How to use Windows Sandbox and create a secure virtual environment

How to use Windows Sandbox and create a secure virtual environment

Windows Sandbox is an application integrated to the operating system. It allows you to create a virtual environment for testing and is designed primarily for you to run unreliable or incomplete applications separately from the rest of the operating system. With the release of the update for Windows 10 May 2019, several features were added. Without a doubt, Windows Sandbox is one of the most interesting.

Activating this feature and running a complete virtual Windows environment within your existing installation only require a couple of steps. It does not imply buying or operating any additional software, so here you will find more information about how you can enable it and use it directly on your own laptop or desktop computer.

Step 1: Verify that your computer has virtualization support

windows sandbox bios screenArif Bacchus / Digital Trends

One of the prerequisites for using Windows Sandbox is to verify your computer's support for virtualization. This technology allows your computer to take advantage of its computing power to separate devices from programs. It is usually a configuration available in the BIOS how Enable virtualization support.

In our Dell XPS 15, we verify this option by pressing F2 at startup, selecting Virtualization and then by clicking on Enable Intel Virtualization Technology and pressing OK.

You can get more information on how to enable virtualization on your device by consulting the support documents available from the manufacturer of your computer.

Step 2: Verify or update your version of Windows 10

windows sandbox windows 10 configuration screenArif Bacchus / Digital Trends

As mentioned earlier, Windows Sandbox is only available for Windows 10 Pro and Enterprise. If you are running Windows 10 Home, which comes with most new computers, you cannot use Windows Sandbox.

You can verify your version of Windows by going to the start menu and typing About.

Then choose About your PC from the search results list. This should open the Windows 10 Settings. Go down to the bottom of the screen and check Windows Specifications.

If you see Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise, you are ready to start. Otherwise, you can update your version of Windows by visiting the Microsoft Store application in Windows 10 and entering a search for Windows 10 Pro. A typical upgrade license costs $ 100.

In addition to Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise, you should also ensure that your computer has an AMD64 architecture and a minimum of 4 GB of RAM and 1 GB of free space. These are the settings recommended by Microsoft for Windows Sandbox.

Step 3: go to the classic Windows Control Panel

windows sandbox programs and features screenArif Bacchus / Digital Trends

Windows Sandbox is not activated by default in the Windows 10 May 2019 update. You must manually enable it with the Windows 7 classic control panel.

To do so, look for the Control Panel in the start menu or in the search box. Then, click on the Control Panel in the results list.

Then, in the search bar that runs in the upper right of the Control Panel window, type: Enable or disable Windows features. You should see a result in the upper left. Click on that option.

Step 4: Search for Windows Sandbox in the list of Windows features

windows sandboxArif Bacchus / Digital Trends

Windows 10 download the necessary files for the Sandbox function, and then you must restart your computer to apply the changes.

When you restart, you will get a screen similar to the one you have when you install Windows 10 security updates. It should not take much more than two or three minutes.