Windows Sandbox Offers Bulletproof Protection Against Sketchy Apps

Windows Sandbox Offers Bulletproof Protection Against Sketchy Apps


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  • It can be difficult to tell which apps are safe and trustworthy from the ones that aren't. Install an app that turns out to be malicious and there's no no way to back the clock. That may be changing soon if your computer runs Windows 10 Professional.
    Windows Sandbox running on a Windows 10 Enterprise PC (Image: Microsoft)Image: Microsoft
    Microsoft is introducing a new sandboxing feature. It's similar to the sandbox that makes Google Chrome (and therefore the new version of Microsoft Edge) so hard to hack, but this one will be capable of protecting your entire Windows operating system -- not just one app.
    The Windows Sandbox is a "lightweight virtual environment." You can think of it as the computer equivalent of Las Vegas: what happens in the sandbox stays in the sandbox. Changes that occur there don't impact your actual Windows installation in any way.
    Malicious apps that get launched inside the Windows Sandbox won't be able to encrypt your files or steal your passwords. They're completely isolated from the rest of your system.
    That includes hardware, which means there's no way for the malware to infect a thumbdrive you left plugged in, your printer, or anything else that happens to be connected.
    No matter how nasty a piece of malware might be, its impact is contained within the Sandbox. Close the Sandbox and everything is wiped clean.
    There are other reasons you might want to launch Windows Sandbox. You could use it to browse websites without leaving traces of your activity behind when you're done.
    It can help with troubleshooting, too. Windows Sandbox runs as a brand new, totally clean Windows 10 installation. That can come in handy if you're trying to determine whether a favorite app is acting up or whether Windows is to blame.
    When will you be able to take advantage of Windows Sandbox? It's believed that the feature will arrive in the spring 2019 update for Windows 10.
    Don't forget, this is considered a Pro-level feature. Your computer will need to running either Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise -- and meet a few hardware requirements -- or you won't be able to utilize Windows Sandbox.

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