Don’t want to use Windows Sandbox, or is it causing problems? Here is how to turn off Windows Sandbox entirely in Windows 11.
Starting from Windows 10, Microsoft added a new feature called Windows Sandbox. You can turn on Windows Sandbox in Windows 11 with just a couple of clicks. Once enabled, you can open Windows Sandbox from the Start menu and start using it.
As most of you know, Windows Sandbox is a virtual Windows 11 environment that is safe and secure to try out new or suspicious applications and advanced Windows settings. One of the best things about Windows Sandbox is that it is lightweight compared to full-fledged virtual machines created with VMware or VirtualBox.
For example, if you got an application from your friend or downloaded it from the internet, you can try it in Windows Sandbox. This is especially helpful if you don’t trust the application or want to ensure it is good before installing it on your computer. Anything you do in the Windows Sandbox stays inside. It will not spill over or affect your main Windows 11 installation.
As good and helpful as Windows Sandbox is, it is not for everyone. Sometimes, Windows Sandbox or its components can interfere with other applications or Windows settings. Not only that, but Windows Sandbox might not be powerful enough or doesn’t provide the options you are looking for. In those cases, you have to disable Windows Sandbox in Windows 11. After all, having an extra unnecessary feature is of no use. Thankfully, it is pretty easy to do. All you have to do is uncheck the Windows Sandbox option, and you are done.
So, without further ado, let me show the steps to turn off Windows Sandbox in Windows 11.
Why disable Windows Sandbox
Windows Sandbox is beneficial in many ways. After all, it is far faster and easier to launch Windows Sandbox than a full virtual machine. In fact, I use it daily to test applications, settings and even open suspicious and untrusted web pages.
Below are a few reasons why you might want to disable Windows Sandbox in Windows 11. The list below is not exhaustive, but they are the most common reasons for disabling Windows Sandbox.
1. It uses Hyper-V in the background. That means Windows Sandbox might interfere with virtual machine applications like VMware and VirtualBox. Generally, both VMware and VirtualBox can adapt and work alongside Windows Sandbox. However, it might not be the case in all situations.
2. Windows Sandbox is not powerful enough for you. It doesn’t have advanced options like taking snapshots, support for external devices, extensive virtual machine customization, etc.
3. Windows Sandbox doesn’t save state. That means you have to reconfigure the sandbox environment every time.
4. The sandbox environment doesn’t have access to some advanced Windows 11 settings. For example, most Group Policy settings are not available.
5. You cannot restart or sign out of Windows Sandbox. If you try, it will simply shut down, and you will lose the previous state.
6. Windows Sandbox is not activated. That means you cannot change personalization settings from the Settings app.
7. and more.
Turn off Windows Sandbox in Windows 11
You can disable Windows Sandbox using the Windows Features tool. You just need to uncheck and single option, and you are good to go. Here is how to do it in simple steps.
- Click the Start icon on the taskbar.
- Search for “Turn Windows Features on or off.”
- Click on the “Turn Windows Features on or off” result.
- Scroll down and uncheck the “Windows Sandbox” checkbox.
- Click the “Ok” button.
- Windows 11 will remove or disable sandbox components.
- When prompted, click the “Restart Now” button.
- After restarting, Windows Sandbox is disabled in Windows 11.
Below are the same steps as above with a bit more details and screenshots:
You can open the Windows Features tool from the Start menu. For that, open the Start menu, search for “Turn Windows features on or off,” and click on it. Alternatively, you can open the same tool by clicking on the “More Windows Features” option on the “Settings > Apps > Optional Features” page.
In the “Windows Features” tool, scroll down and uncheck the “Windows Sandbox” checkbox. After that, click the “Ok” button to save the changes.
As soon as you do that, Windows 11 will disable the Windows Sandbox and remove any unnecessary components related to the sandbox. To complete the process, you need to restart the computer. So, click the “Restart Now” button when prompted.
After restarting, you will no longer see Windows Sandbox in Windows 11. From now, you can install and use applications like VirtualBox and VMware usually.
Remember that sometimes you might have to manually disable “Hyper-V” if VMware and VirtualBox are still running in compatibility mode. You can disable it from the Windows Features tool. That being said, some features like Windows Subsystem for Linux might depend on Hyper-V to work. In that case, disabling Hyper-V can cause problems when the WLS feature is enabled. So, think twice before enabling or disabling the Hyper-V functionality in Windows 11.
If you ever need it, you can manually turn on Windows Sandbox in Windows 11 directly from the Windows Features tool. Just select the “Windows Sandbox” checkbox, save the changes, and you are good to go. If you need help, I’ve already written a detailed guide on how to do it. Follow the linked guide to know how to do it.
That is all. It is that simple to turn off Windows Sandbox in Windows 11.
I hope this easy Windows 11 how-to guide helped you.
If you are stuck or need some help, comment below, and I will try to help as much as possible.