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8 Simple-But-Cruel Gmail Tricks To Prank Your Friends

Has your friend stepped away from their computer and left their Gmail open? Time to teach them to never do that again. You know, for their own good.

Posted on May 28, 2012, at 11:55 a.m. ET

1. Move The Chat List

Let's start with the tamest prank. This just moves the chat list from the left hand side to the right hand side. Click to enable Right-Side Chat in Labs then click save changes and you 're done. This is also one of the quickest pranks to set up if you only have 10 seconds when someone 's back is turned.

2. Turn Off Conversation View

This is a good prank because the person will probably think it's a Google bug rather than a feature that can be disabled. Just toggle off Conversation View in the general settings. Watch their reaction when that email thread with 60 replies explodes their whole inbox.

3. Re-filter Their Email

This could be either an innocent relabeling (e.g. anything gets a new filter called 8===D) or a cruel refiltering (e.g. anything marked important gets auto-archived so that it never hits their inbox).

4. Re-label Their Inbox(es)

Did your friend have a rough breakup with someone? Remind them of what they 've lost by bringing all their emails and chats with that person to the top of their inbox. Start by enabling Multiple Inboxes in Labs then navigate to the new Multiple Inboxes tab. In Pane0 put and and label it whatever you want. “The Love Of My Life” seems appropriately despondent. Salt in the wound: if you put “love” & the person 's email address in the Pane0 search field, then love will appear in all the email snippets.

Those 4 pranks just change your friend 's inbox, these next 4 are arguably much worse because they change outgoing emails.

5. Change Their Signature

If your friend doesn't have Signature Tweaks enabled in Labs then this prank is perfect for them because they 'll never see you've changed their signature if they're composing a reply to a long email thread. Maybe you've always hated that dumb inspiring proverb they keep in their signature. It might be time for Buddha to wax poetic about farts.

6. Change their default font to Comic Sans

For a nerd, nothing would be more embarrassing then sending an email in Comic Sans. Enable Default Text Styling in Labs then, in the default text style section of the general settings, pick Comic Sans from the font dropdown. It'd be easy to go overboard with giant text or weird colors but something a little more subtle like changing the default font means they may actually send a few short emails before they notice.

7. Change Their Default From Reply To Reply To All

You're playing with fire if you do this one. Like moving the chat list, this prank only takes 10 seconds to set-up, just enable Default Reply To All and click Save Changes. Depending on how casual your friend is with Gmail, they could start sending a lot of unintended and embarrassing replies to all.

8. Change Their Name

This is the most nefarious prank because it's the least visible to the person your pranking and has the biggest impact on them. In the Accounts section of Settings go to Send Mail As and click edit info then name your friend whatever you want. Unless your friend likes to view their own sent emails they might not pick up on this prank until someone points it out to them. That is if any of their friends would actually open an email from someone named PornBot5000.