How to Use Windows 10's Built-in Sandbox for Safe Testing

The Windows Sandbox is an isolated, lightweight environment built into Windows 10 that allows safe testing of software and scripts without the risk of harming the main system. It functions as a virtual machine but without the need for separate VM setup and management.

Terms Related to Windows Sandbox

  • Sandbox: A controlled environment where software can run separately from the main system.
  • Virtual Machine: An emulation of a computer system where multiple OS can run on a single physical host.
  • Host System: The primary system on which the sandbox or virtual machine runs.
  • Isolation: The state of being separate from other systems to prevent unwanted interactions.

Benefits of Using Windows Sandbox

Windows Sandbox is ideal for those who frequently test new software or scripts and want a safe environment to do so. Every session in the Sandbox is temporary. Once it's closed, all the data and state are deleted, ensuring a clean slate for the next session.

Steps to Use Windows Sandbox

  1. Ensure System Prerequisites

    Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise is required. Ensure virtualization capabilities are enabled in the BIOS or UEFI settings.

  2. Install Windows Sandbox

    Navigate to Control Panel -> Programs -> Turn Windows features on or off. Scroll down and check "Windows Sandbox". Click "OK" and restart the computer.

  3. Launch Windows Sandbox

    After restarting, type "Windows Sandbox" into the search bar and select the application to open it.

  4. Test in the Sandbox Environment

    Drag and drop files or download them directly in the Sandbox. Test as needed, knowing the main system remains unaffected.

  5. Close and Cleanup

    Once testing is completed, simply close the Windows Sandbox application. All changes and files within the Sandbox will be discarded.


Windows Sandbox offers a combination of safety and convenience for testing on Windows 10. By leveraging this built-in feature, it's possible to mitigate risks associated with trialing unverified software or scripts.