Screenshots with Windows Sandbox

Screenshots with Windows Sandbox

To make a screenshot of a specific window with Alt + Print Screen, you have to maximize Windows Sandbox!

Recently I had to write a guide explaining how to install specific software on a Windows computer. I already had the software installed on my computer though, so I didn’t want to uninstall and reinstall just to be able to make screenshots of the process. And so I discovered Windows Sandbox.

Windows Sandbox is a virtual machine that starts up with a clean copy of Windows every time you launch it. It is isolated from your host operating system, and nothing you do on it will persist when you start it up again. Which is perfect for my purpose.

The first gotcha is that you must have Windows 10 May 2019 Update (version 1903) installed for this feature to be available.

After the update, I started it up and saw this beautiful squeaky clean copy of Windows 10 running in a window. So, I grabbed the software that I was meant to document and started the install wizard. I was well on my way to making all the screenshots my heart desired. I pressed Alt + Print Screen to capture the screenshot of the installer, switched to my Word document and pasted… a screenshot of the whole Sandbox.

Not what I had hoped for. It is rather more effort to crop each image after capturing it!

My husband came to the rescue with a suggestion. Try to maximize Sandbox. Such a simple thing, but I never thought to try that. And it worked! Now I could grab my screenshots, no cropping required!

Author: Hermien Pellissier

Hermien is an instructional designer and lecturer. In her spare time, she is an avid photographer and loves to travel.