Software isolation utility Sandboxie is now free; soon it will be open source too


Sandboxie -- the sandboxing tool with the tagline "Trust no program" -- has been made into a free utility. But more than this, Sophos also plans to make the software open source in the near future.

The company says that it was a difficult decision to make, pointing out that Sandboxie has never been a significant component of its business. While simply shutting down the app would have been the easiest and cheapest thing to do, Sophos says: "we love the technology too much to see it fade away".

Sandboxie has made quite a name for itself over the years, giving people the opportunity to safely run unknown software in a protected environment without putting their systems at risk. In making the software available free of charge, Sophos has released Sandboxie version 5.31.4, which is a completely unrestricted version of the program.

In a message posted on the Sandboxie website, Sophos says:

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 all restricted features of Sandboxie completely free.

In a separate note posted in the support forums for the software, Sophos says:

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.

At the moment it is not clear when Sandboxie will be made open source, but another notable change is that Sandboxie support will become community based.  Sophos notes that "the community will include developers directly involved with Sandboxie".

Grab the tool from the Sandboxie website.

Image credit: mspoint / Shutterstock

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