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Incognito mode for your Windows PC – PC WORLD


Every use of a Windows PC leaves traces. They are in the registry, event log, browser cookies and many other places. If you want to use your PC without leaving a trace, you don’t have to know all these places, our tricks and tools are sufficient.

Anyone who uses their PC leaves traces. And if you share your computer with other users, you may not want to. We show how you leave little or no traces on your system.

How to use Windows 10 without a trace

Microsoft has the new function last year ”

Windows sandbox

“Integrated in Windows 10 1903 Professional. Although the tool places considerable demands on the hardware, if you meet it with a reasonably up-to-date computer, Windows Sandbox gives you an uncomplicated system in which you can, for example, test software or surf the Internet without leaving a trace on your PC. Because as soon as you close the Windows Sandbox, all changes made by the system have disappeared again. The next time the Windows Sandbox is started, the system loads as freshly as on the first day. This also eliminates all cookies from visited websites. If the Windows Sandbox is restarted, a website will not recognize it.

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The Windows Sandbox is ideal if you want to use Windows without leaving any traces. The tool is also ideal for safe surfing.

But be careful:

Tracking protection when surfing only applies from one session to the next. During a surf trip on the Internet, the cookies of a website are retained for the duration of the sandbox use. So visit first

                        
                                                                                                                                        www.facebook.com
                                             and then immediately go to a website that is allowed to read the Facebook cookie (and a great number of websites are allowed to do this), and then Facebook will find out about visiting this page. Such traces can only be prevented with rigorous cookie management. Technically speaking, the Windows Sandbox is a virtual PC with the Windows 10 operating system and the virtualization software

Hyper-V

from Microsoft. The advantage over a Windows 10 in one

                        
                                                                                                                    Virtualbox
                                            is the significantly lower storage space requirement. Because the sandbox uses several files of the installed Windows both from the hard disk and in the working memory. Instead of a few GB of hard disk space, only a few hundred MB are due for Windows 10 in the sandbox.

Requirements:

First of all you have to use Windows 10 Professional 64 bit. The home version of Windows 10 does not offer the sandbox. On the hardware side, you also need a 64-bit CPU with at least four cores that supports hypervisor and virtualization-based security (VBS). These are current Intel processors with VT-x and AMD processors with AMD-V. In rare cases, virtualization can be deactivated in the Uefi. Then call the Uefi and search and activate the entry under “Virtualization”, “Intel VT-x”, “AMD-V” or “SVM”. The main memory must offer at least 8 GB, the hard disk needs at least 5 GB free space.

Danger:

Other virtualization tools, such as, worked on many systems

                        
                                                                                                                    Vmware
                                             or

                        
                                                                                                                    Virtualbox
                                             no longer if you have installed the Windows Sandbox. Read how to fix the problem in the box below.

Attention, data collector!

How to protect your privacy

Install Windows Sandbox: Requirements and tips

The first thing to do is to install the Windows Sandbox because Microsoft has not integrated the tool into Windows by default. To do this, start “Windows Logo -› Windows System – ›Control Panel” and then select “Programs -› Activate or deactivate Windows features ”. In the following window, tick “Windows Sandbox” and confirm with “OK”. After that, the computer usually has to be restarted. Please note the hardware and software requirements for this function (see above).

How to use the Windows sandbox:

First start the sandbox via “Windows Logo -› Windows Sandbox “. Depending on the computer equipment, this takes a few seconds. If you have an SSD, you’ll be traveling much faster. As soon as the sandbox is started, you have a second Windows 10 in its own program window, as you know it from virtual PCs in Virtualbox & Co. (see box). You can use this Windows almost exactly like your main system. Copy & Paste between the sandbox and your host system is activated. So you can copy a suspicious file from your actual system and paste it into the sandbox using Ctrl-V. It is also possible to install and test software in the sandbox. However, if this requires a Windows restart, the installation will fail because all changes have disappeared after the restart.

On some systems, including in the editorial office, the Windows Sandbox starts with an English-language user prompting. So far we have not been able to find a trick to change this.

The Sandbox Configuration Manager offers graphical user guidance for settings of the Windows Sandbox. However, there are not many options.

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The Sandbox Configuration Manager offers graphical user guidance for settings of the Windows Sandbox. However, there are not many options.

A configuration tool for the Windows sandbox:

There are only a few setting options for the Windows Sandbox. And if it were up to Microsoft, they would all have to be done via a configuration file in XML format. To make this more convenient, the developer Damien Van Robaeys has programmed a graphical user interface for the configuration file. The

                        
                                                                                                                                        Sandbox Configuration Manager
                                             comes in two versions, which only differ optically. One variant starts with tabs, the other offers a burger menu. The most interesting option for configuring the Windows sandbox is a shared folder, which you can use to exchange files between the host system and the sandbox. In the Sandbox Configuration Manager tool, you add a shared folder via “Mapped Folders -› Browse Folder “and can subsequently write-protect it (” Read only “) or make it writable for both systems.

Windows 10 20H1:

An overview of all innovations

Trace destroyers are an alternative to the sandbox

The Ccenhancer is a practical Ccleaner add-on that increases the deletion scope of the well-known trace destroyer by 500 additional tools.

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The Ccenhancer is a practical Ccleaner add-on that increases the deletion scope of the well-known trace destroyer by 500 additional tools.

It is not always possible to start a Windows sandbox for surfless surfing or for Windows use. In these cases, you can use Windows and your browser as usual and then treat them with a trace shredder. Two programs have repeatedly proven themselves for this task in recent years. These are the

                        
                                                                                                                    Privazer
                                             and the

                        
                                                                                                                    Ccleaner
                                            .

The Privazer main menu is tidy and clear. While the scanning process is running - as can be seen in this picture - the tool shows information and first details for each scanning section.

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The Privazer main menu is tidy and clear. While the scanning process is running – as can be seen in this picture – the tool shows information and first details for each scanning section.

Privazer:

The free program gives you good control over the areas to be cleaned. This allows you to specify exactly which user traces you want to eliminate. For the first configuration, Privazer offers a wizard that helps you to make important basic settings. Then select “From which device -› computer ”in Privazer to have the system cleaned. You can also analyze USB sticks, memory cards and network drives and have them cleaned afterwards. Clicking on “Ok” will bring you to the exact settings. If you click on one of the categories on the left, such as “Browsing the Internet”, you will be taken to the appropriate search and cleaning options. Clicks on “Search” and then on “Clean” to carry out the action.

Ccleaner:

The free version of the tool already deletes a large part of the user traces from Windows and programs. If you use many programs and want to clean the user traces from them, you should install the Ccleaner extension Ccenhancer. This means you can dispose of the traces from around 500 other programs. To be able to use the extension, you must first download and install the main program Ccleaner, only then start the extension tool.

Windows sandbox blocks other virtualization tools

If you have activated the Windows sandbox and at the same time a virtualization tool like

                        
                                                                                                                    Vmware
                                             or

                        
                                                                                                                    Virtualbox
                                             problems can arise. Vmware Workstation then reports that Hyper-V is not compatible with Vmware. As a result, Vmware refuses to start the program. Some image tools also have problems with Hyper-V. Here it helps to temporarily disable Hyper-V.

Turn off Microsoft Hyper-V:

Disable Windows virtualization. This is done via the command prompt. Start this with administrator rights, for example via “Windows symbol -› Windows system – ›Command prompt”. Right-click on “Command Prompt” and select “More -› Run as administrator ”. Now enter this command:

bcdedit /set hypervisorlaunchtype off

It prevents the hypervisor from starting before Windows. If you now enter bcdedit without parameters, the entry “hypervisorlaunchtype off” must be found in the section “Windows startup program”. Windows must be restarted for the change to take effect.

If you want to switch on the hypervisor again to use the Windows sandbox, enter this command:

bcdedit /set hypervisorlaunchtype auto 

A restart is also due afterwards.

The Vmware workstation does not want to start here because the Windows sandbox with the Hyper-V module is active. This can be remedied by deactivating Hyper-V in order to be able to use other virtualizers.

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The Vmware workstation does not want to start here because the Windows sandbox with the Hyper-V module is active. This can be remedied by deactivating Hyper-V in order to be able to use other virtualizers.

Configure Windows Defender:

According to reader emails, Windows Defender can also be to blame for blocked software or virtual boxes. Windows 10’s on-board virus protection also seems to use virtualization functions and block them for other programs. To change this, open the Windows Defender Security Center, for example by clicking on the Defender icon in the notification area of ​​the taskbar. Now switch to the “Device Security” category and click on “Core Insulation Details”. If the switch under “Memory Integrity” is switched on, click on it. As a result, the user account control answers with a query that you answer with “Yes”.

Carry out a restart:

All changes will not take effect until you restart Windows. After that, the third-party hypervisors should work again. If both measures did not work, you can uninstall the Windows Sandbox and the Windows Defender Application Guard (WDAG). You can do this in the “Control Panel” under “Programs -› Activate or deactivate Windows features “. After a restart, the problem is resolved.

You can deactivate the Hyper-V function via the command prompt. Then tools for Virtualbox or Vmware work again. The Windows sandbox will then no longer start.

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You can deactivate the Hyper-V function via the command prompt. Then tools for Virtualbox or Vmware work again. The Windows sandbox will then no longer start.

For Windows Home users: Virtualbox

If you use Windows 10 Home, you cannot activate the Windows Sandbox function. But there are other virtualization tools, too

                        
                                                                                                                    Virtualbox
                                            with which a very similar protection can be built up.

That’s how it’s done:

Install the free virtual box. In the following you install a virtual PC in Virtualbox. If you choose Windows 8.1 or 10, you need a license. A detailed step-by-step guide to installing Windows in

                        
                                                                                                                    Virtualbox
                                            .

Ready-made virtual PCs with Linux are a free alternative to Windows. About is recommended

                        
                                                                                                                                        Linux Mint 64 Bit from Osboxes
                                            . NewsABC.net Mint as a VHD file. It is an image of the Mint hard drive for Virtualbox.

Load Linux Mint from Osboxes into Virtualbox:

Unzip the downloaded archive of Linux Mint 64 Bit from Osboxes with the packer

                        
                                                                                                                    7-zip
                                            to any directory. Start Virtualbox and select “New” in Virtualbox. Enter the name “Mint” and click on continue. Select the size for the RAM of the virtual PC in the green area of ​​the display. After clicking on “Next”, select “Use existing hard disk”, select the extracted VHD file and click on “Create”. The virtual PC is finished and you start it with “Start”. After a short while, Linux Mint asks for the login password.

It is: osboxes.org. You also enter this password for further password requests, for example for system changes.

Create save point:

In the main window of Virtualbox, select the virtual test PC for which you want to create a save point. On the right choose “VM Tools -› Save Points “. In the new toolbar, click on the “Create” camera icon and assign a name for the safety point.

Back to zero:

To reset the virtual PC to its original state after using it, right-click on the desired save point. Then select “Restore save point” in the context menu.

Create so-called security points in the Virtualbox software. This allows you to reset the virtual PC to exactly this system state.

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Create so-called security points in the Virtualbox software. This allows you to reset the virtual PC to exactly this system state.

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