Important notice for JAWS users: you can't install and use JAWS inside Windows Sandbox in April 2019 Update #jaws #ADVISORY #WinTenOld


Hi everyone, especially JAWS users,


A companion message has been sent to JFW list so it can be shared widely and reported to Vispero:


Advisory: you cannot install and run JAWS inside Windows Sandbox in Windows 10 Version 1903


Background: Windows 10 Version 1903 (April 2019 Update) introduces Windows Sandbox, a container-like virtual environment for running fresh versions of Windows 10. This is meant to isolate programs from harming the outside environment, as well as a test environment for unknown software. For screen reader users, this is a handy environment to test new screen reader releases inside a clean Windows 10 installation without touching what you know and love.


In order to use Windows Sandbox:


  1. Must be running Windows 10 Pro Version 1903 or higher (Pro, Enterprise, Education, etc.).
  2. Virtualization features must be turned on from firmware (BIOS/UEFI).
  3. Windows Sandbox must be enabled from Programs and Features.


Problem: one of the limitations of Windows Sandbox is that it can’t cope with installers that asks for a system reboot. If this happens, the host running Windows Sandbox will report that the remote system has closed the connection and offer to send feedback about it.


Current problem: the above problem description applies to JAWS. Because JAWS installer requires a reboot, you cannot install and run JAWS inside a Windows Sandbox guest. In fact, any screen reader that comes with an installer which asks for a reboot cannot run inside Windows Sandbox in version 1903.


Next steps: please let Vispero and other affected screen reader vendors know about this issue in hopes of coming up with a solution.


Additional note: in the meantime, you can use Narrator and screen readers that does not require a reboot (NVDA included) inside Windows Sandbox. The author has tested Windows Sandbox with Narrator, NVDA, and JAWS.