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Enable Sandbox on Windows 10

Windows 10 allows you to create a sandbox on your desktop or laptop. The sandbox feature is very useful for testing applications and for testing the authenticity and veracity of files that you may have downloaded from the Internet or through an email attachment. Let us look at the basic instructions that will help you to enable sandbox on Windows 10 workstation.

Before enabling sandbox on Windows 10 system, you need to make sure that the Windows 10 installation on your system complies with the essential requirements for the sandbox to run.

Can I use sandbox on Windows 10 Home edition?

Sandbox feature is available on Windows 10 Pro and Windows 10 Enterprise edition. It is not available on the Windows 10 Home edition. There are, however, third party tools that could help you in downloading and installing the Windows 10 sandbox files on your system. We do not recommend using third party tools to install the sandbox feature on Windows 10 Home edition computers.

Besides being restricted to the Enterprise and Pro editions, Windows 10 sandbox will require a few system specific configuration parameters. The configuration details required to run the Windows 10 sandbox are –

  • Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise Insider build 18305 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)

Most modern systems will comply with these hardware requirements. If you are planning to buy a new desktop or laptop, consider making sure that your Windows 10 comes on the hardware that supports the configuration above.

Enable Sandbox on Windows 10 – instructions

Before enabling the sandbox on Windows 10, we need to make sure that ‘Virtualization’ is enabled on the Windows 10 system. To check if your system supports virtualization, we need to perform the either of the following two steps:

Step 1 – Launch the command prompt on Windows 10. You can do this by writing the command –cmd on the search box. Use the systeminfo command to bring up the system details. Towards the bottom of the configuration data returned by the command, you will notice that the Firmware is enabled or not enabled in the output. Notice how the command output in the image below lists –

Virtualization Enabled in Firmware: Yes

Step 2 – If you are not comfortable in using the command prompt on Windows 10, we can use the task manager to bring up virtualization status on your system.

The performance tab of the Task Manager will also show if virtualization is enable in firmware. See the image below as it shows the virtualization support in the system.

Once you have validated the virtualization support on your Windows 10 system, we will need to enable the sandbox feature on your Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise system. Sandbox can be enabled like any other Windows feature. To enable sandbox on the Windows 10 system, follow the 3 step instructions below:

Step 1 – In the Cortana search box, type Control Panel to bring up the Control Panel on your Windows 10 system. Once in the control panel, look for an option – Programs and Features. See the image below to find out Programs and Features within the control panel.

Click on Programs and Features.

Step 2 – This should bring up a new dialog screen that lists the programs that are installed on your Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise edition computer. Look for ‘Turn Windows features on or off’. We have highlighted this in the image below to help you spot it easily.

Click on ‘Turn Windows features on or off’

Step 3 – Now enable the sandbox feature by putting a check mark against the ‘Windows Sandbox’. Spot it easily using the image below, that shows the ‘Windows Sandbox’ option within the dialog box.

Enable Windows Sandbox in Windows Features

Your system will install the Windows Sandbox and ask you to restart the computer. Once you restart the compute, you would have the Windows Sandbox enabled on your computer. You can run the Windows Sandbox by going to the START menu and selecting ‘Windows Sandbox’ from the menu. Once you launch sandbox, it will create a new image of the Windows 10 operating system and allocate a separate memory space for you to work on the Windows sandbox. Once you close the sandbox, all temporary files or executables copied on to the Windows Sandbox are automatically cleared off by the Windows 10 operating system files.