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Major Sandboxie News: Sandboxie is now a free tool with plans to transition it to an open source tool

Sophos is excited to announce that we are making Sandboxie a free tool, with plans to transition it to an open source tool.

This new evolution of Sandboxie is one we are enthusiastic about, but that does not mean this was an easy decision to make.  Sandboxie has never been a significant component of Sophos’ business, and we have been exploring options for its future for a while. 

Frankly, the easiest and least costly decision for Sophos would have been to simply end of life Sandboxie. However, we love the technology too much to see it fade away.  More importantly, we love the Sandboxie community too much to do that. The Sandboxie user base represents some of the most passionate, forward thinking, and knowledgeable members of the security community and we didn’t want to let you down.

After thoughtful consideration we decided that the best way to keep Sandboxie going was to give it back to its users – transitioning it to an open source tool.  We will release more information about the open source project as we continue to work on the details.

Until the open source transition is completed we have decided to make Sandboxie completely free.  We have included a FAQ below with more information. We will continue to update this post as additional details become available. 


Sandboxie FAQ


How do I get a free license?  What features are included?

Sandboxie currently uses a license key to activate and grant access to premium features only available to paid customers (as opposed to those using a free version).  We have modified the code and have released an updated free version that does not restrict any features.  In other words, the new free license will have access to all the features previously only available to paid customers.


What if I have time left on my current Sandboxie license?

Regardless of how much time might be left on your existing Sandboxie license, in order to receive the latest updates customers with currently valid license keys will also need to install the latest unrestricted free version .  This will ensure you have access to all Sandboxie features and are using the most up-to-date version of the product.


What if I currently do not have a Sandboxie license?

Simply download the unrestricted, free version. No current or previous license is required.


When will Sandboxie be released as open source?

We are investigating making Sandboxie open source, however we are still working through the details and timeline. We will update this FAQ when we know more.


What license agreement will apply to my existing, paid licenses?  Will the same agreement apply to the unrestricted, free version that will be made available?

The license agreement under which you originally obtained the paid licenses to Sandboxie will continue to apply to those paid licenses until the expiration of the applicable license term.   A new license agreement will apply to licenses of the new unrestricted, free version of Sandboxie made available for download. 

An update EULA can be found here:


Will customer support still be available?

As part of our transition to a free and potentially open source product, Sandboxie support will become community based.  The community will include developers directly involved with Sandboxie.

[locked by: Akhilesh@Sophos at 9:23 PM (GMT -7) on 24 Mar 2020]
  • Thank you for making Sandboxie open source, or at least for announcing you will. I guess if you won't maintain it anymore this is the best solution.

    About the new update, is it just to remove the paid limitations or is there any other fix?

  • Vivaldo Sagese said:

    About the new update, is it just to remove the paid limitations or is there any other fix?


  • Andreas Fischer1 said:

    Actually I am professional C++ developer and I am looking forward to it being open source. Will for sure take a look at it and I think many others will take too. I think you underestimate the skills available in the OpenSource community. Of cause it can go both ways but who knows maybe somebody drives a nice open source team and you will see interesting new sandboxie versions and also sepecialized sandboxie forks. 

    <3 It's people like you we're working on open sourcing Sandboxie for, Andreas! We have high hopes that the open source community will relish the opportunity to dive into a codebase for such powerful technology and to be able to guide it forward in the right direction.

    Open sourcing Sandboxie is a lot of work for us and will cost us a lot of time and money. But we feel it's the right thing to do. I've personally been using Sandboxie since 2004 and there is a lot of love for it internally, throughout Sophos.

    Personally, sandboxing feels like a technology that should be open source for Windows just as it is on Linux and Unix - it's a technology that has a lot of uses in a variety of applications. I dream of Sandboxie's technology being forked and incorporated into other software so that more people can benefit from isolation. Perhaps Sandboxie will finally see the pervasive use it deserves but, for whatever reason, was never able to find.

  • These are the posts I like to see. Long live Sandboxie!

    SecBug said:
    Perhaps Sandboxie will finally see the pervasive use it deserves but, for whatever reason, was never able to find.

    I blame the GUI that has never changed since the beginning, I'm fine with it, but it could use a lot of QoL improvements like drag&drop support, I could probably list over 20 little things to improve the using of it while keeping everything else the same.

  • We all love Sandboxie, that's why we use it. The main problems with this process have arisen from the lies, disinformation, and a lack of transparency from Sophos (corporately) over an extended period. Is the server still broken, and why aren't the old forums available still?

    It is good to read that you also want it to continue, but is it correct to assume that your enthusiasm is as an individual rather than as a Sophos employee/spokesperson?

    As far as I can tell, Sandboxie is a unique programme; certainly I have never found a way to replace it successfully, and I have tried. So lets hope this open-sourcing is not all "hot air" by Sophos, and we can look forward to ongoing development. Sadly I won't be holding my breath.

    Does anyone know what happened to Tzuk once he sold Sandboxie?

  • I think the best thing to do now is to give Sophos the benefit of the doubt and support their effort to release to open source.

    Bashing them at this point is counterproductive.

    Sophos has no obligation to do this, let alone provide further support for Sandboxie and from a direct revenue point of view it's a cost for them not a profit.  The carrot for Sophos is the goodwill it creates and let's give them room to create it without taking that carrot away.

    Likely there were those at Sophos who argued to scuttle Sandboxie rather than release it.  Let's not provide fodder for their case.

    On its face, this is a respectful and generous decision by Sophos.  Unless and until such time as there is reason to doubt their intent, based specifically on events that happen after the announcement to release, I think we should keep an open mind and support their effort in any way we can.

  • I’ll insert my comment here, as it seems as good a place as any.  Is there any other product like Sandboxie out there?  What would Sophos have to charge to make SB a viable, profitable product?  It seems to provide protection not found anywhere else.



  • Scott Cox said:
     Is there any other product like Sandboxie out there? 


    other product like Sandboxie ? = No
  • Scott Cox said:

    What would Sophos have to charge to make SB a viable, profitable product?  It seems to provide protection not found anywhere else.



    Apparently more than what people would be willing or possibly capable of paying.

    While it indeed provides protection not found anywhere else its not a tool that can be easily used by ordinary users. Its a tool for experts.

    I think the user base is just not large enough for a < 50$ tool to be profitable and at the same time > 500$ probably most people would be reluctant to pay.


    I don't think that the sandboxie concept is mass compatible at least not without massive rework which is expensive.

    On the other hand with a massive rework that makes it n00b compatible it would become much more automatized and would superficially not differentiate itself that much from other offerings which are much simple and just do "sandboxing" by using a separate user account.


    For me and I think for many others the appeal of sandbox is its FileSystem and Registry virtualization. But there are simpler ways to achieve a similar level of security by using a VM or just a separated user account. The greatness of sandboxie lyes in the transparent virtualization that allows one to test out things with installed applications or test out new applications without the need to alter the actual system.

    So one can install an update to a program into a sandbox and check out if one likes it.

    Or one can use sandboxie to audit what changes a particular installer is doing to the system before letting it mes with the real system.

    And much more...

    All great things to do, but only experts do them.


    The average Jo just wants some protection and just that can be achieved much simpler. Using techniques which are not so prone to failure whenever MSFT changes something internally.



    I think making sandboxie opensource in this day and age is the right way to go to ensure it will continue to be maintained.

  • >Have you tried

    >Have you tried

    Are these still being developed?

    I use Shadow Defender (mainly when Sandboxie refuses to run an installer), but the author did not respond to an email. Nevertheless, it's good IMO but requires a reboot after each use to get back to a 'normal' environment. Contrast that with Sandboxie where it is easy to 'throw away' a sandbox and start over without needing to reboot.

    I tried but didn't like Shades.

    The is also the Microsoft Windows 10 Sandbox, but I find it a PITA and too limited by comparison. It may be more secure though.

  • They should just give it back to Tzuk and let him charge a fee for continued development.

    TZUK, COME BACK !!!!

  • Merry Christmas TZUK !


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