Xbox Live sandboxes for Creators Program developers

In the Xbox Live service configuration article, it was explained that you must configure information about your title in Partner Center. This information includes the stats, leaderboards, localization, and more.

Changes to your Xbox Live service configuration need to be published from Partner Center into your development sandbox, before the changes are picked up by the rest of Xbox Live and can be accessed in your title.

A development sandbox allows you to work on changes to your title in an isolated environment. Sandboxes offer several benefits:

  1. You can iterate on changes to an update for your title without affecting the version that is live in production.
  2. For security reasons, some tools only work in a development sandbox.
  3. Other publishers cannot see what you are working on without being granted access to your sandbox.

By default, Xbox One consoles and Windows 10 PCs are in the RETAIL sandbox. To access that version of the Xbox Live service configuration, you will need to switch your PC and/or Xbox One to the development sandbox. If you need to test something in RETAIL, or want to play an Xbox Live game, change the device back to the RETAIL sandbox.

Finding out about your sandbox

A sandbox is created for you when you create a title. You can find your Sandbox ID by opening your product in Partner Center and navigating to Services > Xbox Live. The Sandbox ID will be listed at the top of the page.

Title Information in Partner Center screenshot. Includes Sandbox ID

Switch your PC's development sandbox

You can switch your PC into the development sandbox by using Unity, Windows Device Portal (WPD), or the command line.



The following needs to be done before you can switch in and out of the development sandbox in Unity:

Switch Sandboxes

The built-in Xbox Live Configuration window lets you toggle between your development and RETAIL sandboxes easily. To start, go to Xbox Live > Configuration in the menu. You can see the current sandbox in the Developer Mode Configuration section.

  1. If Developer Mode says enabled, you are currently in the development sandbox associated with your game. You can click the Switch back to Retail Mode button to switch out.

  2. If Developer Mode says disabled, you are currently in the RETAIL sandbox. You can click the Switch to Developer Mode button to switch in.

XBL Enabled

Windows Device Portal


The following needs to be done before you switch your sandbox in Windows Device Portal (WPD):

  1. Setup Device Portal on Windows Desktop

Switch Sandboxes

  1. Open Windows Dev Portal by connecting to it in your web browser, as described in Setup Device Portal on Windows Desktop.
  2. Click on Xbox Live.
  3. Enter your development sandbox in the text field, and then click change.

Sandbox configuration screenshot on Windows Devices Portal

To switch back to RETAIL, you can enter RETAIL here.



The following needs to be done before you can switch in and out of the development sandbox via command-line:

  1. Download the Xbox Live Tools Package at, and then unzip the package.

Switch Sandboxes

  1. Run the SwitchSandbox.cmd batch file in administrator mode.

Run this in Administrator mode to switch your sandbox. The first argument is the sandbox. For example, to switch to the MJJSQH.58 sandbox, use this command:

SwitchSandbox.cmd MJJSQH.58

To switch back to RETAIL, provide that as the second argument:

SwitchSandbox.cmd RETAIL

Switch your Xbox One console development sandbox

Using Xbox Dev Portal

You can use the Xbox Dev Portal to change the sandbox on your console:

  1. On your console, go to Dev Home.
  2. Enable the Device Portal.
  3. In the Xbox Dev Portal, click Xbox Live.
  4. Enter your development sandbox in the text field and click change.

switch sandbox

![Sandbox configuration at portal

Using Xbox One console UI

You can use Dev Home to change the sandbox on your console directly:

  1. Click Change Sandbox, located under Quick Actions.
  2. Enter the sandbox ID and then click Save and restart.

with the Xbox App

Once you've switched your development PC to use the proper sandbox for your title, verify that you're signed in to Xbox Live with an eligible test account. This can be done by signing into the Xbox Live App.

Once your development environment starts using the desired sandbox, the Xbox App will sign-in users using the same constraints as any other Xbox Live service running on the sandbox. This makes it useful to verify that you are using a valid account for the sandbox.