Microsoft always adds great new features to Windows 10, but they don't always work. Many do not receive a large reception upon arrival. However, the introduction of a Windows Sandbox environment for Windows 10 was of great interest.
Previously, you could only create a limited environment in Windows 10 using third-party tools. So having an integrated tool is potentially easier and safer than the alternatives. So we tell you how you can configure Windows Sandbox.
First things first: What is Windows Sandbox?
Windows Sandbox is a temporary virtual desktop environment. While Windows Sandbox is running, you are basically running a clean version of your operating system, in which your activities do not affect the rest of the machine.
Windows Sandbox is a secure environment where you can try any software before installing it on your main device. When you close the Sandbox, any activity is deleted before returning to the host machine.
How does Windows Sandbox work?
As you can see, Microsoft uses a wide variety of tools to give life and make this great tool work:
Dynamic Image Generation
Windows Sandbox copies an image of your existing operating system into the virtual machine. Your Sandbox environment always uses a new and clean installation of Windows 10 with the latest updates. But you don't have to store an additional copy of the operating system to start as it does with other virtualization software.
Intelligent memory management
Virtual machines can have many resources and require the host machine to share its hardware. So this tool uses smart memory management to dynamically allocate memory between the host and the sandbox, making sure that the host does not slow down.
Snapshot and Cloning
This tool uses two common virtualization technologies called Snapshot and Cloning, to facilitate loading on the host system. The snapshot allows Windows Sandbox to start the environment once and then "conserve memory, CPU and device status on disk."
From here, the environment can restore from the disk instead of having to start it every time a new instance of the sandbox is needed.
It also uses enhanced graphics virtualization to make the sandbox environment a perfect experience that reflects the host.
Can you run Windows Sandbox?
Currently, the tool is available for Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise installations running Insider Preview build 18305 or later. Or also, the Windows update May 10, 2019 or later. Unfortunately, Windows 10 Home users will not have access to this feature.
As hardware and software requirements, you will also need:
- A 64-bit processor
- Virtualization activated in the BIOS of your system.
- 4 GB of minimum RAM (Microsoft recommends 8 GB).
- At least 1 GB of free disk space (Microsoft recommends using a Solid State Hard Disk).
- At least 2 CPU cores (Microsoft recommends four cores with hyperthreading).
How to verify if virtualization is enabled
Before delving into your BIOS to activate virtualization, there is a quick check you can do to see if it is already active.
Type "Task" in the search bar of the Start menu and select the best match. In Task Manager, switch to the Performance tab. It will be any of the Enabled or Disabled lists next to the Virtualization section.
If virtualization is disabled, you should go to the BIOS and turn it on. Once it is on, restart your system and continue.
How to activate Hyper-V and the Windows Sandbox function
Well, now you must verify that Microsoft Hyper-V is running. Hyper-V is a Windows Server virtualization tool built into Windows. In this case, Hyper-V is used to create the Windows Sandbox, so you must turn it on before continuing.
Type "Windows functions" in the search bar of the Start menu and select the best match. Go down and see the Hyper-V. You will verify the nested options automatically. Now, go down a little more and look for the Windows Sandbox option and check the box. Press OK and then restart your system.
How to access Windows Sandbox
After restarting Windows, type "Windows Sandbox" in the search bar of the Start menu. Of course, the tool will appear as the best match. You just have to click and there you will have it.
This tool opens a clean version of your current version of Windows every time you open it. It is always updated, with the same system updates as the host.
When you finish using it, simply close the application. Any changes you make to the operating system running in the Sandbox will disappear permanently.
Run Sandbox inside a virtual machine
If you are trying to use the Windows Sandbox in a virtual machine, you must take an additional step. You must configure your system to allow nested virtualization. That is to run a virtual environment inside a virtual machine.
In the virtual machine, type "powershell" in the search bar of the Start menu. Now, right-click on "Best Match" and select Run as administrator.
Now, enter the following command:
Now restart your virtual machine. After rebooting, the Windows Sandbox option should be available in your Start Menu.
Run Windows Sandbox on Windows 10 Home
At the beginning we mentioned that this tool cannot run on Windows 10 Home. And it's true; as standard, you cannot execute it. But a patch developed by the Deskmodder team allows Windows 10 Home users to activate it.
Try Windows Sandbox!
If you have the ability, try this great tool. The Windows 10 May 2019 update is still leaking to most users. And massive update deployments take some time. But when the update comes, Windows Sandbox comes with it.