2009-03-22

Ah...Yeah In windows Vista i think it is that it has a 3d thingy

xACIDITYx (author)2009-03-22

Sometimes I wonder how many times this particular "prank" will be posted.

Chrislocomotive (author)2009-03-21

Crazy Awesome!!!!

Rowanwood (author)2009-03-21


blob kid (author)Rowanwood2009-03-21

Cool, but easy!

About This Instructable




Bio: I'm a 9th grader that loves to build and destroy stuff. I love Gadgets and computers. I make websites, and design graphics.. I homeschool ... More »
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