I often need to try a new application but I am worried it could cause a problem with my computer. Is there someway to test software on my computer that is really safe and no touch anything on my computer?
Yes even a casual user can can do this. It is easier than ever. Including a Mac. Actually you can even run Windows on your Mac. Why would you ever want to , but... Also make a copy of your XP machine and run as a VM.
I would only try to do this if you have a computer with at least 4GB of memory. 8GB is preferred.
Windows 7 and higher has software that you can installcalled Hyper-V. It is very easy to install and set up.
That application can then install what they call Virtual Machines.
So all you need is the installation DVD or ISO file for that operating system that you want to run your software on. This can be the same as your current operating system or even a newer or older operating system.
When you install the VM and start it, you have a fully functional operating system that is independant from your running system.
You can then install your software that you want to test on this VM and see how it works. No matter what happens the application will not cause any issues with your running system.
As I mentioned you can install other Windows systems like Windows 10, or XP.
You can easily make a copy of your VM because all it is, is a file and if you restore the copy of the file you start over fresh.
If you own a MAC you can run other MAC OS's as well as on some Macs you can also run Windows VM's. Not that there would be any reason to do this.
It is very easy to do, almost as easy as creating a Word document.