How to Enable or Disable Windows Sandbox in Windows 11

This article shows you how to enable/disable the Windows Sandbox in Windows 11 for running potentially harmful apps without the risk of affecting the host machine.

Enable or Disable Windows Sandbox in Windows 11
Enable or Disable Windows Sandbox in Windows 11

The Windows sandbox is a lightweight isolated environment that was introduced in Windows 10 and now in Windows 11. This isolated environment can then be used to run untrusted or potentially harmful applications without the risk of affecting the host system.

The best thing about the Sandbox is that everything is temporary. This means that when you close down a Windows Sandbox session, all the software installed, files created and the changes made are discarded. So the next instance of Sandbox you open is going to be a clean slate.

If you need to run some Windows applications in isolation, the Windows Sandbox is the way to go. Let's see how to Enable or disable the Windows Sandbox in Windows 11.

Checking Compatibility

Note: Your computer's processor must support Virtualization technology (VT-x and AMD-V) which can be enabled in the BIOS settings.

You also need to be running Windows Pro, Enterprise, or Education Edition.

You can check if the computer is compatible by using the terminal. Open the terminal by pressing Win + X keys then select Terminal (Admin). Type the command below in the terminal window then Press Enter


Find the Hyper-V Requirements line.

Img 1.png

In this demonstration, Hyper-V is already enabled on my PC. If it wasn't enabled, you should see the information below.

Img 7.png

If Virtualization Enabled in Firmware: No, then you must head to the BIOS settings to enable it.

Enabling the Windows Sandbox

Proceed once you are done with the compatibility check. To enable the Windows Sandbox:

  • Press Win + I to open device settings.

  • Click on Apps in the settings window then Optional Features.

    Img 2.png

  • Scroll to the bottom and click on More Windows features.

    Img 3.png

    This will open up a new window with more features than you can enable/disable.

  • Scroll down until you find the Windows Sandbox feature then check the box next to it. Press OK when done.

    Img 4.png

    The PC will check for the required files then you will be prompted to Restart. Make sure you restart your PC for the changes to take action.

Using Windows Sandbox

After the restart, the Windows Sandbox should be ready to use.

Open the start menu and search for sandbox as shown below then Open it.

Img 5.png

Once the Sandbox is open, copy the files you need to test from the host machine using the Ctrl + C shortcut command and paste them into the sandbox using the Ctrl + V command.

If it's an executable file that may be corrupt, you can run it in the sandbox and your host machine will be safe.

Run the executable in the sandbox and install it then use it like you would normally.

When done with the testing, Close the sandbox window and everything you worked on that sandbox instance will be deleted. Just press Okay to proceed.

Img 6.png


That is all there is to the Windows Sandbox. Copy what you need from the host machine to the sandbox and do your experiments from there without compromising the security of your host machine. Before you can use the Sandbox, your computer must support virtualization technology then you must turn on the Windows sandbox from the Windows additional features. You can also turn on the Windows Sandbox from the terminal but that is for experienced PC users. A tutorial will be up for that soon. That is it for this one.

Thanks for reading : )

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