Sandboxie is a very lightweight Windows sandbox that — guess what — runs applications in a sandbox. This Windows sandbox is completely detached from your Windows installation. So if the website or application starts to do malicious things, everything stays inside the box. No registry keys are set, and nothing is written on your hard disk. You can find the Sandboxie homepage here.

Keeping your computer secure and tidy is a tedious but necessary job. If you don’t want to waste time on dealing with security measures, there is a simple solution to minimize your computer’s exposure to security risks: Install only the most necessary applications, and don’t surf on untrusted sites. However, in an administrator’s daily life there is always a reason to bend this rule.

You sometimes want to test tools you read about on the web. Other times, you have a problem to fix quickly, and to develop a solution you often need to try out different software versions. Some days you will have to deal with security issues, and during your research you may need to leave the securer part of the Internet and open some hacker sites. These are just a few reasons why nearly every computer is cluttered with unattended applications after some months of work. Virtualization offers a nice solution to this problem, but it is quite resource heavy and often requires additional software licenses.

After the free Windows sandbox is installed, you can run applications shielded from the rest of your installation just by dragging the application to the Sandboxie window.

Windows Sandbox - Sandbxoie

You can launch applications into the sandbox directly from Windows Explorer, too, because Sandboxie automatically adds itself to the Explorer context menu. Zip files can be opened in a sandbox by using the “send to” context menu.

If you are already running some applications, you will sometimes forget which windows run in the sandbox and which don’t. The Windows sandbox offers a simple tool to check if a window is guarded or not. You just have to drag the Finder Tool over a window and the tool tells you if the window runs in the sandbox or not.

Windows Sandbox - Sandbxoie Finder.Tool

A side note: When I tried to edit the configuration I was quite surprised when Notepad opened and I had to edit an ini file manually. It reminded me a lot of my Linux times. 😉

All in all, Sandboxie is a tremendously helpful Windows sandbox if you want to try out new software or if you are experimenting with potentially harmful tools.


  1. moorgeist 13 years ago

    Yes, you can edit the INI file directly. But it should be mentioned that there is also a normal settings GUI for every sandbox created …

  2. moiecoute 13 years ago

    Great stuff. I’ve been using isolated VirtualBox machines to applicatons in isolation. This will give me another option that saves on space, CPU and memory.

  3. cft6yhn 13 years ago

    Common mistake, it’s not free. But is a very usefull program.

  4. Author
    Alexander Weiß 13 years ago

    Just for clarifcation:
    If you use Sandboxie for non-personal purposes you have to buy a license. A life-time registration key is only 29 EUR, though.

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