There are a great deal of things we do online that put our identity, data and computers at risk. Sometimes we don’t even realize what we’re doing can cause harm. Whether you surf the Internet looking at cat GIFs or try experimental software on a whim, you can cause harm no matter what you do on a PC. That’s where Sandboxie comes in handy. Sandboxie lets you isolate programs, web sites and more so that they cannot make changes to your computer.
How to install Sandboxie
Sandboxie works for Windows 2000 through Windows 8, 32-bit and 64-bit versions.
During the installation, you’ll be prompted to install drivers for Sandboxie.
This may seem like an odd ball request from a program like this, but it’s necessary for the problem integration of Sandboxie to work on your computer.
You will also be alerted to software compatibility issues on your system.
You want to go through each on and opt to add the settings to make them work within Sandboxie. If you don’t plan on using these programs in Sandboxie, you can opt out of changing these settings and move forward.
How to get started with Sandboxie
When you first open Sandboxie, you will be walked through what it does, its basic settings and a few features.
Sandboxie looks like a primitive program based on its user interface but its simplistic design lets it focus on more in the background to isolate what you open.
Sandboxie lets you take control of how it works on your system almost completely.
You can create program alerts.
These warn you when certain programs, processes and more open outside of Sandboxie. This can alert you to hijacks and malware from things opening on your PC that programs can’t detect.
You can also fully control how Sandboxie integrates into your Windows Shell. This lets you add shortcuts, context menu shortcuts and more.
Experimental Protection mode enables a more detailed protection set-up for the 64-bit version of Sandboxie.
This can be buggy and can cause issues with updated Windows systems. Use this at your own risk.
Now, click “Help.”
Sandboxie can be a complicated program to get started with and the developers behind it have created a variety of help files and documentation to help users get comfortable with the program. It’s advised, that even after reading our guide, you take the time to go over what Sandboxie’s help files have to offer.
How to use Sandboxie
Now, click “Sandbox.”
From here, you can name your Sandbox, remove your Sandbox, change the Sandbox Settings and even delete contents or terminate programs running within it.
Click “Run Sandboxed.”
From here, you can run a web browser, email reader, any program, start menu items or a Windows Explorer process.
Click “Run Web Browser.”
This will open your default web browser, in this case Chrome, in a yellow window. Sandboxie doesn’t support full screen mode, yet on larger monitors so you may experience a crash of the program if your browser opens full screen.
As long as the program, like Chrome, is surrounded by a yellow border, it is being contained with a sandbox by Sandboxie. This secures the browser, program or whatever you open from making any changes to your operating system.
If you head back to the Sandboxie window itself, you’ll see the various processes involved with running the program. If anything malfunctions or is causing issues, you can terminate that process by right-clicking on it and clicking “Terminate Process.”
Click “DefaultBox” once more, then click “Run Sandboxed.”
Select “Run Any Program.”
You can now navigate to any program in Windows and run it in a sandbox. You can even check the box next to “Run as UAC Administrator” to gain full access to the program’s capabilities.
If you choose “Run from Start Menu,” you can then go through a rudimentary Start Menu to open an item in Sandboxie.
Sandboxie also uses right-click commands to open any document, program or other item in Windows in a sandbox.
This is just the basics of how to get started with Sandboxie. The more you use Sandboxie, the more you’ll see just how it can protect your computer from unauthorized changes.
What’s the point of isolating browsers, programs and more?
Sandboxie offers an interesting way to use programs and browse the web on a Windows machine. We’ve all been victim to a browser hijack or a malicious program hiding within something we downloaded. While malware programs like Spybot and hijack fixers like HijackThis can help fix these problems, isolating where these attacks come from in a sandbox can help prevent them from infiltrating your system.