A “sandbox” is a security mechanism for separating running programs, usually in an effort to mitigate system failures or software vulnerabilities from spreading.

What is Windows Sandbox?

Windows Sandbox is a virtual, disposable environment that can be enabled and run any software that is suspicious, in an isolated environment and make sure that it would not interfere with any normal processes and would not compromise any useful files.

Why use Windows Sandbox?

Windows Sandbox has the following properties:

  • Part of Windows – everything required for this feature ships with Windows 10 Pro and Enterprise. No need to download a VHD! Thus, it is lightweight. Check “How to Speed up Windows“, for improved sandbox environment performance.
  • Pristine – every time Windows Sandbox runs, it’s as clean as a brand-new installation of Windows.
  • Disposable – nothing persists on the device; everything is discarded after you close the application.
  • Secure – uses hardware-based virtualization for kernel isolation, which relies on Microsoft’s hypervisor to run a separate kernel which isolates Windows Sandbox from the host.
  • Efficient – uses integrated kernel scheduler, smart memory management, and virtual GPU.

Prerequisites

  • Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise or Education build 18305 or Windows 11 (Windows Sandbox is currently not supported on Windows Home edition)
  • AMD64 architecture
  • Virtualization capabilities enabled in BIOS
  • At least 4 GB of RAM (8 GB recommended)
  • At least 1 GB of free disk space (SSD recommended)
  • At least two CPU cores (four cores with hyperthreading recommended)

Checking if Virtualization is enabled

  • Right click the “Start” button,
  • Click on “Task Manager”,
  • Click on the “Performance” tab,
  • Click “CPU”
  • Check if its enabled.

checking via task manager

How to enable Windows Sandbox on Windows

To enable and run Windows Sandbox on Windows 11/10, the following need to be done:

  1. Search for windows features in the Taskbar search box.
turn windows features on or off
turn windows features on or off
  1. Click on the individual search result.
  2. Tick the Windows Sandbox checkbox.
windows sandbox options
windows sandbox options
  1. Click the OK button.
  2. Let it install automatically.
  3. Restart your computer.

Using Windows Sandbox

windows sandbox
windows sandbox

The process to get started using Windows Sandbox is easy; just follow these steps:

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search for Windows Sandbox, right-click the top result, and select the Run as administrator option.
  3. On your physical device, right-click the app installer that you want to test and select the Copy option.
  4. Inside the Windows Sandbox experience, right-click on the desktop and select the Paste option to transfer the executable.Quick tip: Although you can’t drag and drop from your main installation into Windows Sandbox to transfer files, you can also download the application files using Microsoft Edge.

Once you are done using the program, close the Sandbox. Remember that closing the Sandbox will delete the program and all its data from the Sandbox. So, if you would like to use the program again, you will have to install it again in Sandbox. Any program or file that you downloaded during the session will also be removed permanently.

About Brian Gathu

mmGathu is a business and tech geek who spends half of his day, branding and designing. While the nights are spent on writing. You can check out-