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(1) For the crypto gaming platform, see Sandbox metaverse.

(2) A restricted environment in which certain functions are prohibited. For example, deleting files and modifying system information such as Registry settings and other control panel functions may be prohibited. Sandboxes are used to isolate one running application from another and to run software downloaded from the Internet that is not entirely trusted.

Virtual Machines Are Sandboxes

One of the features of virtualization is the creation of virtual machines, which are independent, isolated sandboxes within the computer (see virtual machine). See Java sandbox and behavior detection.

The Best Universal Windows 10 Apps

The Microsoft Store makes it easy to install and update security-vetted software. These are our favorite Windows 10 UWP apps, and most of them are free!

PC hardware is nice, but it’s not much use without innovative software. I’ve been reviewing software for PCMag since 2008, and I still get a kick out of seeing what's new in video and photo editing software, and how operating systems change over time. I was privileged to byline the cover story of the last print issue of PC Magazine, the Windows 7 review, and I’ve witnessed every Microsoft win and misstep up to the latest Windows 11.

Windows 10’s app store (formally known as the Microsoft Store) is still around, despite the apparent lack of interest in desktop app stores from both users and developers. That’s a pity, since app stores help you avoid malicious programs, restrict apps’ access to deep system functions, ease installation and updates, and sync app ownership among devices. The apps in the store are lightweight, touch-friendly, and can run either full-screen or windowed.

What Is a Universal Windows App?

Universal apps (aka UWP apps, for Universal Windows Platform) have other benefits over traditional PC programs, too. UWP apps can interact with Windows' built-in notification and sharing features. UWP apps can display current info on live tiles in the Start menu—handy for things like weather, sports, and messaging. These secure apps also run in their own sandboxes so as not to jeopardize the rest of the system. Another appealing aspect of universal apps is their ability to run on different devices, including tablets, laptops, powerful desktop PCs, Xboxes, and the HoloLens, VR headsets, and the huge Surface Hub. The apps use Fluent interface design and cloud services. Another advantage: They dispense with the Registry, which can gunk up PC’s and prompt users to run tune-up utilities.

What's Not Here

The list below doesn't include PC games, though the Microsoft Store houses loads of these. In fact, the store is aligned with the Xbox Store. I also left out apps that are bundled with Windows 10, such as Maps, Office Mobile, OneNote, Skype, ToDo, and Your Phone. Even with these caveats and exclusions, you can see from the below entries that you can find plenty of good options in the Windows Store. Don’t hesitate to point out any we’ve left out in the comments section below.