Enable or Disable Networking in Windows Sandbox in Windows 10

How to Enable or Disable Networking in Windows Sandbox in Windows 10

Windows Sandbox is an isolated, temporary, desktop environment where you can run untrusted software without the fear of lasting impact to your PC. Starting in Windows 10 build 20161, it is possible to enable or disable Networking in Windows Sandbox.

Windows Sandbox Screenshot Open
Any software installed in Windows Sandbox stays only in the sandbox and cannot affect your host. Once Windows Sandbox is closed, all the software with all its files and state are permanently deleted.

Windows Sandbox has the following properties:


  • Part of Windows – everything required for this feature ships with Windows 10 Pro and Enterprise. No need to download a VHD!
  • Pristine – every time Windows Sandbox runs, it’s as clean as a brand-new installation of Windows
  • Disposable – nothing persists on the device; everything is discarded after you close the application
  • Secure – uses hardware-based virtualization for kernel isolation, which relies on the Microsoft’s hypervisor to run a separate kernel which isolates Windows Sandbox from the host
  • Efficient – uses integrated kernel scheduler, smart memory management, and virtual GPU

Starting in Windows 10 build 20161, there are a number of Group Policy options that you can use to fine-tune the Windows Sandbox feature. Windows 10 offers you at least two methods to configure them. You can use a Local Group Policy Editor option, or a Group Policy Registry tweak. The first method can be used in editions of Windows 10 that come with the Local Group Policy Editor app. If you are running Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise, or Education editions, then the Local Group Policy Editor app is available in the OS out of the box. Alternatively, a Registry tweak can be used for the same.

If you enable or do not configure this policy setting, apps inside the Sandbox will be able to utilize a virtual switch on the host Windows 10 OS. Sandbox will connect to it via a virtual network adapter. If you disable this policy setting, networking is disabled in Windows Sandbox. Having the Networking feature enabled may be unwanted if you are running untrusted apps in Windows Sandbox.

To Enable or Disable Networking in Windows Sandbox in Windows 10,

  1. Open the Local Group Policy editor app,.
  2. Navigate to Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Windows Sandbox on the left.Windows 10 Sandbox Group Policy
  3. On the right, find the policy setting Allow networking in Windows Sandbox.
  4. To enable Networking in Windows Sandbox, set the policy to either Enabled or Not Configured (default).Windows Sandbox Networking Group Policy
  5. To disable Networking in Windows Sandbox, set the policy to Disabled.
  6. Click on Apply and OK.

You are done.

Enable or Disable Networking in Windows Sandbox in Registry

  1. Open Registry Editor.
  2. Go to the following Registry key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Sandbox.
    See how to jump to the desired Registry key with one click.
  3. If you do not have such a key, then just create it.
  4. Here, create a new 32-bit DWORD value AllowNetworking. Note: Even if you are running 64-bit Windows, you still need to use a 32-bit DWORD as the value type.
  5. Set it to 0 to disable the Networking feature for Windows Sandbox.
  6. Delete the value to enable the Networking feature.
  7. To make the changes done by the Registry tweak take effect, you may need to restart Windows 10.

Ready-to-use Registry Files

To save your time, you can download the following Registry Files, including the undo tweak

Download Registry Files

More on Windows Sandbox

More on Group Policy

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Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

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