With Sandboxie for Windows, you are able to run applications that you don't entirely trust in a sandbox; it tracks all files the program creates and modifies, and although the files technically go to the system, you can roll back the changes by deleting this sandbox. This removes all the files created by the program and restores modified files to their previous state. In a way, it's like a system restore when you restore the system to a previous point; in this case, it would only restore the files that the program in question affected, so is much easier to use. At least, that's how I understand it works.

On macOS, there are three(ish) ways to do this I know of:

  1. Make a Time Machine backup, and then install the program. After using it, restore from the backup and everything will come out intact as it was before.
  2. Use a VM to run it in; however, I'd like to avoid doing this as it complicates matters greatly
  3. Use AppCleaner to remove files the program left behind. However, this doesn't do anything for files the program (perhaps maliciously?) modified, and if you install a program with administrative privileges or a package, it most likely will install files in the system that AppCleaner won't be able to get out. Also, I'm not sure if it is 100% accurate for normal apps, anyway.

So is there any way to do this on a Mac without using a VM?


Well, there is this app - https://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/19025/sandbox

Sandbox, But I am not sure if this works well with the latest edition. As such all the apps need to be sandboxed according to enhanced security measures, but this only applies to APPS on the Mac Store, but not for all the other apps not on the store!


MacOS has a build in Sandbox feature which may help you but does not exactly have the same functionality as Sandboxy.

This Paolo Fabio Zaino's Blog post from 2015 explains how to run Applications in a Mac OS X sandbox. He summarizes it this way:

by using sandboxing, you can restrict access an application can have to operating system resources like filesystem or network etc…

Well, but I don't know a nice GUI to setup the Sandbox.

  • Welcome to Ask Different! We're trying to find the best answers and those answers will provide info as to why they're the best. Explain why you think your answer will help the OP or is better than others out there. Providing links is good but answers should be self-contained and not just a link to another site. See How to Answer on how to provide a quality answer. - From Review – fsb Sep 12 '18 at 19:13
  • I would not compare this to what Sandboxie does for windows. You describe the changes made to macOS to include what was done by Security-Enhanced Linux. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Security-Enhanced_Linux In macOS you would need to manually implement the controls whereas Sandboxie does these control automatically. Sandboxie lets you roll back any changes by the app. – historystamp Dec 22 '18 at 20:58
  • Right, macOS Sandbox feature is not the same as Sandboxie. Should I delete my answer? – PJT Jan 30 at 20:18
  • No, please do not delete it, as your answer does describe alternative sandboxing functionality that others may find useful (I found it useful). You may choose to edit your answer to say, "this is not exactly like Sandboxie, however . . ." – Kallaste Mar 12 at 2:29

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