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Sandbox in Windows 10 – Safely check files and attachments

The Windows 10 Sandbox is a new and lightweight virtual desktop environment that is isolated from your physical machine in order to run applications safely without the risk of infection. The sandbox environment works by allowing you to run a virtual Windows 10 environment on your device, copy over any files that you’re unsure about the safety of and run them to see the outcome without fear of infecting your network.

Once you shut down your Sandbox environment, any files that are copied over to it are permanently deleted. The reason for this is so every time you open up the Sandbox it is brand new and no previous testing could affect your tests.

Prerequisites

The minimum requirements are:

  • Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise, Build 18305 or above
  • Virtualization enabled in the BIOS of the host machine
  • AMD64 Architecture
  • 4GB RAM*
  • 2 CPU Cores*
  • 1GB RAM*

*Although you can install the Sandbox with the above specifications, it is recommended to have double these requirements to ensure a smooth and useable system

Installing Sandbox

To install the Windows 10 Sandbox, browse over to Windows Features from Control Panel > Programs and Features and on the left-hand menu select ‘Turn Windows Features on or off’ and tick the Windows Sandbox feature.

Windows Sandbox Programs and Features view, showing the tick box for the features installed.

Nerdy Stats

  • Smart Memory Management – Integrated with the Windows Kernel is Memory Management, allowing for the physical and virtual layers to share physical resources as efficiently as possible allowing the host to take resources away from the virtual machine if required
  • Battery Management – The virtual layer is aware of the physical machine’s battery meaning that if it is switched on but not in use, it can enter a low power state to avoid wasting battery power for users

Once installed, Windows should reboot and you can then search your apps for Windows Sandbox to get up and running. For any more information, head over to the Microsoft TechCommunity

Matthew Mclaughlin

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