Windows Sandbox is a lightweight desktop environment that allows you to run applications in isolation. It uses a fresh copy of Windows that is isolated from the host machine, so any changes you make in the sandbox are discarded when you close it. This makes it a safe and convenient way to test new software, run untrusted applications, or troubleshoot problems.
How does Windows Sandbox work?
Windows Sandbox uses a variety of technologies to isolate itself from the host machine. This includes:
- A fresh copy of Windows: Each time you start Windows Sandbox, it uses a fresh copy of Windows that is isolated from the host machine. This signifies that alterations made within the sandbox will not impact the host machine.
- Hardware virtualization: Windows Sandbox uses hardware virtualization to create a virtual machine that runs on the host machine’s hardware. This allows the sandbox to have its own isolated resources, such as CPU, memory, and storage.
- File and network isolation: Windows Sandbox has its own isolated file system and network stack. This means that any files you create in the sandbox are not accessible to the host machine, and the sandbox cannot communicate with other devices on the network.
Requirements for using Windows Sandbox
To use Windows Sandbox, your computer must meet the following requirements:
- Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise, or Education, version 18305 or later.
- Virtualization must be enabled in your computer’s BIOS or UEFI firmware.
- At least 4 GB of RAM.
- At least 1 GB of free disk space.
How to enable Windows Sandbox
To enable Windows Sandbox, follow these steps:
- Open the Start menu and type “Turn Windows features on or off”.
- In the Turn Windows features on or off dialog box, scroll down and select the Windows Sandbox checkbox.
- Click OK and then Restart now to restart your computer.
How to use Windows Sandbox
After enabling Windows Sandbox, initiate it by adhering to these steps:
- Open the Start menu and type Windows Sandbox.
- Click on the Windows Sandbox app to start it.
A new window will emerge, presenting a pristine Windows environment. Within this space, you are free to install and run any applications you desire in the sandbox. When you’re finished, simply close the sandbox window to discard all of the changes you made.
Use cases for Windows Sandbox
Windows Sandbox serves diverse purposes, such as:
- Testing new software: Windows Sandbox is a great way to test new software before installing it on your production machine. This can help you to avoid installing malicious software or software that may cause problems with your other applications.
- Running untrusted applications: If you need to run an application that you don’t trust, you can do so in Windows Sandbox without the risk of harming your production machine.
- Troubleshooting problems: Troubleshooting within Windows Sandbox can aid in identifying the cause and finding a solution.
Advanced features of Windows Sandbox
Windows Sandbox also has a number of advanced features, including:
- Configuration files: You can use configuration files to customize the behavior of Windows Sandbox. For example, you can use a configuration file to enable network access or to disable the virtualized GPU.
- Scripts: You can use scripts to automate the tasks that you perform in Windows Sandbox. For example, you could use a script to install a specific set of applications or to run a test suite.
- Integration with other tools: Windows Sandbox can be integrated with other tools, such as System Center Configuration Manager and Microsoft Endpoint Manager. This allows you to deploy and manage Windows Sandbox instances from a central console.
Windows Sandbox is a powerful and versatile tool that can be used to test new software, run untrusted applications, and troubleshoot problems. It is a safe and convenient way to experiment with different things on your computer without the risk of harming your production machine.