Windows 11 Sandbox: How to Enable, Set up & Use it

Run untrustworthy apps in a virtual machine

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 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
Affiliate Disclosure
  • Windows Sandbox is a secure surrounding that detaches the running apps from the main system.
  • Enabling it on Windows 11 is extremely simple.
  • To quickly perform this action, Command Prompt will surely help you.
  • Running a specific command in PowerShell is another useful option you should try.
A quick guide on how to enable Windows Sandbox in Windows 11

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If you wonder how to enable Windows Sandbox in Windows 11, this guide will surely help you with some quick solutions.

Before anything else, you should know that although it was first introduced on Windows 10, Microsoft includes it in the newest OS too.

Note that Windows Sandbox can help you run untrusted apps into a lightweight isolated environment. But let’s see how it actually works.

How does a Sandbox environment work?

The whole process of Windows Sandbox is running independently from your prime installation, as you can see in the picture below:

windows 11 sandbox
Source: Reddit

In technical terms, it is a virtual machine designed on-demand, by using Microsoft’s hypervisor and running the same operating system screen as the one on your first machine. 

It is around 100MB in size and can be used to install and run untrusted classic apps, in an isolated mode from the main installation.

As additional information, Microsoft Windows Sandbox is extremely efficient as it uses an integrated kernel scheduler, smart memory management, and virtual graphics.

Moreover, every Sandbox data gets deleted once you close the app. What does it mean? Every time you run the Windows Sandbox feature, you’ll start with a clean install of Windows 11.

You should also know that Windows Sandbox doesn’t work in the Home editions of Windows 11, but it is included in the Pro and Enterprise versions.

To simply run apps in Sandbox, you’ll have to press the Windows key, then type Sandbox, and select it.

After that, you should copy the app you want to run on the host machine, then switch to the Windows Sandbox window and paste the file.

How can I quickly enable Windows Sandbox in Windows 11?

To enable Windows Sandbox in Windows 11, make sure you read this article completely to discover which option suits you the most.

1. Use the Windows optional features

Sandbox Mode can be easily enabled from the Windows Features settings on your device. The feature can be toggled on and off in just a simple click.

1. Press the Windows + R keys.

2. In the Run dialog box that opened, type optionalfeatures, then click on OK.

optional features run dialog

3. Navigate to the Windows Sandbox option. The feature is disabled by default.

4. Checkmark the option, then click on OK.

how to enable windows sandbox in windows 11 settings

5. Restart your computer.

6. Sandbox Mode is now enabled on your Windows 11 device.

2. Try PowerShell

  1. Click on the Search button, type Power Shell, then select Run as administrator.
  2. In the pop-up window, type the following command, then press Enter: Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName "Containers-DisposableClientVM" -All
  3. Restart your PC.

3. Use Command Prompt

  1. Hit the Windows key, then type Command Prompt, and select Run as administrator.
  2. Type the following command, then press Enter: dism /online /Enable-Feature /FeatureName:"Containers-DisposableClientVM" -All
  3. Restart your PC.

Will using a Sandbox environment affect my device?

As mentioned before, any software installed in your Windows Sandbox will stay only in this environment. Thus, it cannot affect your host service.

Also, once you close your Windows Sandbox, all the software with all the related files is permanently deleted.

For those ones who usually install apps and programs from unsafety sources, then a Sandbox environment might be the perfect solution to fully protect your PC and software components.

In addition, note that Sandboxing can be used as an efficient tool to detect malware attacks and block them before they enter a network.

You can take a look at a full Microsoft report about the Windows Sandbox configuration on the previous OS version, so you’ll make an idea of how should it looks like on Windows 11.

We also have an article on how to enable Sandbox in Windows 10 that you can check out.

This article showed you the best options that will allow you to quickly enable Windows Sandbox in Windows 11. Any other additional questions or thoughts? Always feel free to comment in the section listed below.

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