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How to enable and use Windows Sandbox in Windows 10

How to enable and use Sandbox mode in Windows 10

Whether it’s a new image editing software you found on the Internet or somebody has shared it via flash drive, running executable files has always been risky.

Testing these kind of untrusted software in a clean system requires virtual machine (VM) software, an example of such software is VirtualBox.

VM is great for testing a new software application but it is hard to use too. Other pitfalls of using virtual machine are like, you need a valid Windows 10 license to run on the virtualized OS.

Secondly, running a virtual machine at decent performance requires reasonably powerful hardware and lots of storage space.

Fortunately, Microsoft’s Windows 10 (v.1903)  solves all of these problems at once by a new feature called “Windows Sandbox”.

In this tutorial you will learn what is Windows Sandbox, how to enable it and finally how to use it in a step by step method.

What is Windows Sandbox in Windows 10?

Windows Sandbox is a new feature introduced by Microsoft for Windows 10 (v.1903), which lets you install and run any suspicious software in the sandbox mode without affecting the host PC.

“Windows Sandbox is currently available for Professional, Enterprise, and Education editions of Windows 10.”

In short, Windows Sandbox is half app, half virtual machine. When you close the sandbox, any programs you installed or files you created will be discarded and permanently deleted.

Which means that every time you start the feature, you will start with a clean install of Windows 10.

Minimum system requirements for Windows Sandbox in Windows 10

In order to use Windows Sandbox, your system must support the following requirements:

  • Virtualization capabilities enabled in BIOS
  • At least 4GB of RAM (8GB recommended)
  • At least 1 GB of free disk space (SSD recommended)
  • Windows 10 (Professional, Enterprise, and Education editions) version 1903 or later
  • Requires a 64-bit processor with at least two cores, but quad-core CPU device with multi-threading is recommended

– Source: Microsoft 

How to turn on Windows Sandbox?

By default, the Windows Sandbox feature is turned off and you can enable the feature using these step by step instructions.

Step 1: You need to make sure virtualization is enabled in your system’s BIOS. To cross check, type CTRL + SHIFT + Esc keyboard shortcut to open Windows Task Manager. 

Go to Performance Tab, Make sure the CPU category is selected on the left and on the right, just make sure it says Virtualization: Enabled.

Also Read: How to enable virtualization in your computer’s BIOS

Windows task manager virtualization enabled

Step 2: Open Search and type “Turn Windows features on or off “ and select the result.

Type turn windows features on or off and select the result

Step 3: In the Windows Features, check the “Windows Sandbox” option and click “OK”.

Enable windows sandbox in windows 10

Step 4: Click the “Restart now” button to finish installation of Windows Sandbox.

Click the restart now button

How to use Windows Sandbox in Windows 10

In our previous section we have successfully installed Windows Sandbox. In this section your are going to take a sample app like VLC media player and try installing under Windows Sandbox environment.

Sunil Pradhan

Hi there đź‘‹ I am a front-end developer passionate about cutting-edge, semantic, pixel-perfect design. Writing helps me to understand things better.

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Sunil Pradhan

Hi there đź‘‹ I am a front-end developer passionate about cutting-edge, semantic, pixel-perfect design. Writing helps me to understand things better.