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How To Remove Malware and Viruses On Your Windows PC How does Malware or Virus Get on a System?

Well, there is no known or fixed source of malware or virus. This means that there are several reasons for a malware to enter your system and that too via any medium.

Downloading a program from an unknown or untrustworthy website may lead to downloading a malware.

Downloading a movie or a song over Internet via Torrents or unknown sites often opens a door for malware on your PC.

Getting data from an infected pen drive or external hard drive is another medium through which malware can enter your system.

Surfing on a compromised website is again a root cause for a malware to enter into a system.

So, if your PC is responding slowly or your browser is filled with unknown extensions that you have never installed or there is a change in the homepage of your browser or error in opening files and folders, your Windows PC is infected with a virus or malware.

Start Your PC in Safe Mode

When you boot your PC in safe mode only the basic and elementary files and their settings load. You can load your Windows in safe mode with networking or without networking, i.e. with Internet or without Internet. But initially we go with normal safe mode as many a time it is seen that if a PC is connected to Internet then the malware starts updating itself to spread more strongly into the system. Also, a malware can transfer your confidential files and data from your system to its remote servers using the active Internet connection.

Now the steps for booting into the safe mode will depend on the version of Windows installed on your system.

Once you get in the safe mode you will find a drastic change in the performance of the system. This is because only basic Windows files load in safe mode disabling all the process that start with the system and keep on running in the background.

Also Read : 10 Best Anti-Malware Software for Windows

Remove Temporary Files from PC

Temporary files can be a place where a malware can hide. Therefore, if you clean the temporary files in safe mode then there is a possibility that malware will also get removed.

The other benefit of removing temporary files from the system is that we free the space on the hard disk that was earlier unnecessarily occupied by temporary files.

To remove temporary files type %temp% in Windows search and press Enter key. Now press Ctrl + A to select all temporary files and folders. Once selected, press Shift + Delete to permanently delete these files. You can consider using Disk Cleanup, an inbuilt tool of Windows to clean the temporary and other unnecessary files from the system.

Type Disk Cleanup in Windows search bar and press Enter key.

Reset Your Browser

If you find your browser flooded with all types of toolbars that you have never installed or you find that the homepage of your browser keeps on changing or that you are unable to set a desired homepage for the browser, then it means that your browser is hijacked by a browser hijacker. Also, it may be possible that a malware has installed a buggy extension or add-on in your browser when you surfed an infected site. Therefore, to resolve all these problems browser reset is one of the best available option. Resetting a browser changes all the browser settings to the default. It will remove all the infected extensions that may have installed in the browser.

Reset Chrome Browser:

This will reset your Chrome browser settings to the default by disabling all the browser’s extensions and deleting cookies.

Reset Firefox Browser:

Launch Firefox.

Now in the address bar type about: support.

This will reset the browser to its default settings, removing all the add-ons.

Reset Edge Browser:

This will clear all the browser data and restore it to default.

Although the browser infection is mostly resolved by resetting the browser to its original state.

However, in case the problem remains unsolved then you have to uninstall and reinstall a fresh copy of the browser from its official website.

Scan and Removal of Malware

Since we are in safe mode the malware becomes less effective therefore there is better possibility of malware detection and cleaning in this mode.

Now perform a complete scan of the system using your current antivirus or antimalware tool. The time taken by the scan to complete will totally depend on the size of your hard drive along with your system configuration.

Therefore, please be patient and let the scan finish. Once the scan is finished, clean all the infections detected by your antivirus/antimalware program.

This will probably clean the malware or virus that was residing on your system.

However, if this fails then you have to update your virus definitions using safe mode with networking, as malware prevent the antivirus/antimalware definitions to update in normal mode.

Restart your system in safe mode with networking and try to update the definitions to the latest. Now again perform a complete scan of your system and clean all the detected threats and infections.

This will surely remove the malware/ virus from the system.

If your current antivirus or antimalware program fails to clean the malware then go for another program based on its user reviews and ratings. Though this may cost you an additional amount it can still help you in freeing your system from virus.

Must Read : 5 Best Ransomware Protection Tools For Windows

Reset Your PC to Default Settings

Though following all the above steps will make your PC free from virus and malware but in case luck is not your side and infections remain on your PC then you are left with only option, i.e. resetting your PC to factory settings.

However before opting for this ensure to backup all your important data as no one wants to lose data accumulated over the years.

You can manually back up all your important data using external hard drive but we recommend you use an online backup storage program that automates all the backing process.

Tip: We recommend you use an updated antivirus or antimalware program while uploading and downloading your data from cloud.

No one wants to get their PC infected by a malware or a virus, but the viruses that are developed nowadays are so lethal that they even trespass the security shield of your antivirus/antimalware program. Therefore, it is very necessary to learn not only how to prevent your PC from malware and virus but also how to remove them.

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Mac: How To Scan For Malware And Remove It With Free And Paid Tools

Macs are more protected from malicious software like viruses, Trojans, adware, etc. than Windows and Linux. However, they aren’t immune, and more and more malware is being designed specifically for Mac. Whether you just want to do a checkup or think your (or someone else’s) machine might be affected, here’s a look at 7 solid malware/virus scanner Mac tools including free and paid options.

This year we’ve seen new malware that targets Macs including MacStealer and Atomic macOS Stealer which can compromise iCloud Keychain passwords, credit card info, and much more. We’ve also seen the first ransomware for Mac from the LockBit gang surface.

While malware impacts Windows and Linux machines considerably more than macOS, it’s still very important to remain aware and diligent to keep your Mac secure.

As a refresher, here’s how Apple defines malware:

Malware is malicious software, which includes viruses, worms, trojan horses, and other programs that can harm your Mac or your privacy. Malware can be installed when you download items from email, messages, and websites.

Some malware is simply annoying. More often, its intent is to control your Mac to collect personal and financial information, host illegal content, send spam, or harm other computers on the network.

Malware / virus scanner for Mac and how to remove

“If you receive a message that tells you that something you downloaded from the internet is malware, the safest action is to put the item in the Trash, then empty the Trash.”

Apple also highlights to “Avoid opening items from websites and email messages unless you are certain that they come from a legitimate, trusted source. If you are uncertain about the source, delete the item. You can always download it again later, after you make sure it isn’t malware.”

The macOS Gatekeeper built-in security feature can also warn you about potentially malicious software before you install it – but users always have the option to override that and install unidentified apps

You can also set your Mac to only allow software to be downloaded and installed from the App Store:

Malwarebytes is a leader in malware detection and removal and it’s the tool that many Geniuses use to help customers at Apple Stores. While macOS has strong security built-in, Malwarebytes goes deeper to discover and find malicious software:

Malwarebytes for Mac is a free download with a 14-day trial for the full feature set (no credit card or email required)

It’s quick and easy to use the tool to scan for and remove malware

Malwarebytes Premium offers protection against new threats 24/7, blocks apps from suspicious developers, stops adware that annoys you, runs scans automatically, and more

After the free 14-day trial, Malwarebytes for individuals starts from $45/year.

If a multi-purpose Mac utility with malware and virus scanning sounds good, CleanMyMac X is a great option. It’s got 49 tools including an in-depth malware detection and removal utility.

CleanMyMac X goes from $35/year for one Mac

More antivirus options for Mac

If you want to check out other options for finding and removing malware on Mac, here are four more popular choices:

Thanks for reading our guide on malware and virus scanner tools for Mac!

Read more 9to5Mac tutorials:

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

Malware Prevention: How To Protect Your System

Malware prevention has become one of the main names of the game in cybersecurity. These fowl beasts of software can cost your company millions, and result in the loss of irreplaceable data. 

Pretty much everyone has heard of malware before. It’s talked about nearly constantly in cybersecurity and is one of the main forms of risks that poses a threat to your network and computers. 

But, what is malware? Where does it come from? What does it do? And why is it so dangerous to your organization?

What is Malware?

Malware (aka Malicious Software) is a harmful software that will cost you and your company big time. It may refer to a number of different programs, including viruses, spyware, ransomware, and Trojan Horses.

Also read: Best CRM software for 2023

Viruses

Viruses are the most well-known type of malware. These nasty bits of code attach themselves to clean code and, much like a biological virus, wait for the right set of circumstances to occur to take down your system. Spreading from host to host, a virus can infect your entire network in a matter of minutes.

While this may be true, you do have the option of manually uninstalling the infected program and code (hopefully before any lasting damage occurs), or enlisting the help of antivirus software.

Ransomware

Ransomware is a wretched bit of malware designed to encrypt your computer files. Cybercriminals will immediately ask for a ransom in exchange for the decryption key.

The price for unlocking your data ranged from a couple of hundred dollars to several thousand. There is always a good chance that, if you pay, you won’t get the decryption key.

There are several ways ransomware can enter your computer. One of the most common ways is through phishing emails. 

With any malware, good antivirus software is key to protecting against ransomware. As mentioned before, never open emails unless it’s from a known source. 

Spyware

Spyware is a malware that is specifically designed to spy on your system and gain information that way. This may include malware such as keyloggers (spyware that logs your keystrokes), malware that logs your internet usage, and steals banking information. 

Because of its nature, spyware is often hard to detect. Unlike its counterparts, it’s aim isn’t to tarnish or lock up your data, but to collect it. Unknowingly. 

Prevention is key to protecting against this type of malware as well. Don’t open any pop-ups from websites. Always download any software directly from the source- never third-party.

Also read: 7 Best Woocommerce Plugins to boost your Store you must know

Trojans

Trojan Horse Malware is one of the sneakiest of malware that can infect your computer and system. Trojans often disguise themselves as something seemingly innocent.

The game you downloaded from that one website or an MP3 file. The scary thing about Trojans is that they’re usually self-replicating and create many different risks to your system.

They often will open backdoors to allow other malware to creep in, and are used to install spyware on your computer. 

As with anything, prevention is key. Make sure that you trust the sites you are downloading from, and be aware of phishing and social engineering attempts.

Keys To Malware Prevention

First thing’s first: get reputable and reliable antivirus software. Norton, McAfee, and Kaspersky are a few of the more well-known antivirus programs out there. All of them provide an enterprise solution as well, which cater to small to large companies. 

A managed IT service provider can also help you decide what type of security and software is best for your business, and they can also maintain your security for you. 

Prevention is the key to protecting your company and network from malware, and prevention starts with education. Be sure to teach your employees about different security risks and how to avoid them.

Make sure they never download anything from websites they don’t know and trust, and educate them on the risks of phishing emails and social engineering threats.

Antivirus Software

We’ve talked quite a bit about antivirus software in this article. However, we’ve barely touched on the best ones for the job of protecting your network.

While I’ve mentioned a few of the more well-known programs, what is the best one according to consumer reviews?

Norton

Norton primarily focuses on small businesses. For the protection of up to 20 devices, you’re looking at a price of about $250/year, which is incredibly inexpensive in comparison!

In a general sense, Norton Antivirus and their recently acquired software Symantec boast a shocking 4 ½ stars across multiple sites and over 1,000 reviewers. This puts them firmly on the top of the food-chain with antivirus software.

McAfee

For computer enthusiasts, you might have run across McAfee in reference to antivirus software that comes preinstalled with a trial on new computers.

McAfee often does this with a number of different computer manufacturers as a marketing tactic, but they are a reputable antivirus company and are worth consideration.

McAfee’s McVision Endpoint Security boasts a number of incredible features for the prediction, prevention, and detection of security threats, including malware. This might make McAfee one of the most robust security solutions available. 

They have received several awards for their services, and boast a 93%-97% positive review from over 10,000 reviewers on multiple sites.

Kaspersky

Kaspersky is an old name in cybersecurity. Founded in 1997 in Moscow, their solution has evolved nearly as many times as the modern computer.

Their enterprise security solution has received several awards and recognitions and is overall incredibly diverse. From cloud security to traditional networks.

However, as day-to-day consumer antivirus products, their reviews are considerably lower than Norton and McAfee. On average, they receive an 88% positive review from over 50,000 consumers across multiple sites. 

Perhaps their wide range in use and higher volume of customers has contributed to this number.

Also read: 10 Types of Developer Jobs: IT Jobs

Managed IT Service Providers

When it comes to malware prevention, you may wish to hire experts. IT service providers specialize in cybersecurity (and many other things) and can help you navigate that world. 

Along with prevention, IT service providers can help to determine the weak points in your security system, and continuously monitor and improve that security in order to help better prevent and understand the threats that might come across your network. 

And, there’s something to be said for the human element involved in these services. You rely on experts at your company every day, so why not rely on human experts in cybersecurity as well? 

In fact, you can think of a managed IT service provider as a bodyguard for your network. They have the big guns and muscles that are capable of preventing large scale attacks, as well as the knowledge and knowhow to immediately enact disaster recovery services should they become necessary.

Prevention, a robust system, and incident management all in one.

A lot of professionals might think that managed IT service providers are becoming more and more irrelevant as technology improves.

In the case of malware prevention, having an IT service provider will give you one less thing to worry about as you handle the day-to-day of your business. 

Conclusion

Malware is all too common in today’s world. And as our technology gets smarter, so do cybercriminals, which makes cybersecurity all the more important.

Taking the time to learn about malware, malware prevention, and security threats from it is key to keeping your company data protected. 

Data breaches cost companies an average of $4.7 million as of 2023, according to the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Because of this, you really owe it to your business to have a security plan in place. 

Be sure to educate your employees on the dangers of phishing attempts and social engineering, and help them understand what is and isn’t safe to download from the internet. 

Have a reputable and reliable antivirus software installed throughout your network, and consider reaching out to a managed IT service provider to help you plan your cybersecurity. 

How To Personalize Your Windows 10 Pc

What makes your house your home? Is it the furniture? The art? A few favorite collectibles arranged on the shelves? The same goes for your Windows PC. If you’re new to Windows 10 or just want a fresh start, we’ll show you how to personalize your PC to make it feel, well, yours.

The Windows 10 out-of-the-box experience

Any time you buy a new PC, you’re almost certainly going to walk through what Microsoft calls the “Out of the Box Experience,” or OOBE. While the OOBE is simply a series of setup screens narrated by the voice of Cortana, Jen Taylor, it could differ a bit from PC to PC.  Microsoft also continually tweaks the experience over time. It’s interesting, too—Microsoft seems inclined to make Cortana less of an assistant and more of an assistive technology, at least on the desktop. But it’s here that Taylor’s warm voice welcomes you to the Windows platform.

Generally, you’ll be able to handle most of the OOBE questions without any hand-holding; you’ll be asked for your preferred language and keyboard layout, to connect to Wi-Fi, and so on. 

Mark Hachman / IDG

Personalization begins with entering your name.

Your major choices boil down to these: whether to enter or create a Microsoft password, whether to enable Cortana, and choosing your privacy settings. Entering (or creating) a Microsoft account is recommended, and allows your preferences to “follow” you from PC to PC, create a OneDrive cloud-storage account, and more. You can use a local account and password instead, however, if you want a simpler experience. If your PC has a Windows Hello fingerprint reader or depth camera, you’ll be prompted to set it up, with a PIN code for backup. If you enter your Microsoft account, you can also set up Office automatically, if you’re subscribed to Office 365.

Microsoft has made it harder to enable local accounts, however. The language and the UI to do so appears to change somewhat randomly. If a local account is what you want, however, disconnecting from the internet seems to help immensely. (Here’s how to set up Windows 10 with a local account.)

Mark Hachman / IDG

If Windows Hello is enabled on your PC, you’ll have a chance to set it up in the OOBE. Do so! It takes literally just a few seconds.

Likewise, it’s up to you whether you want to enable Cortana. Cortana and Windows Search are now separate, and Cortana is far less important than she once was. But here’s a reason to keep Cortana around: You can actually launch Amazon’s Alexa via Cortana! You’re also free to fiddle with the privacy settings (of course, you change these in Windows proper, as well). We’ll talk about privacy a bit more later.

Mark Hachman / IDG

Though you’re free to configure these privacy settings as you see fit, you can also take the time to adjust them later.

Begin personalizing your PC with Themes

Mark Hachman / IDG

You can also select from a slideshow of pictures, which uses the Windows 10 Pictures folder as a default. It’s probably a better bet to create a subfolder of pictures that you’ve vetted and pull from there.

Mark Hachman / IDG

The Personalization Settings is where we’ll begin.

Mark Hachman / IDG

If you have any existing Themes, this is the page where you’ll be able to select them.

Mark Hachman / IDG

If you’re a photography fan, there’s a wealth of free backgrounds to choose from in the Themes portion of the Microsoft Store. One quirk: You have to access these Themes from the Settings menu. They’re not accessible via the main Store app at present.

Mark Hachman / IDG

While the Fonts setting within Personalization doesn’t offer much, it’s worth taking a moment to configure the Lock Screen, the screen that appears when your PC locks itself after being away for a while. Adding your Calendar data to the lock screen, for example, allows Windows to display your next calendar appointment when you return to your PC. It’s a great way to mentally reset and plan your next move.

Mark Hachman / IDG

Here, you can designate various apps to display updates via the lock screen, which appears when you’re away from your PC for a time. 

How to organize your Start menu and Taskbar

Mark Hachman / IDG

The Start menu in the lower left houses all of your apps.

Mark Hachman / IDG

If you don’t use the list of apps, just the tiles, you can toggle off the list entirely from the same menu. You can even open the Start menu in full-screen mode for a “Windows 8.1-like” experience.

Mark Hachman / IDG

If you hate the tiled interface, you can manually “unpin” each tile to get rid of them altogether. You can also uninstall some apps from this interface.

Mark Hachman / IDG

A Taskbar to the right? Unconventional, but sure, it’s possible.

The Search box, and Cortana

Unless you’ve toggled it off, you should see a Search box next to the Start icon. Cortana used to be fused with Windows Search; now she’s a separate entity. (In upcoming feature updates to Windows 10, she could well be an entirely separate app that you can move around and dock.)

Mark Hachman / IDG

No, Cortana isn’t evil; she just matches your accent color if you or Windows has selected one.

Mark Hachman / IDG

Mark Hachman / IDG

The Windows Search bar shows you a suggested list of documents even before you begin typing.

The Microsoft Store app

Mark Hachman / IDG

From apps to games to videos, the Microsoft Store app is the iTunes of Microsoft.

Which apps you download are up to you—and not all apps are available via the Microsoft Store! If you’re looking for suggestions, you can start with our list of the best free software for your PC. 

The Action Center

Mark Hachman / IDG

Now you can manage notifications from the Notifications window itself.

A quick note about privacy

Mark Hachman / IDG

Allowing Microsoft access to your data has some benefits, but provide just the basics. 

Updated on Dec. 18 with additional details.

What Is Idp.generic And How To Safely Remove It On Windows 10

You might have recently been infected with a new virus or malware – or so your anti-virus says. Many users get an alert that idp.generic has been detected on their system, often from otherwise harmless programs. For example, many users report this happening from Spotify Web Helper. This alert can either be malware or a false positive.

Deciding whether the threat is malware or not is vitally important. Most users reported this issue arising when using AVG and Avast antivirus software. While it isn’t impossible that you’ll receive this warning from other programs, it’s unlikely. Here is what you need to know about idp.generic and whether it is safe to remove from your system or not.

Table of Contents

What Is idp.generic?

IDP.generic is a potential threat to your system that has been detected by the Identity Detection Protection, or IDP feature of your antivirus program. This is designed to protect your computer from viruses, malware, and trojans that might steal your personal information and data.

The .generic ending means the threat was detected from a generic file. When your antivirus program detects a threat like this, its first step is usually to isolate and delete the file.

While you should always pay attention to warnings from your antivirus program, the vast majority of idp.generic alerts are false positives. That said, you should double-check by running a scan with a different antivirus program to guarantee it isn’t a malicious file in disguise.

What Causes idp.generic Warnings?

There are several causes for idp.generic warnings, but the most common cause is outdated AVG or Avast antivirus software that flags innocent programs as malicious. Another potential cause is outdated Java software. 

If you’ve been receiving this alert, make sure you update your antivirus software to the latest version. Both Avast and AVG have received updates that eliminate this problem, but if you haven’t updated you might still receive the alert.

When Is idp.generic Not a False Positive?

You can never be 100 percent certain that idp.generic is not a false positive. When you receive the alert, you should always run a second scan to be sure. That said, there are a few clues that the alert might be more than a false positive.

The first is if the infected file is in the temp folder. This is a common destination for trojans and malware. If the alert points you here, it’s worth a second look. 

The second is if the infected file is an executable. Unless it’s from a trusted source, you should be wary of opening the file. Executable files in virus scans often mean trouble, because if it truly is a virus, it can infect your system with a host of problematic malware.

Pay attention to the name of the file, too. If the name of the file is obviously malicious or does not belong, then the threat is most likely real. 

How Do I Remove idp.generic On Windows 10?

If you receive an idp.generic warning, you might be tempted to remove it from your system immediately. If the file is not attached to anything important, by all means, let your antivirus do its job. 

If there is a chance this is a false positive identification by your antivirus, take the time to update both Java and your antivirus software. Once you have downloaded the update, restart your computer and run the scan again. 

If the antivirus software still detects idp.generic, download a program like Malwarebytes or Kaspersky and run a secondary scan. You want to use a program that isn’t AVG or Avast in case the problem still lies within the antivirus software itself. 

If the threat is detected, allow the antivirus software to remove the threat, either by deleting it or quarantining it. While it is possible to remove it from your system on your own, this can be a complicated process. Antivirus software will remove any and all contaminated files related to the original threat. 

How Can I Prevent idp.generic Threats?

These threats are usually due to outdated software. Enable automatic updates for your antivirus software so that it remains up to date at all times, and do the same for Java. This will prevent false positive alerts from AVG and Avast, so whenever an idp.generic threat appears, you will know to take it more seriously.

How To Create A Virtual Environment On Your Pc Using Windows 10 Sandbox?

How To Create a Virtual Environment on Your PC Using Windows 10 Sandbox?

Windows Sandbox is not a new idea of running a virtual machine but definitely is the most convenient way as it is in built in Windows. Setting up a virtual machine involves cost, time and system resources. A small installation of 100MB in size and no setup issues will be more preferred over the technicalities of setting up a Virtual box from scratch. And as compared to Windows already existing Hyper V in Windows 10 which is similar in application, Sandbox is a much easier and more user-friendly version.

You can download, install and use untrusted applications. The installed software will not be installed in the main system. Once you exit the Sandbox, all the tasks performed within the Sandbox disappear as it never happened. It is like a blessing in Disguise. You can do unlimited testing on your own computer without worrying about Damage.

What are the benefits of Windows Sandbox?

2. Windows Sandbox allows the user to checkout any website, addons and extensions from unknown publishers and new browsers without the fear of facing any issues in their system, basically without the fear of a Virus or Malware attack.

4. Every time you restart the Windows 10 Sandbox, it gives you a brand-new, clean and pristine Windows 10 installation where app developers can test their apps during the development cycle.

5. Windows10 runs Sandbox as an app which means it would not occupy a large quantity of resources and thus it will not affect the performance. On the other hand, Hyper V and VM Workstation Pro utilise many resources and is faster than its competition.

6. Virtual Machines do not allow simple copy & paste from the testing environment to the original machine or vice versa. However, this feature is available in Sandbox and it simplifies things as if you download a file and test it in Sandbox, you can just copy it and paste it in your original Windows 10. You don’t have to go through the process of downloading it again. For testers this is probably the best thing.

With all the benefits listed above, there could be a few limitations as well. One of the drawbacks I have identified is that the internet connection doesn’t work in Windows Sandbox if you have a third-party firewall turned on. To access the internet, you will have to configure the firewall settings or add an exception to allow internet to pass through to Sandbox.

Requirements

1. Windows Pro or Enterprise edition of Windows 10. Windows 10 Home edition users will not be able to enjoy the benefit of this feature. Also remember to update the Windows 10 to build 1903.

2. 64 bit architecture. Windows Sandbox will not run on 32 bit systems.

3. Minimum 4GB RAM.

4. Minimum 1 GB of RAM.

5. Hardware Virtualization should be enabled.

Steps to check the status of Hardware Virtualization.

b) Choose the Performance tab from the Taskbar Window.

c) Check for virtualization status under the CPU activity graph.

If this feature is enabled, then you can proceed to the next step. If not, then you will have to enter the bios settings and change it under motherboard options.

How to Enable Windows 10 Sandbox

There are three ways to enable Sandbox on your Windows 10:

1. Windows features on or off. ( Most common way)

a) Type ‘turn windows features on or off’ on the search box placed at the left-bottom corner of the taskbar.

b) The results will display a Windows settings with the same words typed.

d) From the list of many additional features of Windows 10, choose the one that is labelled as ‘Windows 10 Sandbox’ and check the square box next to it.

e) Follow the instructions of on-screen wizard with positive responses.

f) The computer will restart and you will find windows Sandbox in the list of apps installed in the start menu.

Note: The restart process will not be a quick reboot and might take time as it does in case of installing updates.

2. Windows Sandbox via PowerShell

a) Type ‘PowerShell’ in the search box on the left-bottom corner. The PowerShell app will open.

b) Copy and paste the following command.

Enable command: Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature –FeatureName “Containers-DisposableClientVM” -All -Online

Disable command: Disable-WindowsOptionalFeature –FeatureName “Containers-DisposableClientVM” -Online

c) You will have to restart the computer.

d) Once the computer has restarted, type ‘Sandbox’ in the search box and you will be able to locate the app in the search menu.

3. Windows Sandbox via Command Prompt

a) Type ‘CMD’ in the search box on the left-bottom corner. The first option or best match would highlight Command Prompt app.

c) Type the following command in the black and white window:

To enable Sandbox:

Dism /online /Enable-Feature /FeatureName:”Containers-DisposableClientVM” -All

To disable Sandbox:

Dism /online /Disable-Feature /FeatureName:”Containers-DisposableClientVM”

How to use Windows Sandbox

Windows sandbox appears on your desktop as a small window containing another desktop. It has Edge browser and File Explorer and a few basic apps that come with a fresh installation of windows. However, none of these apps identify themselves as sandbox versions. None of the third-party programs will mirror in Sandbox So if you enlarge the Sandbox window to full screen then perhaps you won’t realise which desktop you are working with. For that very reason Microsoft has placed a header bar on the top of the windows which indicates that you are working in a sandbox environment and not your original desktop. Also, Microsoft did not include any personalization like your account details, passwords or any customizations including desktop wallpaper and themes you made on the original Windows 10.

To use any 3rd party program in Windows Sandbox Environment you must:

1. Copy the installer file of the program and paste it on the desktop of the Windows 10 Sandbox. Run the file to install and follow the on-screen instructions. Remember, Drag and Drop doesn’t work between the real and virtual environment.

OR

2. Use the Edge browser in the Sandbox environment to download the Installer file from the official website and then install the program.

Note: You cannot install a new program that is already installed on your Windows 10 just by copying the shortcut or the program folder. Once you have installed the program, you can use it normally as you would do on the regular Windows 10.

You can use Edge to download the executable of any program and run it. For example, you can download Chrome and surf the internet without logging into your Google account. There will be, of course, no records stored by Windows 10, Sandbox and Google but remember your internet provider will have a track record of every site you visited.

Being a virtual environment has its own limitations as well. If you install a program in Sandbox that is designed to send information to an external server, be assured that it will not be able to do so due to the virtual environment. However, there is no way to find out if the program actually does that and to whom. Similarly, even if you open a Ransomware file in Sandbox virtual environment, it will not infect your computer.

Feel free to play around with the Windows Settings within Sandbox, if you’d like, and see how it differs from your main Windows installation.

Alternatives for Windows 10 Home users

If you have Windows 10 Home edition, you may probably not be able to use the Windows Sandbox, but you can still opt for third party apps like:

1. Sandboxie 

Sandboxie is a free software that can be used for carrying out tasks like running a program, surfing the internet, Application testing and much more within an isolated environment,

2. Shade Sandbox.

Shade Sandbox is quite similar to Windows Sandbox except that it boasts of a unique feature. Using Shade Sandbox, user can virtualize a previously installed application and copy its customizations as it is into the sandbox, so the user need not modify the settings again and again.

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About the author

Dheeraj Manghnani

Dheeraj Manghnani is a tech writer who writes about anything that has tech into it. He has written over a 1000 blogs on tech news, product comparisons, error solving and product reviews.

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