Creating a sandbox on your machine can be invaluable if you’re testing something you don’t quite trust. If you’re handed a USB stick you want to have a look at, or downloaded something you think might be suspicious, opening these up in a sandbox is the way to go to ensure your PC is protected.

A Sandbox is a virtual environment separate from the rest of your machine where you can install, open and use programs that you don’t entirely trust.

There are several good options for sandbox software including BufferZone, Sandboxie and SHADE Sandbox being some of the most famous. We’ll use Sandboxie in our guide, as it’s easy to use and free to download, and show you how to install applications in safety. If you've got security on your mind, you're certainly going to want to get yourself a VPN. Have a look at our top VPN picks of 2018.

We’ve put together a quick guide for how to install applications and programs below, but it’s important to read the more detailed user guide over at Sandboxie

How to install apps in Sandboxie

  • Make your way to the Sandboxie website, and download their latest client release.
  • When you install Sandboxie, you’ll be able to find it on your desktop as well as in your task bar at the bottom right.
  • Open it up, and go to Sandbox > DefaultBox > Run Sandboxed > Run Web Browser.

How to install apps in a sandbox

  • The web browser that opens up will be running within Sandboxie. You will be able to tell if the application is sandboxed by the yellow bar that surrounds the window.

How to install apps in a sandbox

  • Now you can download a program from within this sandboxed browser, install it and open it up by going to Sandbox > DefaultBox > Run Sandboxed > Run Any Program.

This method will install programs in a separate sandboxed folder, which will correspond to the real folder where it should have been installed to, was it not installed in a sandbox.

Any changes that are made are self contained within the sandbox, so if they program does anything you don't want it to, you can terminate the process and delete it, and it won't have affected your machine.