Windows Sandbox is one of the major new features released as part of Windows 10 May 2019 Update version 1903. The feature is basically a built-in virtualized Windows 10 desktop environment that can be created and disposed as needed. It requires zero configuration or setup and is really fast and efficient with resource usage. For developers and enthusiasts, this is going to be a must-have feature as it allows them to test apps, without having any impact on their main Windows 10 installation. This article will guide you how to install Windows Sandbox.
If you fall under any of the below category of users, Windows Sandbox would be extremely useful for you:
- If you are looking for a free virtualization solution
- If you are looking to install apps, but do not want them on your main OS
- If you are trying out insecure software
- If you are a developer and need a clean OS to test apps
Being a part of Windows 10, Sandbox provided the best efficiency and performance possible. It’s so lightweight that it takes just 100 MB of space when installed. It always starts with a clean OS-like environment. The environment is easy on processor, memory and device battery. It also smartly shares other hardware resources like GPU, and external devices, without the need of messing with any configuration or settings. Once enabled, Sandbox just works. Until you close it, which means that everything you were doing will be deleted as you cannot save any sessions.
Hardware and software requirements for Windows Sandbox
To get Windows Sandbox up and running on your computer, it must meet the following hardware requirements:
- Windows 10 Professional or Enterprise, version 1903 or later. (You can get Windows 10 May 2019 update early if you still don’t have it)
- AMD64 architecture
- Virtualization capabilities enabled in BIOS
- At least 4GB of RAM (8GB recommended)
- At least 1 GB of free disk space (SSD recommended)
- At least 2 CPU cores (4 cores with hyperthreading recommended)
How to enable Windows Sandbox
Before we being, double check and make sure that virtualization is enabled on your PC from the BIOS. To verify whether virtualization is enabled without restarting your PC, simply open Task Manager and click on Performance. Look for Virtualization: Enabled on this screen to confirm.
If you are using Windows 10 in a virtual machine and want to install Sandbox, open PowerShell and run this common to enable nested virtualization.
Set-VMProcessor -VMName -ExposeVirtualizationExtensions $true
- Go to Programs and Features. You can type it in search to quickly open it.
- Click on Turn Windows features on or off. In the window that opens up, scroll down and look for Windows Sandbox. Select the checkbox next to it and click ok.
- Once the installation is complete, you will have to restart your PC.
To run Windows Sandbox, find it in the Start menu and click it. It will open a familiar looking Windows desktop, with the bare essential apps. You can go and copy paste files to the environment and install apps. Dragging files to and from Sandbox doesn’t work yet.
Once you are done using it, simply click the close button on the top right of the window. Note that if you close the Sandbox, none of your files or app installations will be saved. A new Sandbox always starts fresh without any previous files, apps or preferences.
Note: If you get this error when trying to run Sandbox: Error 0x80070057: The parameter is incorrect, try restarting your PC as it usually fixes the issue.