Why Windows Sandbox Is One of the Exciting Features of the Microsoft Windows 10 May 2019 Update

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Image Courtesy | Daniel, Windows Central
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Windows Sandbox is one among a couple of features coming with the Microsoft Windows 10 May 2019 Update and has me excited. With this feature, you get to literally sandbox websites or programs you are unsure about. Windows Sandbox will be a handy solution for those of us who like to try new stuff but in a more controlled environment.

How does it work?

Windows Sandbox creates a secure “Windows within Windows” virtual machine(not exactly, it runs as an app) from scratch and is walled off from your real computer. Inside, you can open a browser and surf securely, download apps and also visit sites that you normally wouldn’t since you don’t trust them. After being adventurous inside the sandbox, you can export files to your regular PC if you deem them safe.

Windows Sandbox comes with Hyper-V virtual machine feature that isolates the file system in case you want to interact with any file outside of the Windows Sandbox. This feature restricts any probable malware that tries to escape.



When you exit the Windows Sandbox, everything inside is wiped out. This means that the next time you open a new session, Windows Sandbox launches a new version of Windows 10 to start new.

You’ll need to enable it by going to the Windows Features control panel. Just search for “Turn Windows features on and off” Scroll down and check the proper boxes. Windows will then install the necessary files and you’ll need to reboot your computer.

When you turn your computer back on, search for Windows Sandbox in the search box to launch it. Microsoft says it will freeze the state of the virtual machine, archive it and bring it up when you resume Windows Sandbox to help in launching it much more faster.

When opened, Windows Sandbox will have some of your personalization features such as themes and favourites. Your third-party apps won’t appear here however and you’re warned not to log in to accounts with your personal info. You’ll still have access to the File Explorer and Chrome or Edge browser(You might want to tweak your firewall settings if you encounter any problems trying to access the internet).

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Worth noting Windows Sandbox won’t let you know if any of the programs you have are behaving suspiciously.

Here’s how viruses work inside Windows Sandbox

Where can I get it?

You’ll need Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise as Home doesn’t support it. Right now Windows Sandbox is a preview feature resereved for Insiders only.

What hardware requirements does it need?

Performance of Windows Sandbox will need a machine that can handle virtualization and the minimum hardware requirements include at least 1GB of free disk space (SSD recommended), at least 4GB of RAM (8GB recommended), virtualization enabled in your motherboard BIOS and a 64-bit processor capable of virtualization, with at least two CPU cores(quad-core chip recommended)

You’ll need to enable it by going to the Windows Features control panel. Just search for “Turn Windows features on and off” Scroll down and check the proper boxes. Windows will then install the necessary files and you’ll need to reboot your computer.

What other features does Microsoft Windows 1O May 2019 Update have?

You get a new light theme, Kaomoji support, ability to uninstall more built-in apps, search and Cortana are separated, a cleaner Start menu, a new brightness slider, desktop apps in Windows mixed reality and the ability to pause updates.


Get the Microsoft Windows 10 May 2019 Update here.

Conclusion

Worth noting is that Windows Sandbox is not aimed for regular consumers as Microsoft is targeting business and power users – though it wouldn’t hurt to try it out if you have Windows 10 Pro to safely open untrusted .exe files.

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