Windows: If you've ever had to try out a piece of software that you're unsure of, Sandboxie provides an extra layer of protection for your system. We've featured Sandboxie before, but it's recently added 64-bit protection for sandboxed apps. If you haven't tried it out, now is a good time to take a second look. Here's a basic rundown of how it works.
- Install Sandboxie. You may need to reboot into Safe Mode when installing some necessary drivers, but otherwise the process will be smooth.
- Launch a sandboxed web browser. This will run in parallel to your normal browsing session. Here, you can download files and install programs and they'll remain in the sandbox.
- Run apps via the main Sandboxie window. Any apps that are part of the sandbox will have a yellow border around them when you hover over the window (as seen above).
When you're done with testing, you can empty the sandbox by right-clicking on the system tray icon, selecting the sandbox you want to empty and choosing "Delete Contents". This will remove all installed apps, delete downloaded files,and erase all trace of your sandboxed session. Alternatively, you can select "Quick Recovery" to remove files from the sandbox and they'll function as if downloaded or installed normally.
Obviously, Sandboxie isn't a complete replacement for proper malware protection or safe browsing habits. However, it can be a great help when you want to try out an app without interfering with the rest of your system or scattering files across your hard drive. Having a handy reset button for apps you're just testing can be extremely handy too. This is just one of many ways you can avoid having to re-install Windows regularly.