How to enable Windows Sandbox on Windows 11, 10

Windows Sandbox is a disposable virtual machine to test apps and load untrusted websites, and here's how to enable it.

Windows 11 enable Sandbox
Windows 11 enable Sandbox / Image: Mauro Huculak
  • To enable Windows Sandbox, open “Windows Features,” check “Windows Sandbox,” click “OK,” and restart the computer.
  • You can also enable the feature with commands using Command Prompt and PowerShell.

On Windows 11 (and 10), “Windows Sandbox” is a minimal installation of Windows isolated from the main installation that allows you to run untrusted applications without exposing your device.

Sandbox is available on the Pro and Enterprise editions of Windows, and it uses Microsoft’s Hyper-V technology to create a disposable lightweight virtual machine on-demand to run a separate kernel that separates the Windows Sandbox session from the host.

In other words, this is a small installation of Windows 11 (or Windows 10) of just around 100MB, enough to run the desktop environment and test applications. You can even copy and paste files from the host to the isolated environment. Once you finish testing the application, closing the feature will delete the Sandbox environment, which means that every time you start the feature, you will start with a fresh install of Windows 11.

Windows Sandbox requires virtualization in the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) on Windows 11 or 10 or Basic Input/Output System (BIOS) on Windows 10 before you can use the feature. You can use these instructions to enable hardware virtualization in the motherboard before proceeding with the steps below.

In this guide, I will teach you the steps to enable Windows Sandbox on Windows.

Enable Windows Sandbox from Windows Features

To enable “Windows Sandbox” to run untrusted apps on Windows 11 (or 10), use these steps:

  1. Open Start on Windows.

  2. Search for Turn Windows features on or off and click the top result to open the experience.

  3. Check the Windows Sandbox option.

    Windows 11 enable Sandbox

  4. Click the OK button.

  5. Click the Restart now button.

After you complete the steps, you can start the app from the Start menu. 

If you want to disable the feature, you can use the same instructions, but in step 3, clear the option.

Enable Windows Sandbox from PowerShell

To enable Windows Sandbox with PowerShell commands, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.

  2. Search for PowerShell, right-click the top result, and select the Run administrator option.

  3. Type the following command to enable Sandbox users and press Enter:

    Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName "Containers-DisposableClientVM" -All

    PowerShell enable Sandbox

  4. Type “Y” and press enter to restart the computer

Once you complete the steps, the feature will be enabled and ready from the Start menu.

If you want to undo the change, you can use the same instructions, but in step 3, run the Disable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName "Containers-DisposableClientVM" command.

Enable Windows Sandbox from Command Prompt

To turn on Windows Sandbox with Command Prompt commands, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.

  2. Search for Command Prompt, right-click the top result, and select the Run administrator option.

  3. Type the following command to enable Windows Sandbox and press Enter:

    Dism /online /Enable-Feature /FeatureName:"Containers-DisposableClientVM" -All

    Command Prompt enable Sandbox

  4. Type “Y” and press enter to restart the computer

After you complete the steps, you can start using Windows Sandbox to test apps and visit untrusted websites without affecting the main installation.

If you want to undo the change, you can use the same instructions, but in step 3, run the Dism /online /Disable-Feature /FeatureName:"Containers-DisposableClientVM" command.

To get started, open Windows Sandbox from the Start menu, and then you will be presented with a regular Windows desktop environment where you can install and run untrusted applications without affecting the current installation. When you finish closing the app, you will delete the entire virtual machine and anything you have installed.

Update June 19, 2024: This guide has been updated to ensure accuracy and reflect changes to the process.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 14 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and About.me. Email him at [email protected].