Last December, Microsoft announced the release of its Sandbox (sandbox in VF) for beta testers Windows 10. Those who preferred to wait for a stable version of Windows 10 can take advantage of it since the May 2019 Update released a few weeks ago.
In short, the Sandbox has been supposed to work for a while. But here it is: messages reporting the impossibility of launching the famous tool accumulate on the Web. So much so that the Windows 10 Sandbox could pass for a new Arlesian tech. And yet it does exist.
Before explaining how to access it, it should be mentioned that the launch of the Sandbox is random and sometimes depends on the configuration used, sometimes on the Windows version (beta edition or finalized edition).
If the Windows 10 sandbox has finally worked on our various testing machines, don’t hesitate to leave a little comment at the bottom of the page if you can’t launch it on your PC.
Read also: Windows 10: the top tips and tricks
But what is the use of a Sandbox?
Although the sandbox is not a recent hype technology, it is the first time that this functionality is directly integrated into Windows as an OS.
If we had to sum up the Sandbox in a few words, we could say that it is a “Windows inside Windows”. The Windows 10 sandbox is in the form of a classic application, but allows you to enjoy a second instance of the operating system. To do what ?
The main interest of a Sandbox is to be able to run any application, without worrying about compromising the system. If someone sends you dubious software, you are free to try this program in a totally partitioned space, which will not infect your own configuration.
It doesn’t matter whether the software is covered with viruses or not: the Sandbox isolates its process and protects you 100%. And each time you close the application, it will reset completely on the next launch.
Check that the hardware is compatible
To take advantage of the Sandbox built into Windows 10, you will first need to make sure that your PC is compatible with virtualization. First go to the BIOS of the device. Start by completely shutting down the PC, to prevent Windows from launching too quickly and not leaving your hand.
From the boot of the machine, then press one of the following keys: DEL, F2, F12 … Then look in the advanced settings for an option to support virtualization. Activate it, save the settings and restart.
Another essential point for activating the Sandbox: have a Windows 10 Professional or Business. Without one of these two editions, no salvation. The sandbox will not run.
Install Windows 10 Sandbox
To take advantage of this new feature, go to the search field on the taskbar. Enter the term features and click on the option Turn Windows features on or off.
In the small dialog box that appears, select the function Windows sandbox. It seems that some configurations also need another component from the list: Hyper-V.
On our various test machines, the Sandbox has always worked without this component. On the other hand, if we refer to some user feedback, it may be that the Sandbox needs it to run. As a precaution, you can check this option. Finally confirm with the OK button and restart your machine.
It’s good, you can play in the sandbox
To launch the Windows 10 sandbox, simply enter the term Sandbox in the search box on the taskbar. The Sandbox can be a little long to start, but at the end of about twenty seconds, maximum, you should see a second instance of Windows 10 appear in windowed mode.
From then on, you can run any software within this instance, without risking compromising your configuration. However, remember that each time you restart, the virtual machine will be completely reset. This means that software and drivers that require a reboot of the PC will not be able to install.
For the rest, using the Sandbox is identical to what you already know from your main instance of Windows 10.
What if the Sandbox refuses to launch?
If the new Windows 10 feature doesn’t want to run, don’t despair. There are different methods of accessing it anyway:
1 – Make sure virtualization is activated on your machine
At first, you can go through the Task Manager. Click on the taskbar and select the Task Manager option.
Then click on the Performance tab and check that the Virtualization function (bottom right) is set to On. Another solution: go to the search field of the Windows taskbar and enter the term CMD.
Run the command prompt and type systeminfo. Among the latest information that appears, you should see a succession of lines mentioning the presence of a hypervisor. If virtualization is not enabled, see the previous steps (activation via BIOS and Windows Hyper-V features).
2 – Migrate to the latest Build
The most effective way we’ve found is to migrate to the latest Windows 10 beta build. The Sandbox has indeed refused on one of our test machines equipped with the May 2019 Update for Windows 10 (version 10.0.18362.145 or 1903). The message “Error 0x80070002. The specified file can not be found. Was displayed in all cases, regardless of the repair attempt we were trying to find.
However, on the same PC and migrating to the latest preview (in our case, build 18908 prerelease 190524-1658), the Sandbox works wonderfully. The only problem is that you will have to agree to be part of the Windows Insider program and update your PC about once a week.
First of all, if you decide to join Windows Insider, consider making a full backup of your machine. Otherwise, save at least your most sensitive data on an external medium or in the Cloud.
Finally, to join the program in question and benefit from the latest innovations in Windows 10, simply click on the Windows Start button, and select the Options Settings> Update & Security> Windows Insider Program.
3 – wait for the right pilots
If you don’t want to install the latest Windows 10 preview, wait a few more weeks. It seems that the installation problems can come from the installed drivers or the language chosen, and then modified by the user during the installation of the update of Windows 10. Microsoft is currently working to resolve these bugs and promised a fix by the end of June.
4 – Try the alternatives
Finally, if the Windows 10 Sandbox still does not work on your configuration, know that there are alternatives like VirtualBox, Hyper-V or VMWare. These are sometimes free, sometimes paid, but require the installation of third-party software and the establishment of a virtualized operating system (in short, you will have to reinstall Windows 10 within these tools. virtualization).