What is Windows Sandbox?
As Microsoft said it is a lightweight desktop and isolation environment. It’s running independently from your main Windows, temporary and fresh Windows on each time you launch it. It’s useful for testing new applications, the untrusted software in an isolation environment that not get infecting your main Windows.
Let’s imagine you download software from an untrusted source, you would like to check it out but shy to install on your main computer since it may cause your computer virus-infected, you didn’t want to install a clean Windows or even set up a Virtual Machine since it takes too much time to install/setup.
Windows Sandbox will help you deal with your concerns. All the untrusted apps, the software will be in the Sandbox and it cannot affect your main Windows. After closing Sandbox, all the apps, software installed will be deleted permanently. Your main Windows will be safe.
How to configure and use it?
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!
- 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 the 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 for using the feature:
- Windows 10 Pro or later
- AMD64 architecture
- Virtualization capabilities enabled in BIOS
- At least 4GB of RAM (8GB recommended)
- At least 1 GB of free disk space (SSD recommended)
- At least 2 CPU cores (4 cores with hyperthreading recommended)
From the Start menu, find and run Turn Windows features on or off
Then the Windows Features will open. Enable Windows Sandbox feature by check to the box.
Go through the configure wizard. Once the setup is completed you must restart your computer to take effect.
From the Start menu, find Windows Sandbox run it and allow the elevation.
Oops, you may get this warning message.
Make sure Virtualization on your computer must be enabled.
After Starting, your Windows Sandbox will be like this
Please note that once the Windows Sandbox shutdown/restart/disconnect, your installed app, data, everything will be gone.
You may also aware of your host resource performance during operating in Windows Sandbox.
From now, you able to confidently test the untrusted software that no fear impacts your main Windows.