Windows Sandbox Cannot Be Installed: 5 Ways to Fix It

Quick ways to enable virtualization on Windows

by Vlad Turiceanu
Vlad Turiceanu
Vlad Turiceanu
Editor-in-Chief
Passionate about technology, Windows, and everything that has a power button, he spent most of his time developing new skills and learning more about the tech world. Coming... read more
Reviewed by Alex Serban
Alex Serban
Alex Serban
Windows Server & Networking Expert
After moving away from the corporate work-style, Alex has found rewards in a lifestyle of constant analysis, team coordination and pestering his colleagues. Holding an MCSA Windows Server... read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • Windows Sandbox, a lightweight desktop environment is only available for Windows Professional, Education, and Enterprise as of now.
  • Each time you run Windows Sandbox, it’s like a clean installation of Windows.
  • When you quit Sandbox, the changes made in the virtual environment are discarded.

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Can’t enable Windows Sandbox from Control Panel as the option is greyed out? And when you hover over the option, it says Windows Sandbox cannot be installed virtualization is disabled in the firmware. No need to panic; this could be fixed in no time.

This post will discuss how to resolve this error in five easy ways. Let’s start!

What are the minimum requirements to run Sandbox on Windows?

  • Your machine should have either Windows 10 Pro, Education build 18305, or Enterprise. Windows Sandbox will not appear in the optional features if you have Windows Home Edition.
  • Virtualization enabled in BIOS.
  • Free disk space of at least 1 GB, preferably SSD.
  • Minimum two cores (Four CPU cores with hyperthreading recommended).
  • Minimum 4 GB RAM (8 GB RAM recommended).
  • AMD64 or ARM64 architecture.

How can I fix Windows Sandbox cannot be installed error?

1. Check if your device supports virtualization

  1. Press WindowsR to get the Run console.
  2. Type taskmgr and press Enter.TASKMGR
  3. Go to the Performance tab, click CPU and check the processor name from the top.

2. Check if virtualization is enabled

  1. Press WindowsR to get the  Run console.
  2. Type taskmgr and press Enter.TASKMGR
  3. Go to the Performance tab, and click CPU to check the Virtualization status under the CPU graph.Taskmgr Virtualization Enabled
  4. You will see Enabled or Disabled beside Virtualization.

3. Enable hardware virtualization from BIOS

  1. Press Windows + I to open Settings.
  2. Click System, then Recovery.
  3. Navigate to Advanced Startup, then click Restart Now.
  4. From Choose an option screen, click Troubleshoot.Troubleshoot
  5. Click Advanced Options.Advanced options
  6. Click UEFI Firmware Settings.UEFI
  7. On the UEFI Firmware Settings page, Click Restart.restart_boot_settings_uefi
  8. Press the Function key as per your device to enter BIOS Setup
  9. In BIOS Setup Utility, click Configuration, navigate to Virtualization Technology, and select Enabled.Virtualization Enabled
  10. Go to the Exit menu and choose Save changes and Exit.

4. Disable Hyper-V

  1. Go to the Start menu and type Windows features on or off.Windows Features on or off
  2. Click Open under Windows features on or off.
  3. Navigate to Hyper-V and uncheck all the boxes under it.Disable Hyper V
  4. Restart the computer to complete the process.

5. Enable the virtualization option if not available in BIOS

If the virtualization option is unavailable on BIOS, your device doesn’t support the feature.

However, you can check for BIOS updates using the device manufacturer app on your computer. For instance, if you have an HP computer, you can use the HP Support Assistant app to check for BIOS and other updates. If an update is available, update BIOS Setup Utility, and you might get the virtualization option.

Does Windows Sandbox require virtualization?

Virtualization feature is an essential part of the Sandbox because Windows Sandbox runs on an elevated space, so it can’t access advanced components like the Graphics processing unit. Therefore, it is vital to enable virtualization to bridge the gap and provide hardware acceleration in a virtual environment.

So, these are the fixes to resolve the Windows Sandbox not installed or greyed out issue. Try them to eliminate the problem so you can use Windows Sandbox to run apps in isolation. 

If there are other fixes we may have missed, then please mention them in the comments below.

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