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Windows Sandbox or Virtual machine - Which one is better/safer for running programs that may contain virus?

Windows sandbox comes preinstalled with windows 10.


you can use both. No harm

Pros and Cons of Sandbox:


  • Sandboxing is quite lightweight and extremely easy to set up and use. The reason why it is quite thin and lightweight is you will face some complexities, especially about how to get anticipated changes to be preserved outside of the Windows Sandbox.
  • It is not impossible to create a virtual machine to avail an identical experience, but there are few prominent benefits with Windows Sandbox. You need not pass through extra steps for downloading or creating a virtual machine. Whenever you launch the feature, it would execute a new installation of Windows 10.
  • Once you accomplish testing an application and close the Windows Sandbox, you will find everything gets deleted automatically.
  • Any process taking place within the environment will be isolated from your main installation. This would offer supreme security to test untrusted applications.


  • In case your browser is sandboxed, obtaining a downloaded file which you intend to use outside the sandbox might need some additional steps.
  • Some changes that you wish to retain while you are running the sandbox can also be a tad more complex to maintain.

Pros and Cons of Virtual Machine:


  • The virtual machine is perfect if you wish to get a fully isolated “virtual” second machine.
  • It works perfectly if you wish that machine to execute a different operating system than that used in its host. To understand this, for instance, you may not have a physical machine that has Windows XP installed, but you have virtual machines that you can run whenever you want on your Windows 7 desktop. It would provide you with a copy of Windows XP.


  • Virtual machines are not lightweight because you will require disk space to allot to the virtual hard drive. Also, you will need to make choices about the amount of your computer’s RAM you wish to assign to the virtual machine while it is executing.
  • Process of setting up a VM incorporates the installation of an OS from scratch. This would consume much time because their set up is identical as if they are separate physical machines.
  • A VM and its host are isolated from each other. So, the standard process of copying files to and from the VM will demand you to set up network access on that particular machine. In this way, the file copying process is time-consuming and annoying.


Windows Sandbox certainly offers several advantages over virtualization solutions and also it is profoundly integrated within Windows 10. So, users will be allowed to execute the untrusted programs and other files along with making sure the main Windows 10 installation is unaffected.

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