Windows 10’s inbox anti-malware solution, Windows Defender Antivirus, now can run in a sandbox environment making it the first security software of its kind capable of running isolated from the rest of the operating system.
According to Microsoft, the process to enable Windows Defender Antivirus in a sandbox was difficult, but it was a necessary step to help in the unlikely event of a malware attacking the antivirus to limit the attack to the sandbox, protecting the rest of the system and your data.
The company plans to start enabling the sandbox feature for its antivirus by default in future releases of Windows 10, but you can force the new security feature now using a simple command.
How to enable sandbox mode for Windows Defender Antivirus
If you want to run the Windows 10 default antivirus using the sandbox feature to keep activities isolated from the rest of the operating system, do the following:
Search for Command Prompt, right-click the top result, and select Run as administrator.
Type the following command to enable sandbox for Windows Defender Antivirus and press Enter:
setx /M MP_FORCE_USE_SANDBOX 1
Restart your computer.
Once you’ve completed the steps, Windows Defender Antivirus will start running in a more secure sandbox environment.
At any time, you can disable the sandbox mode for the antivirus using the same instructions, but on step No. 3, make sure to use this command instead:
setx /M MP_FORCE_USE_SANDBOX 0
If you’re concern about the performance impact, Microsoft says that the it has designed the sandbox environment taking system resources in consideration, as such you shouldn’t see a significant degrade of system performance when enabling the feature.