Isolation for untrusted apps

How to enable ‘Windows Sandbox’ on Windows 10

You can now run untrusted apps in isolation with Windows Sandbox, and here's how to use enable the feature.

Windows Sandbox setup

UPDATED 7/22: On Windows 10, “Windows Sandbox” is a lightweight isolated environment available starting with the May 2019 Update to test untrusted applications without affecting your device.

Sandbox works just like a virtual machine using the Microsoft’s hypervisor and hardware virtualization to run a separate kernel that isolates a Windows Sandbox session from the host. Basically, it’s a tiny installation of Windows 10 (around 100MB in size) enough to install and run untrusted classic applications isolated from the main installation.

According to the company, Windows Sandbox is also very efficient as it uses integrated kernel scheduler, smart memory management, and virtual graphics, and it’s disposable. Once you finish using the app, the sandbox gets deleted, which means that every time you start the feature, you’ll start with a clean install of Windows 10.

In this guide, you’ll learn the steps to enable Windows Sandbox available with the Windows 10 May 2019 Update.

How to enable Windows Sandbox on Windows 10

Use these steps to enable “Windows Sandbox” to run untrusted applications on Windows 10:

  1. Open Start on Windows 10.

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

  3. Check the Windows Sandbox option.

    Enable Windows Sandbox on Windows 10 version 1903
    Enable Windows Sandbox on Windows 10 version 1903
  4. Click the OK button.

  5. Click the Restart now button.

Once you complete the steps, you can start Windows Sandbox from the Start menu.

This feature is only available for Windows 10 Pro and Windows 10 Enterprise starting with version 1903 (build 18305) on devices with processors and motherboards that support virtualization. If you don’t see this feature, you’re likely not running the supported version of Windows 10 or hardware virtualization isn’t supported or not enabled.

If hardware virtualization isn’t enabled, check your motherboard manufacturer to find the instructions on how to enable the feature.