On Windows 11, “Windows Sandbox” is a feature that creates a lightweight virtualization environment, which allows you to install and test untrusted applications or websites without risking affecting the main installation.
In other words, Windows Sandbox is essentially a virtual machine that the Microsoft hypervisor creates on demand using the same image of the version of Windows 11 installed on your computer. The difference is that it is a lightweight (100MB~) custom virtualization environment optimized for performance and security.
Although you can use any other virtualization technology, Windows Sandbox offers some advantages. For example, you don’t need another product key to activate the instance, and you don’t need to spend extra time setting up the virtual machine. Also, you’ll start with a clean install of Windows 11 every time you open the sandbox, and everything will be removed every time you close the feature.
This guide will walk you through the steps of setting up and using Windows Sandbox on Windows 11.
How to Enable Windows Sandbox on Windows 11
On Windows 11, enabling the isolated environment for testing applications requires enabling virtualization at the hardware level before you can enable Windows Sandbox.
As part of the minimum requirements, you’ll need Windows 11 Pro or higher, a processor with two or more cores, and at least 4GB of memory, and while that’s not a requirement, you’ll also need of SSD storage.
Enable UEFI Virtualization
To enable virtualization on UEFI firmware in Windows 11, follow these steps:
- Open Settings.
- Click on System.
- Click it Recovery page on the right side.
- In the “Recovery options” section, click the Restart now button for the “Advanced start” parameter.
- Click it Restart now button again.
- Click on Troubleshoot.
- Click on Advanced options.
- Click it UEFI Firmware Settings option.
- Click it To restart button.
- Open the Advanced, ConfigurationWhere Security page in UEFI settings.
- Quick note: You may need to check your hardware manufacturer to determine which page contains the settings.
- Enable virtualization feature in firmware.
- Quick advice: The feature may appear as “Virtualization Technology”, “Intel Virtual Technology”, or “SVM Mode”, but the name may be different on the motherboard.
- Save firmware settings.
- Restart the computer.
Once the steps are completed, you can enable the Windows Sandbox feature on your computer.
Enable Windows Sandbox
To enable Windows Sandbox on Windows 11, follow these steps:
- Open Settings.
- Click on apps.
- Click it Optional Features page on the right side.
- In the “Associated parameters” section, click on the “More Windows Features” setting.
- Check the Windows sandbox option.
- Click it OKAY button.
- Click it Restart now button.
After completing the steps, you can run the sandbox to install and test applications without risking the main installation.
How to Use Windows Sandbox on Windows 11
Getting started with Windows Sandbox is simple, and here’s how:
- Open Begin.
- To research Windows sandboxright-click on the first result and select the Execute as administrator option.
- Open File Explorer.
- Navigate to the folder containing the untrusted app you plan to test.
- Right-click on the application installer and select the Copy option.
- In the Windows Sandbox desktop, right-click on the desktop and select the Dough possibility of transferring the installation program.
- Quick advice: Alternatively, you can also download the application files using Microsoft Edge.
- Double-click the installer (.exe, .msi, or any other) to begin installation.
- Follow the onscreen instructions to complete the installation.
Once the steps are completed, you can safely test the application without compromising the main installation. In addition to testing applications, you can also use this environment to securely access untrusted websites.
On Windows Sandbox, you can use the Ctrl + Alt + Break Where Pause keyboard shortcut to enter and exit the full-screen experience. If you are using the high contrast mode, you can use the Shift + Alt + Printscreen hotkey to enable high contrast.
When you are done testing, you can close Windows Sandbox by clicking the X (close) button, like any other application, and the system will delete any content you created or configured along with the virtual machine instance.
For more helpful articles, coverage, and answers to common Windows 10 and Windows 11 questions, visit the following resources: