HomeWinBuzzer TipsHow to Enable the Windows Sandbox on Windows 11

How to Enable the Windows Sandbox on Windows 11

We show you multiple ways to enable or disable the Windows Sandbox on Windows 11 using the Command Prompt and Windows PowerShell.

-

The Windows Sandbox was initially introduced in Windows 10 19H1 and is now included in the  Pro, Enterprise, and Education editions. It is intended to establish a safe environment where running programs may be isolated from the main system without gaining access to files, the Windows registry, or vital portions of the primary Windows system.

What is the Windows Sandbox?

Windows Sandbox is a virtual environment within Windows 11, designed to run applications in an isolated space. This isolation ensures that software run within the Sandbox does not affect the main operating system, thereby safeguarding your files, the Windows registry, and crucial parts of your primary system.

Key Features and Benefits of the Windows Sandbox

  1. Isolation: The Sandbox operates as a separate instance of Windows, allowing you to test applications without impacting your main system.

  2. Temporary Environment: All activity within the Sandbox is temporary. When the Sandbox is closed, all software and data within it are removed, leaving your main system unaffected.

  3. Security: It provides a secure environment for testing unverified software, reducing the risk of potential system harm.

  4. Technology Integration: Windows Sandbox leverages hardware-based virtualization for kernel isolation, using 's hypervisor technology to maintain separation from the host system.

  5. Resource Requirements: The Sandbox is relatively lightweight, occupying about 100MB of space, though it's recommended to have at least 1GB of free space for optimal performance of the main operating system.

In this guide, we will cover how to enable or disable the Windows Sandbox feature in Windows 11 through various methods, including the Windows Features dialogue box, Elevated PowerShell, and Command Prompt. Additionally, we will provide insights for Windows 10 users on how to access this feature.

How to Enable Windows Sandbox in Windows Features

Using the Windows Features dialogue box, you can easily enable or disable the Windows Sandbox feature on Windows 11. Follow along.

  1. Click on the “Search” icon in the “Task Bar,” type in “optionalfeature.exe,” and select “optionalfeature.exe” from the results
     

    Windows 11 - Open OptionalFeatures.exe

  2. In the “Windows Features” dialogue box, check or uncheck the “Windows Sandbox” and click “OK”
     
    Checking “Windows Sandbox” will enable the feature, and unchecking it will disable it. You can turn on or off many windows features from this dialogue box.
     

    Windows 11 - Open OptionalFeatures.exe - Windows Sandbox - Check or Uncheck

  3. Click on “Restart now” to apply the requested changes
     

    Windows 11 - Open OptionalFeatures.exe - Windows Sandbox - Check or Uncheck - Restart Now

How to Enable or Disable the Windows Sandbox in Elevated PowerShell

You can run the command on PowerShell to enable or disable the Windows Sandbox on Windows 11.

  1. Right-click on the “Windows” icon and select “Windows Terminal (Admin)” from the options
     

    Windows 11 - Open Elevated Windows Terminal

  2. Click on the “Dropdown” icon and select “Windows PowerShell” from the options as shown in the picture
     

    Windows 11 - Elevated Windows Terminal - Open Windows PowerShell

  3. To enable the Windows Sandbox through “Windows PowerShell,” type in the following command and press “Enter”
    Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName “Containers-DisposableClientVM” -All

    After that, a message will appear on your Windows PowerShell,
    “Do you want to restart the computer to complete this operation now?”
     
    Press “Y” and “Enter” to apply the changes.
     
    Windows 11 - Elevated Windows Terminal - Windows PowerShell - Enter the Cmd to Enable

  4. To disable the Windows Sandbox through the “Windows PowerShell,” type in the following command and press “Enter”
Disable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName “Containers-DisposableClientVM” -Online

After that, a message will appear in Windows PowerShell:
 
“Do you want to restart the computer to complete this operation now?”
 
Press “Y” and “Enter” to apply the changes.
 
Windows 11 - Elevated Windows Terminal - Windows PowerShell - Enter the Cmd to Disable

How to Enable or Disable the Windows Sandbox in Elevated Command Prompt

You can use the elevated command prompt to enable or disable the Windows Sandbox on Windows 11.

  1. Right-click on the “Windows” icon and select “Windows Terminal (Admin)” from the options
     

    Windows 11 - Open Elevated Windows Terminal

  2. Click on the “Dropdown” icon and select “Command Prompt” from the options as shown in the picture
     

    Windows 11 - Elevated Windows Terminal - Open Command Prompt

  3. To enable the Windows Sandbox through the “Command Prompt,” type in the following command and press “Enter”
    dism /online /Enable-Feature /FeatureName:”Containers-DisposableClientVM” -All

    After that, a message will appear in Windows PowerShell:
     
    “Do you want to restart the computer now?”
     

    Press “Y” and “Enter” to apply the changes.
     
    Windows 11 - Elevated Windows Terminal - Command Prompt - Enter the Cmd to Enable

To disable the Windows Sandbox through the “Command Prompt,” type in the following command and press “Enter”

dism /online /Enable-Feature /FeatureName:”Containers-DisposableClientVM” -All

After that, a message will appear on your Windows PowerShell:

“Do you want to restart the computer now?”
 
You need to press “Y” and “Enter” to apply the changes.
 
Windows 11 - Elevated Windows Terminal - Command Prompt - Enter the Cmd to Disable

How to Enable the Windows Sandbox in Windows 10

If you are still running Windows 10, you can use the Windows Sandbox there in pretty much the same way. Check out our other tutorial for the exact steps on how to enable the Windows Sandbox on Windows 10.

How to enable the Windows 10 Sandbox feature

FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions about Windows Sandbox

Can I use Windows Sandbox for long-term projects?

No, Windows Sandbox is designed for temporary use. All data and applications are erased when the Sandbox is closed, making it unsuitable for long-term projects.

Does running Windows Sandbox impact system performance?

Yes, running Windows Sandbox can impact system performance, especially if your system has limited resources. It requires additional CPU, memory, and storage.

Can I access the internet from within Windows Sandbox?

Yes, Windows Sandbox allows internet access by default. However, the network is virtualized and isolated from the host machine for security.

Can I install software permanently in Windows Sandbox?

No, Windows Sandbox does not retain any state or data after closure. All installed software and changes are lost once the Sandbox is closed.

How does Windows Sandbox differ from a virtual machine?

Windows Sandbox is a lightweight, temporary environment, whereas a virtual machine can be used for long-term and persistent usage. VMs offer more customization and state retention.

Can I share folders between Windows Sandbox and the host?

No, Windows Sandbox is isolated and does not allow direct sharing of folders or files with the host system for security reasons.

Is Windows Sandbox suitable for testing all types of software?

Windows Sandbox is suitable for most software, but it may not support certain hardware-dependent applications or those requiring specific system configurations.

Can I run multiple instances of Windows Sandbox simultaneously?

No, you can only run one instance of Windows Sandbox at a time on a system.

How do I improve performance in Windows Sandbox?

To improve performance, ensure your system has sufficient resources (CPU, RAM, and storage) and close unnecessary applications on the host system.

Does Windows Sandbox support drag-and-drop functionality?

No, Windows Sandbox does not currently support drag-and-drop functionality between the host and the Sandbox environment.

Can I customize the Windows Sandbox environment?

Limited customization is possible through a configuration file (.wsb file), which allows you to set some parameters like vGPU and networking.

Is antivirus software necessary inside Windows Sandbox?

While Windows Sandbox is isolated, using antivirus software inside it can add an extra layer of security, especially when testing potentially harmful software.

Can I save the state of Windows Sandbox?

No, Windows Sandbox does not allow saving the state. Once closed, all changes are lost.

How secure is the network connection in Windows Sandbox?

The network in Windows Sandbox is isolated from the host, providing a secure environment. However, standard internet security practices should still be followed.

Can I use Windows Sandbox on a virtualized Windows 11 system?

Yes, Windows Sandbox can be used on a virtualized Windows 11 system, provided the underlying hardware supports nested virtualization.

Last Updated on April 21, 2024 7:21 pm CEST

Markus Kasanmascheff
Markus Kasanmascheff
Markus is the founder of WinBuzzer and has been playing with Windows and technology for more than 25 years. He is holding a Master´s degree in International Economics and previously worked as Lead Windows Expert for Softonic.com.
Table of Contents: