Windows 10 Will Soon Let You Create Temporary Windows Sandbox Environments for Testing

Microsoft is launching a new Windows 10 feature with the next major version of the OS. The new feature, titled Windows Sandbox, will provide users with a lightweight Windows 10 environment that runs on top of their existing environment.

The feature will likely make its debut with the next Windows 10 19H1 Insider build, which will likely be Build 18305. Windows Sandbox will work much like a regular app, though it will be an optional feature to start with. Everything that you require for Windows Sandbox will be shipped as part of Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise, though you’d still have to enable it from Optional Features in Windows. You’ll also require to have virtualization enabled in your machine’s BIOS.

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Windows Sandbox can then be opened as a regular app in Windows 10 from the Start Menu. It will start up a lightweight Windows 10 environment on top of your existing environment, literally like a virtual machine, minus all the hassle. You can then use the environment to test unknown apps that could potentially be harmful, for example. Once you are done and close the sandbox, all the data associated with the temporary environment will be destroyed.

Microsoft says the new feature uses hardware-based virtualization for kernel isolation, meaning it will completely isolate each of your sandboxes from the host, leaving no room for potential attacks.  The feature also uses the integrated kernel scheduler, virtual GPU and smart memory management to be as efficient as possible, the company detailed in a blog post.

Windows Sandbox will be a much-welcomed addition for many advanced Windows users. It seems like a pretty effective and quick way of standing up a temporary Windows environment that you can use to test whatever you like, not just testing unknown apps, so it could be useful in many ways. Keep an eye out for the next 19H1 build if you want to give the feature a shot.

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Conversation 12 comments

  • harmjr

    Premium Member
    19 December, 2018 - 8:34 am

    <p>Now this is a feature I could use. I wish its coming to Home users. </p>

  • jules_wombat

    19 December, 2018 - 8:48 am

    <p>Would we be able to run a Browser (e.g. Edge) in this sandbox, and feel safe from nefarious web sites ?</p>

    • waethorn

      19 December, 2018 - 9:05 am

      <blockquote><em><a href="#384231">In reply to Jules_Wombat:</a></em></blockquote><p>This should already be the default for any browser on Windows.</p>

    • bluvg

      19 December, 2018 - 12:21 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#384231">In reply to Jules_Wombat:</a></em></blockquote><p><br></p><p>You can already do this using Application Guard for Edge: </p><p><br></p><p>https ://</p>

      • rosyna

        19 December, 2018 - 1:13 pm

        <blockquote><em><a href="#384280">In reply to bluvg:</a></em></blockquote><p><br></p><p>Only if you have the Enterprise SKU.</p>

  • Daekar

    19 December, 2018 - 9:00 am

    <p>This would actually be something I would consider buying Pro for, or even better, <em>subscribing to Microsoft 365 Consumer</em> for. Make it happen, Microsoft.</p>

  • bluvg

    19 December, 2018 - 12:18 pm

    <p>"leaving no room for potential attacks"</p><p><br></p><p>Other than the Meltdown, Spectre, etc. attacks…</p>

  • lordbaal1

    19 December, 2018 - 1:38 pm

    <p>A.K.A. porn sandbox.</p>

  • victorchinn

    Premium Member
    19 December, 2018 - 5:09 pm

    <p>Shouldn't they put this into Windows 10 S (or equivalent) and sandbox all the Win32 apps that are unsafe? </p>

  • bluvg

    20 December, 2018 - 1:10 am

    <p>The article is interesting–this is based on containers, not traditional VMs.</p>

  • skane2600

    20 December, 2018 - 1:11 am

    <p>Limiting it to Pro or Enterprise probably makes sense because most Home users would have no idea what it is or how to use it. </p>

  • NT6.1

    21 December, 2018 - 8:07 pm

    <p>Finally, an useful feature!</p>

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