How to activate the Windows 10 sandbox to test applications safely

How to activate the Windows 10 sandbox to test applications safely

The Windows 10 May 2019 Update has arrived loaded with very interesting news, one of them is the new sandbox mode, which has been integrated into the operating system so that you can test unknown applications safely. We explain how to activate the Windows 10 sandbox and how to use it to run isolated applications . You are ready? We started.

What is the Windows 10 sandbox and what is it for?

A sandbox is a feature that creates an isolated environment from the rest of the operating system and its applications . This is a very useful security mechanism for testing unknown applications. Thanks to the Sandbox, we avoid the risk of being infected by malware, such as a virus or a Trojan. It is like running a virtual machine inside our PC, but much simpler.

When a program is run inside a sandbox, it does so under very controlled conditions , among which the following stand out:

  • Isolated disk space: Programs running in a sandbox cannot access the rest of the hard disk.
  • Isolated memory space: These programs also do not have access to most of the system's RAM, only to the memory addresses that have been assigned to them.
  • Restricted ability to read or write to external devices.
  • No ability to inspect the host system.
  • Limitation of available bandwidth.

These characteristics make a sandbox very similar to a virtualized second operating system and second computer, in fact, sandboxes work by virtualizing the resources of the PC . Similar options have existed in Linux for many years, but Windows had never implemented it until now.

Sandboxes are especially useful for executing programs that we do not trust , an example are keygens or license generators to activate programs. Torrent downloaders are also good candidates for a sandbox, since we never know for sure what they are going to save to the hard drive. Many current browsers already have their own sandbox, but it is always a good idea to add an extra layer of security, especially when Windows 10 offers it to us for free.

Windows Sandbox has the following properties:

  • It is part of Windows .
  • Disposable - nothing persists on the device; Everything is discarded after closing the application.
  • Secure - Uses hardware-based virtualization for kernel isolation, which relies on Microsoft's hypervisor to run a separate kernel that isolates the Windows Sandbox from the host
  • Efficient - uses a built-in kernel scheduler, smart memory management, and virtual GPU

How to activate and use the Windows 10 sandbox

The Windows 10 sandbox works temporarily and is totally disposable, once you have finished using it you can remove it from the system without leaving any trace . This tool uses Microsoft's hypervisor to run a kernel separate from the real operating system, thus achieving a perfectly isolated environment.

The requirements to use it are the following:

  • Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise May 2019 Update.
  • Processor with 64-bit architecture.
  • Enable virtualization options in BIOS.
  • Minimum of 4 GB of RAM.
  • Processor with 2 cores or more.

These are the minimum requirements for the sandbox to work, but they are not optimal to use it. The user experience will be much better if you have a quad-core processor along with 8 GB of RAM or more . remember that you will be running two operating systems at the same time, so the use of resources will be quite high. It is also recommended that the operating system be installed on an SSD disk, in this way the reading speed will be much higher, and the virtualized machine will work much less.

Here we have bad news, and it is that the Windows 10 sandbox is not available in the Home version of the operating system. This is the cheapest version and the one aimed at ordinary users. Microsoft has estimated that the common user does not need a sandbox, we will see if in the future it ends up also reaching this version of Windows 10. If you meet the requirements, you can now activate the Windows 10 sandbox.

If you are a Windows 10 Home user, you can use VirtualBox to install Windows 10 in a virtual machine. This also works as a sandbox, although it is a bit more tedious to set up and use. We recently published a Windows 10 installation guide.

The first thing you need to do is access the control panel , something you can do from the start menu. Once there, access the program installation and uninstallation tool.

How to activate the Windows 10 sandbox 1

Now go to " Enable or disable Windows features ."

How to activate the Windows 10 sandbox 2

After opening the tool to enable and disable Windows features, find and check the " Windows Sandbox " option . Click "OK" and the system will start making the necessary adjustments, something that only takes a few seconds to complete. Restart the computer if the wizard asks you to.

How to activate the Windows 10 sandbox 3

After that, you will have activated the Windows 10 sandbox. To access it you can use the search engine included in the operating system's start menu. Microsoft has designed this sandbox to be as simple as possible to use , which is why it runs like any other application in the operating system, and does not offer customization options.

How to activate the Windows 10 sandbox 4

After running it, you will see how a second virtual Windows 10 operating system opens on your PC . You can use it to steal all kinds of applications without posing any risk to the host system. When you close the new window, all data will be erased without leaving a trace. This is perfect for testing all kinds of files that you don't trust.

You can also use the sandbox to try to change some advanced configuration options of Windows 10 , in this way what you do will not affect the real operating system, and you will have nothing to fear. This point is quite interesting for less experienced users.

How to activate the Windows 10 sandbox 5

This is all you need to do to activate the new sandbox in the latest Windows 10 update. Remember to share the post on social networks so that it can help more users who need it. Remember that you can leave a comment if you have any questions.