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Enable Windows Sandbox feature on Windows 10 1903, May 2019 update

With Windows 10 version 1903 Microsoft revealed Windows Sandbox environment feature that will allow you to safely run suspected software in a throw-away virtualized sandbox to saving the main system from the potential threats. Getting excited about this Windows Sandbox feature? We too, here this post discusses more details of this feature and how to enable Windows Sandbox environment feature on windows 10.

Note: Microsoft has released Windows 10 version 1903, May 2019 update, Here instructions to get Windows 10 1903 right now.


What is Windows Sandbox?

Windows Sandbox is a lightweight virtual machine that builds on the technologies used in Windows Containers. According to Microsoft, Windows Sandbox uses a new technology called “integrated scheduler,” which allows the host to decide when the sandbox runs. And provides a temporary desktop environment where Windows admins can safely test untrusted software.

“Any software installed in Windows Sandbox stays only in the sandbox and cannot affect your host. Once Windows Sandbox is closed, all the software with all its files and state are permanently deleted,” Microsoft explained in the blog post.

Windows Sandbox has the following properties:

  1. Part of Windows – everything required for this feature ships with Windows 10 Pro and Enterprise. No need to download a VHD!

  2. Pristine – every time Windows Sandbox runs, it’s as clean as a brand-new installation of Windows.

  3. Disposable – nothing persists on the device; everything is discarded after you close the application.

  4. Secure – uses hardware-based virtualization for kernel isolation, which relies on Microsoft’s hypervisor to run a separate kernel which isolates Windows Sandbox from the host.

  5. Efficient – uses integrated kernel scheduler, smart memory management, and virtual GPU.

And now with latest builds,

Windows Sandbox includes microphone access and audio input device configuration capabilities.

Microsoft enabled the Shift + Alt + PrintScreen key sequence in Windows Sandbox which activates the ease of access dialogue for enabling high contrast mode.

And ctrl + alt + break key sequence in Windows Sandbox which allows entering/exiting fullscreen mode.

Windows Sandbox Minimum system requirement

As per Microsoft blog, Windows Sandbox feature only available to users of Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise edition running Build 18303 or later. And in order to use this feature, your system must support the following requirements:

  1. Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise build 18305 or later

  2. AMD64 architecture

  3. Virtualization capabilities enabled in BIOS

  4. At least 4GB of RAM (8GB recommended)

  5. At least 1 GB of free disk space (SSD recommended)

  6. At least 2 CPU cores (4 cores with hyperthreading recommended)

Enable Windows Sandbox on Windows 10 1903

In order to enable and use Windows Sandbox feature make sure that you are running Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise Editions and that too running build 18305 or newer.

Also, you must enable virtualization in the computer’s BIOS Setup

  1. Power on the machine and open the BIOS (Press Del key).

  2. Open the Processor submenu The processor settings menu may be hidden in the Chipset, Advanced CPU Configuration or Northbridge.

  3. Enable Intel Virtualization Technology (also known as Intel VT) or AMD-V depending on the brand of the processor.

enable virtualization in BIOS

Now follow instructions below to enable Windows Sandbox from Windows Features.

Type Windows Features On Start menu search and click on the Turn Windows features on or off the result.

Here on Turn Windows Features on or off box scroll down and check mark option next to Windows Sandbox. 

And click to allow windows 10 enable Windows Sandbox feature on your PC.

Enable Sandbox Feature

After it has finished installing, click on the Start button and search for Windows Sandbox and click on it when it appears.

How to use windows sandbox on windows 10

That’s all now to use Windows Sandbox feature/create sandbox environment on windows 10 open the Start menu, enter Windows Sandbox and select the top result. Here the Brand new Windows Sandbox for you.

Note: As the Sandbox is a fully featured version of Windows, it’s first run will boot Windows as normal.  And to avoid each time booting Windows Sandbox will create a snapshot of the virtual machine’s state after its first boot. This snapshot will then be used for all subsequent launches in order to avoid the boot process and substantially decrease the time it take for the Sandbox to become available.

Windows Sandbox environment on Windows 10

Simply copy an executable from the host operating system and paste it onto the desktop of Windows Sandbox. Now you can run the untrusted/suspicious program without fear of it affecting your normal Windows install. When you are done with this, simply close the Sandbox, And everything you test there all is erased from your system.

windows sandbox missing

As we have discussed before:

  1. Windows sandbox feature only available in Pro and Enterprise editions of Windows 10 1903

  2. Also, make sure you are running the latest Windows 10 May 2019 update version 1903 or later.

  3. You can use Winver command to check your Windows edition and version details.

If you are having windows 10 pro still Windows sandbox feature is missing?

Check and make sure Virtualization enabled in BIOS, If hardware virtualization isn’t enabled, check your motherboard manufacturer to find the instructions on how to enable the feature.

Share your experience with Windows Sandbox feature on the comments below. Also, Read


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