What is Windows Sandbox? Windows’ latest, 8th feature update of May 2019 brought us many surprising and useful utilities to the users of the Windows Operating System, and Windows Sandbox is one of the major feature updates or utilities between them.
Windows Sandbox is basically a metamorphosed version of Windows’ existing Virtual machine. However, externally it’s sometimes hard to identify the major differences between both the akin software. That is why in today’s article, we are about to review the all-new Windows Sandbox of Microsoft.
To understand the Sandbox and its primary importance first, we have to understand the antecedent Windows Virtual PC. Windows introduced the Virtual PC in September 2009 for its Windows XP operating system. This application was freeware and also available on the official website of Microsoft’s Windows.
It is quite usual to get confused between the Windows Virtual Machine because of the akin user interface design and purpose of both the software; however, both of them are way different from each other in terms of any single aspect. The Windows Virtual Machine is basically a separate machine inside of a physical machine and the installation procedure does require a lot of technical and software expertise, whereas the modern Windows Sandbox is way simpler and does not require much effort to install or even operate.
What is the Essence of Windows Sandbox?
Let’s understand the basic requirement of this kind of Virtual interface first. At the commencement of Virtual Machines, there were so many purposes to solve with it; like using a Virtual Machine, we could have two different types of Operating Systems at the same time and on the same physical machine. Further, using a virtual machine, we could even restrict some malefic object to enter into the host or primary machine. However, the server operating system has a plethora of scopes where we really require Virtual Machines to perform some specialized tasks.
Albeit, the all-new Windows Sandbox does not have that much of a role to play, and it has a limited sphere of utilization. Thus, the operational hazards, in this case, are minimalistic, and any ordinary user of a personal computer can perform something using Sandbox without much trouble. Basically, Microsoft has developed this Semi Virtual Interface to serve some specific purposes only, like if you want to explore the internet without fear of being a victim of malware, trojan or virus then this might be the best solution, because inside on the interface of Microsoft Sandbox every data or malware or spam content’s intervention is restricted to enter into the original operating interface.
Thus, using this Sandbox anyone can have a fearless experience of internet and unpopular applications. Till now, this is the primary purpose of this specialized add-on of Microsoft. However, there might be some other minor purposes of introducing this beautiful software to the subscribers of the internet, but all of them are still ambiguous.
System Requirements for Windows Sandbox
We all are pretty much familiar with the hardware requirement of Windows Virtual Machines; however, Windows Sandbox is not that ravenous in terms of hardware requirement, though you need a sound and quite a stable machine to run this interface flawlessly. As per the manufacturer or development organization and its official declaration it needs,
- A CPU or processing unit at least two processing cores, alongside 64 Bit processing architectures. All the processor manufactured in 2016 and all the subsequent CPUs has enough capability to handle a Virtual Machine without any major intervention.
- The BIOS version of your computer’s Motherboard shall have Virtualization enabled.
- In terms of Operating System, we need Windows 10 Pro, Windows Enterprise, or The Server version of Windows 8GB of RAM (Random Access Memory). However, a 4GB of RAM would also work well.
- And last but not least, 1GB of hard disk space is mandatory for the activation of Windows Sandbox; Microsoft also specified that the hard drive should be SSD to run this at its optimum efficiency.
How to install Windows Sandbox on your PC?
The Sandbox is not something that you have to download from the internet separately and install. Instead, the latest or updated Windows operating systems come with pre-installed Windows Sandbox, or if you have an older version, the latest update would install that on its own, and you do not have to download it separately from the internet. However, we have to perform some steps at least to activate this software, and beneath, we are going to disclose all the requisite steps involved regarding the installation of Windows Sandbox.
- First of all, we have to install any of the prerequisite operating systems on the computer where we want to perform the activation task of the Windows sandbox.
- Then we have to activate the virtualization mode and to do so, we have to do some further steps
- If the user is using any physical machine, then make sure that virtualization capabilities are enabled in the BIOS of that computer.
- If you want to perform this task on a Virtual Machine, then you have to enable the virtualization using the PowerShell.
- Then finally we have to set the VM Processor – VMName <VMName> –ExposeVirtualizationExtensions $true
- Then we have to open the Windows features, using the search panel of Windows we can easily find it, thereafter we have to select the Windows sandbox from the drop-down list of Windows Features. Select or click on the OK option, aftermath the computer could ask you for a restart to complete the installation process.
- Now using the start menu again, find the Windows Sandbox, process it, and accept the elevation.
- Then just copy any executable file from the host computer and pest that file on the interface or desktop screen of Windows sandbox.
- However, now you have to run the file you copied from the host computer to the Virtual Sandbox, and if that file is an exe. then install that on Windows Sandbox.
- Then you can run the application or file on that virtual interface like you normally run any application on any desktop.
- After using the virtual interface of Windows Sandbox, you can just simply cross the interface, and Windows Sandbox will automatically destroy all the ephemeral data created throughout the usages or any history from your virtual machine.
- However, you can still ensure that the host computer does not have any of the data created throughout the usage of Windows Sandbox.
Pros and Cons of Windows Sandbox
Well, it is obvious to have some pros and some cons in any product; in fact, this utter truth applies to anything of this entire cosmos. However, as we all know that Microsoft’s Sandbox is a successor of Virtual PC, thus we will get some noticeable difference, or we can say the advantages of adopting Sandbox.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Sandbox
The setup procedure doesn’t require any specialized expertise, and this might be the most auspicious point behind the rapid and the immense success of it. Furthermore, it neither takes up much hard disk space nor requires much random access memory to function seamlessly.
If you find something to retain or download from the netwhile browsing or doing something in the interface of Sandbox, only then you could face some operational harassment. It might require some technical expertise to save something valuable outside of the interface of Microsoft Sandbox because the sandbox has been developed to keep things separate from the main interface of the operating system, and it treats every data you create using Sandbox as an ephemeral data.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Virtual Machine
If you are using a Virtual Machine, then you know that it is much like a PC within a PC. Seriously, setting up a Virtual Machine on the desktop or laptop requires the same technical expertise that you need to install a complete Operating System from scratch.
Furthermore, it requires an isolated and ample size of random access memory, as well as hard disk space. Also, if you are using any Virtual Machine on your personal computer, then at the time of file transfer you will have to connect the virtual machine with your primary machine through networks, it’s almost like coupling two different physical computers through Ethernet cable and other requisite networking methods.
However, the Virtual Machine concept was one of the major and essential inventions of its era, and nobody can ever refute the essence of Virtual machines in the evolution of computers.
Though, as we all know that this era is just the beginning of Windows Sandbox, and at this early stage, declaring any new invention as a success of failure would be an injustice towards the product. This product is an invention of the global tech giant Microsoft so we can expect many surprising updates of this utility software in the near future. Maybe someday we will get to see this utility add-on as full-fledged dedicated free software by Microsoft. May be then we won’t have to face these negligible harassment even what we are facing now regarding the activation and operation of this Sandbox.
In the market, we also have some other alternatives to this application to access the internet securely, and some of them are BitBox, ShadeSandbox, etc. However, the Sandbox is obviously way more reliable than any other available product to market.