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A look at Windows Sandbox a new feature of Windows 10 (OS Build 18305) (19H1)

Recently Microsoft released a brilliant new feature on Windows 10 (OS Build 18305) (19H1) known as Windows Sandbox. Windows Sandbox is a very lightweight desktop environment which allows you to test applications or run code in a safe contained way without causing instability to the main system.

Before you can enable this feature you must check to see if your hardware supports virtualization in the BIOS. If it doesn’t you will not be able to use this feature. Some systems may need to have this enabled so check your BIOS and enable it if needed.

To open Windows Sandbox we must first enable it by navigating to the following:

Control Panel / Programs & Features / Turn windows features on or off

Windows Sandbox in Windows features

After you have enabled Windows Sandbox and have restarted the system you should now be able to search and launch it.

Windows Sandbox in the Search Console

After launching Windows Sandbox you will be presented with a mirrored image of your normal desktop within the Windows Sandbox window. The Windows Sandbox should behave exactly the same way as your normal desktop should with all options available.

After you close the application everything within Windows Sandbox is gone forever.

It helps to run this application on a device with plenty of processing power and memory as I found that it can be quite sluggish even on a machine with 16GB RAM and a Core i5.

Below I ran a malicious piece of software to test how the environment would cope. It did not cause the system to become unstable so I may need to figure out a way to really put Windows Sandbox to the test.

Malware running on Windows Sandbox

I was suprised to that you can only have one instance of Windows Sandbox open at a time. This can be disappointing especially if you wanted to test on multiple Sandbox’s. Maybe Microsoft might improve this for higher spec machines that have plenty of resources.

Only one instance of Windows Sandbox allowed

For a more detailed look at Windows Sandbox you can check out more at Microsoft Tech Community

2 Comments

  1. So Windows are allowing you to natively run VMs that mirror your system? Very handy altogether but I’d still prefer to use VMware as that allows you to run multiple machines at once (depending on system specs)

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