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CodeSandbox allows you to create custom templates from sandboxes

What are Templates?

Templates are sandboxes that are easily accessible from your dashboard and the "Create New Sandbox" modal. They are great starting points for new projects. CodeSandbox has a number of official templates, such as React, Vue, Gatsby and others which you can use to quickly bootstrap a new project.

Users can also create their own custom templates, whereby they can modify an existing template with their own dependencies, files and folder structure, and configuration. Once a custom template has been created, the user can then start new projects from the "Create New Sandbox" modal using one of their templates.

How to make a custom template

There are a few ways to make a template, but the primary way to do so is from within the "Project Info" panel inside the editor. When viewing one of your sandboxes, you'll see a button at the bottom of the "Project Info" panel that says Make Template. Clicking on this will convert the sandbox to a template, which will freeze it and make it available inside of the "Create New Sandbox" modal.

Make Template from Sandbox

Optionally, from the dashboard, you can either drag and drop a sandbox from "Overview" or one of your folders under "My Sandboxes" to the new "My Templates" folder. There is also an option within the sandbox options menu to Make Sandbox a Template.

Make Template from Dragging

Make Template from Make Sandbox a Template

Using Templates

After you've made your first template, there's a few places from which you can access and use them. First, inside of the "Create New Sandbox" modal, you will see a horizontal list of your templates inside of the Overview tab, and all of your templates will appear under the My Templates tab. Clicking on one of these will open the template inside the editor, where you will be prompted to fork the sandbox as soon as you attempt to save changes.

Sandbox Modal

You can also find all of your templates under the My Templates folder within the Dashboard. Just as with the "Create New Sandbox" modal, clicking on any of the templates shown inside this folder will open a new sandbox.

Opening Template from dashboard

Editing Templates

Templates are frozen upon creation, preventing users from accidentally making changes to the template when they mean to use a template to create a new sandbox instead. In order to make changes to a template, simply unfreeze if from the "Project Info" panel. Any time you try to make a change to a frozen template, a modal will prompt you whether or not you would like to fork the template or unfreeze it for the current session.

Fork Sandbox Modal unfreeze

Any changes you make to an unfrozen Template are saved immediately. There is no need to explicitly freeze an unfrozen template, as it will automatically be frozen again upon navigating away from the editor or the current sandbox session ends.

Deleting Templates

There are a few ways in which you can "delete" a template. From the "Project Info" panel inside the editor, there is a Delete Template button at the bottom when viewing an existing template. Clicking this will convert the template back to a regular sandbox, removing it from the "Create New Sandbox" modal and moving back to the "Overview" and "My Sandboxes" folders inside the dashboard.

Delete template from sandbox

Alternatively, you can use a template's options menu inside the "My Templates" folder to select Convert to Sandbox.

Delete template from dashboard