Windows Sandbox

(For Geeks Only)
By Joe Callison
1 June 2019

One of the neat features added to the Windows 10 1903 version is the Windows Sandbox. A sandbox is an environment that allows testing code or apps in isolation from the normal operating system environment. It is useful in trying out new browser extensions or apps or even browsing unfamiliar and possibly risky websites with minimal risk to the normal operating system environment. The Windows Sandbox does have some limitations and is not available for all Windows 10 systems. 

The requirements for enabling the Windows Sandbox are:

  • Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise build 18305 or later*
  • 64-bit processor with 2 minimum cores
  • Virtualization available for your CPU and turned on in BIOS**
  • 4GB minimum RAM
  • 1GB minimum free disk space

* see info below on how to enable the Windows Sandbox on Windows 10 Home versions
** You can find your processor model and Hyper-V status in System Information, or you can search the internet for the specifications of your processor model to see if virtualization technology is supported. If so, then access to BIOS settings (if applicable) is from a function key (often F2) or Del key depending on your computer during boot, or for UEFI systems, access to the UEFI settings is from the advanced startup menu obtained by using the Shift-Restart from any screen with a power icon. From the menu go to Troubleshoot, Advanced Options, and then UEFI Firmware Settings. In either type of system, you will need to find the setting to enable virtualization.

The Windows Sandbox is basically a virtual machine Windows 10 installation, similar to what you could do with VirtualBox, VMWare, or Apple Bootcamp, except they would require an additional Windows 10 license to install within the virtual machine. When the Windows Sandbox app is closed, all data is deleted from the guest Windows 10 installation, except for any downloaded files that you may have copied to your host system. After the first boot of the Windows Sandbox, it will start from an archived snapshot when you run the app instead of booting again, which will be much faster to load.

Enabling the Windows Sandbox is simple if you have Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise. Just follow the instructions in this link:

For Windows 10 Home users, it is still possible to enable Windows Sandbox with some extra effort as explained in the following link:

Posted by Joe Callison

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