Today’s network environment is not safe, and the system may encounter various viruses and Trojans if you are not careful, so many people use the shadow system for protection. However, starting from Windows 10, due to the upgrade of the system kernel, resulting in many shadow systems can no longer be used. But you don’t have to worry, Microsoft’s newly launched Windows Sandbox provides a good alternative.
Windows Sandbox as an alternative to the shadow system
Windows Sandbox (Windows Sandbox) works relatively similar to the shadow system, it isolates the real system by building a virtual desktop environment, in which the read and write data of various programs running are redirected to the virtual desktop environment, and once the system is restarted, all data written to the virtual environment will be cleared, thus achieving the purpose of protecting the system (Figure 1). .
Figure 1 How Windows Sandbox works
Prepare hardware and software for Windows Sandbox application
This new feature is currently available on Windows 10 Pro Build 18301 or higher with AMD64 architecture, which requires at least 4GB of RAM and a dual-core CPU. You can see if your system meets the above requirements here (Figure 2).
Figure 2 View system information
In addition, we need to turn on the virtualization function (Virtualization) in the BIOS, take the Gigabyte motherboard as an example, after booting into the BIOS settings, switch to “Configuration”, set the “Intel Virtual Technology” can be set to “Enable” (Figure 3).
Figure 3: Turn on Virtualization settings
Integrating Windows Sandbox
If your computer meets the above requirements, Windows Sandbox is ready to be integrated into your system. Type “Enable or disable Windows features” in the search box, then check “Windows Sandbox” in the window that opens, and click “OK”. Click “OK”, follow the prompts to install the required components of Windows Sandbox and reboot and you are ready to use (Figure 4).
Figure 4: Turn on Windows Sandbox
Tip: If your system does not see “Windows Sandbox” after starting “Enable or Disable Windows Features”, please make sure your system hardware has met the above requirements, and use the system update function to upgrade to the to the latest version.
Apply Windows Sandbox test software
After successfully installing Windows Sandbox, it becomes a built-in program on your system. Type “Windows Sandbox” in the Start search box and click Launch after you find it (Figure 5).
Figure 5 Launching Windows Sandbox
After Windows Sandbox starts, it will show a desktop system like the current system, which is like a freshly installed Windows 10 system (Figure 6).
Figure 6 Windows Sandbox main interface
When we need to perform more dangerous operations, such as testing websites with viruses, then we can launch the browser in Windows Sandbox to visit the dangerous websites. Even if we accidentally download viruses or malicious codes from virus pages, they will be automatically cleaned up after closing Windows Sandbox (Figure 7).
Figure 7 Accessing websites in Windows Sandbox
Of course, because Windows Sandbox is a sandbox system isolated from the real system, we can also install software in it, or install chat tools such as WeChat and QQ in it, and use them for more confidential chatting, which will not leave any trace on the local machine when Windows Sandbox is closed.
However, we should note that Windows Sandbox does not support installation programs that need to be restarted, nor does it support the Windows Store, so it is not possible to test the applications in it. If we need to keep files or data in the test system, we can simply open the file we need to keep in Windows Sandbox, copy it and paste it into the real Windows system (Figure 8).
Figure 8 Retaining files by copying them in Windows Sandbox
Tip: Although Windows Sandbox is a sandbox system isolated from the real system, it is still a relatively independent system, so please do not test dangerous viruses such as Trojan horses in it, because your passwords will be really stolen in it.