So this little gem was on the #WindowsInsider Blog (here). And this is a big one, at least for me. I always spin up a VM to test untested and possible malicious software. But I have tested this new and latest addition, and only one word, WOW. It just works, and OK there are a few glitches, right now, but that will be sorted out! This is a keeper!!
Windows Sandbox is a new lightweight desktop environment tailored for safely running applications in isolation.
How many times have you downloaded an executable file, but were afraid to run it? Have you ever been in a situation which required a clean installation of Windows, but didn’t want to set up a virtual machine?
At Microsoft, we regularly encounter these situations, so this resulted in the development of the Windows Sandbox: an isolated desktop environment where you can run untrusted software without the fear of lasting impact to your device. Any software installed in Windows Sandbox stays only in the sandbox and cannot affect your host – ever. Once Windows Sandbox is closed, all the software with all of its files and state are permanently deleted.
Windows Sandbox has the following properties:
- Part of Windows – everything required for this feature ships with Windows 10 Pro and Enterprise. No need to download a VHD!
- Pristine – every time Windows Sandbox runs, it’s as clean as a brand-new installation of Windows
- Disposable – nothing persists on the device; everything is discarded after you close the application
- Secure – uses hardware-based virtualization for kernel isolation, which relies on the Microsoft Hypervisor to run a separate kernel which isolates Windows Sandbox from the host
- Efficient – uses integrated kernel scheduler, smart memory management, and virtual GPU
To install Windows Sandbox, go to Settings > Apps > Apps & Features > Programs and Features > Turn Windows Features on or off, and then select Enable Windows Sandbox.
To start Windows Sandbox, open the Start menu, enter Windows Sandbox and then select it.
We are excited to learn how you use Windows Sandbox! As we continue to add new functionality, your feedback is crucial in shaping the direction of this feature, so share your thoughts with us at Feedback Hub.
Windows Sandbox respects the host diagnostic data settings. All other privacy settings are set to their default values.
For more information, please visit Windows Sandbox at Windows Kernel Internals.
- When Windows Sandbox is first installed and on every servicing event a setup process will run and trigger significant CPU and disk activity for a minute or so.
- Opening the Start menu in Windows Sandbox takes some time and some Start Menu apps will not run.
- The time zone is not synchronized between Windows Sandbox and the host.
- Windows Sandbox does not support installers which require reboot.
- The Microsoft Store is not supported in Windows Sandbox.
- Windows Sandbox does not support high dpi displays very well.
- Windows Sandbox does not fully support multi-monitor configurations.