Install Docker Desktop on Mac

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

Docker Desktop terms

Commercial use of Docker Desktop in larger enterprises (more than 250 employees OR more than $10 million USD in annual revenue) requires a paid subscription.

Welcome to Docker Desktop for Mac. This page contains information about Docker Desktop for Mac system requirements, download URLs, instructions to install and update Docker Desktop for Mac.

Download Docker Desktop for Mac

Mac with Intel chip Mac with Apple chip

For checksums, see Release notes

System requirements

Your Mac must meet the following requirements to install Docker Desktop successfully.

Mac with Intel chip

  • macOS must be version 10.15 or newer. That is, Catalina, Big Sur, or Monterey. We recommend upgrading to the latest version of macOS.

    If you experience any issues after upgrading your macOS to version 10.15, you must install the latest version of Docker Desktop to be compatible with this version of macOS.


    Docker supports Docker Desktop on the most recent versions of macOS. That is, the current release of macOS and the previous two releases. As new major versions of macOS are made generally available, Docker stops supporting the oldest version and supports the newest version of macOS (in addition to the previous two releases). Docker Desktop currently supports macOS Catalina, macOS Big Sur, and macOS Monterey.

  • At least 4 GB of RAM.

  • VirtualBox prior to version 4.3.30 must not be installed as it is not compatible with Docker Desktop.

Mac with Apple silicon

  • Beginning with Docker Desktop 4.3.0, we have removed the hard requirement to install Rosetta 2. There are a few optional command line tools that still require Rosetta 2 when using Darwin/AMD64. See the Known issues section. However, to get the best experience, we recommend that you install Rosetta 2. To install Rosetta 2 manually from the command line, run the following command:

    $ softwareupdate --install-rosetta

For more information, see Docker Desktop for Apple silicon.

Install and run Docker Desktop on Mac

Install interactively

  1. Double-click Docker.dmg to open the installer, then drag the Docker icon to the Applications folder.

  2. Double-click in the Applications folder to start Docker. In the example below, the Applications folder is in “grid” view mode.

    Docker app in Hockeyapp

  3. The Docker menu (whale menu) displays the Docker Subscription Service Agreement window.

    Here’s a summary of the key points:

    • Docker Desktop is free for small businesses (fewer than 250 employees AND less than $10 million in annual revenue), personal use, education, and non-commercial open source projects.
    • Otherwise, it requires a paid subscription for professional use.
    • Paid subscriptions are also required for government entities.
    • The Docker Pro, Team, and Business subscriptions include commercial use of Docker Desktop.
  4. Select Accept to continue. Docker Desktop starts after you accept the terms.


    If you do not agree to the terms, the Docker Desktop application will close and you can no longer run Docker Desktop on your machine. You can choose to accept the terms at a later date by opening Docker Desktop.

    For more information, see Docker Desktop Subscription Service Agreement. We recommend that you also read the FAQs.

Install from the command line

After downloading Docker.dmg, run the following commands in a terminal to install Docker Desktop in the Applications folder:

$ sudo hdiutil attach Docker.dmg
$ sudo /Volumes/Docker/
$ sudo hdiutil detach /Volumes/Docker

As macOS typically performs security checks the first time an application is used, the install command can take several minutes to run.

The install command accepts the following flags:

  • --accept-license: accepts the Docker Subscription Service Agreement now, rather than requiring it to be accepted when the application is first run
  • --allowed-org=<org name>: requires the user to sign in and be part of the specified Docker Hub organization when running the application
  • --user=<username>: Runs the privileged helper service once during installation, then disables it at runtime. This removes the need for the user to grant root privileges on first run. For more information, see Privileged helper permission requirements. To find the username, enter ls /Users in the CLI.


When an update is available, Docker Desktop displays an icon on the Docker menu to indicate the availability of a newer version. Additionally, the Software Updates section in Settings (Preferences on Mac) also notifies you of any updates available to Docker Desktop. You can choose to download the update right away, or click the Release Notes option to learn what’s included in the updated version.

Starting with Docker Desktop 4.2.0, the option to turn off the automatic check for updates is available for users on all Docker subscriptions, including Docker Personal and Docker Pro..

Click Download update When you are ready to download the update. This downloads the update in the background. After downloading the update, click Update and restart from the Docker menu. This installs the latest update and restarts Docker Desktop for the changes to take effect.

When Docker Desktop starts, it displays the Docker Subscription Service Agreement window. Read the information presented on the screen to understand how the changes impact you. Click the checkbox to indicate that you accept the terms and then click Accept to continue.


If you do not agree to the terms, the Docker Desktop application will close and you can no longer run Docker Desktop on your machine. You can choose to accept the terms at a later date by opening Docker Desktop.

Docker Desktop starts after you accept the terms.

Uninstall Docker Desktop

To uninstall Docker Desktop from your Mac:

  1. From the Docker menu, select Troubleshoot and then select Uninstall.
  2. Click Uninstall to confirm your selection.

Uninstall Docker Desktop from the command line

To uninstall Docker Desktop from a terminal, run: <DockerforMacPath> --uninstall. If your instance is installed in the default location, this command provides a clean uninstall:

$ /Applications/ --uninstall
Docker is running, exiting...
Docker uninstalled successfully. You can move the Docker application to the trash.

You might want to use the command-line uninstall if, for example, you find that the app is non-functional, and you cannot uninstall it from the menu.


Uninstalling Docker Desktop destroys Docker containers, images, volumes, and other Docker related data local to the machine, and removes the files generated by the application. Refer to the back up and restore data section to learn how to preserve important data before uninstalling.

Where to go next

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