Install Docker Desktop on Windows

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.

This page contains the download URL, information about system requirements, and instructions on how to install Docker Desktop for Windows.

For checksums, see Release notes

System requirements


  • WSL version 1.1.3.0 or later.

  • Windows 11 64-bit: Home or Pro version 21H2 or higher, or Enterprise or Education version 21H2 or higher.

  • Windows 10 64-bit:

    • We recommend Home or Pro 22H2 (build 19045) or higher, or Enterprise or Education 22H2 (build 19045) or higher.
    • Minimum required is Home or Pro 21H2 (build 19044) or higher, or Enterprise or Education 21H2 (build 19044) or higher.
  • Turn on the WSL 2 feature on Windows. For detailed instructions, refer to the Microsoft documentation.

  • The following hardware prerequisites are required to successfully run WSL 2 on Windows 10 or Windows 11:

Important

To run Windows containers, you need Windows 10 or Windows 11 Professional or Enterprise edition. Windows Home or Education editions only allow you to run Linux containers.

Note

Docker only supports Docker Desktop on Windows for those versions of Windows that are still within Microsoft’s servicing timeline.

Should I use Hyper-V or WSL?

Docker Desktop's functionality remains consistent on both WSL and Hyper-V, without a preference for either architecture. Hyper-V and WSL have their own advantages and disadvantages, depending on your specific set up and your planned use case.

  • Windows 11 64-bit: Pro version 21H2 or higher, or Enterprise or Education version 21H2 or higher.

  • Windows 10 64-bit:

    • We recommend Home or Pro 22H2 (build 19045) or higher, or Enterprise or Education 22H2 (build 19045) or higher.
    • Minimum required is Home or Pro 21H2 (build 19044) or higher, or Enterprise or Education 21H2 (build 19044) or higher.

    For Windows 10 and Windows 11 Home, see the system requirements in the WSL 2 backend tab.

  • Turn on Hyper-V and Containers Windows features.

  • The following hardware prerequisites are required to successfully run Client Hyper-V on Windows 10:

Important

To run Windows containers, you need Windows 10 or Windows 11 Professional or Enterprise edition. Windows Home or Education editions only allow you to run Linux containers.

Note

Docker only supports Docker Desktop on Windows for those versions of Windows that are still within Microsoft’s servicing timeline.


Containers and images created with Docker Desktop are shared between all user accounts on machines where it is installed. This is because all Windows accounts use the same VM to build and run containers. Note that it is not possible to share containers and images between user accounts when using the Docker Desktop WSL 2 backend.

Running Docker Desktop inside a VMware ESXi or Azure VM is supported for Docker Business customers. It requires enabling nested virtualization on the hypervisor first. For more information, see Running Docker Desktop in a VM or VDI environment.

From the Docker Desktop menu, you can toggle which daemon (Linux or Windows) the Docker CLI talks to. Select Switch to Windows containers to use Windows containers, or select Switch to Linux containers to use Linux containers (the default).

For more information on Windows containers, refer to the following documentation:

Note

When you switch to Windows containers, Settings only shows those tabs that are active and apply to your Windows containers. These are:

If you set proxies or daemon configuration in Windows containers mode, these apply only on Windows containers. If you switch back to Linux containers, proxies and daemon configurations return to what you had set for Linux containers. Your Windows container settings are retained and become available again when you switch back.

Install Docker Desktop on Windows


  1. Download the installer using the download button at the top of the page, or from the release notes.

  2. Double-click Docker Desktop Installer.exe to run the installer. By default, Docker Desktop is installed at C:\Program Files\Docker\Docker.

  3. When prompted, ensure the Use WSL 2 instead of Hyper-V option on the Configuration page is selected or not depending on your choice of backend.

    If your system only supports one of the two options, you will not be able to select which backend to use.

  4. Follow the instructions on the installation wizard to authorize the installer and proceed with the install.

  5. When the installation is successful, select Close to complete the installation process.

If your admin account is different to your user account, you must add the user to the docker-users group:

  1. Run Computer Management as an administrator.
  2. Navigate to Local Users and Groups > Groups > docker-users.
  3. Right-click to add the user to the group.
  4. Sign out and sign back in for the changes to take effect.

After downloading Docker Desktop Installer.exe, run the following command in a terminal to install Docker Desktop:

$ "Docker Desktop Installer.exe" install

If you’re using PowerShell you should run it as:

Start-Process 'Docker Desktop Installer.exe' -Wait install

If using the Windows Command Prompt:

start /w "" "Docker Desktop Installer.exe" install

By default, Docker Desktop is installed at C:\Program Files\Docker\Docker.

The install command accepts the following flags:

  • --quiet: Suppresses information output when running the installer

  • --accept-license: Accepts the Docker Subscription Service Agreement now, rather than requiring it to be accepted when the application is first run

  • --no-windows-containers: Disables the Windows containers integration

  • --allowed-org=<org name>: Requires the user to sign in and be part of the specified Docker Hub organization when running the application

  • --backend=<backend name>: Selects the default backend to use for Docker Desktop, hyper-v, windows or wsl-2 (default)

  • --installation-dir=<path>: Changes the default installation location (C:\Program Files\Docker\Docker)

  • --admin-settings: Automatically creates an admin-settings.json file which is used by admins to control certain Docker Desktop settings on client machines within their organization. For more information, see Settings Management.

    • It must be used together with the --allowed-org=<org name> flag.

    • For example:

      --allowed-org=<org name> --admin-settings='{"configurationFileVersion": 2, "enhancedContainerIsolation": {"value": true, "locked": false}}'
  • --proxy-http-mode=<mode>: Sets the HTTP Proxy mode, system (default) or manual

  • --override-proxy-http=<URL>: Sets the URL of the HTTP proxy that must be used for outgoing HTTP requests, requires --proxy-http-mode to be manual

  • --override-proxy-https=<URL>: Sets the URL of the HTTP proxy that must be used for outgoing HTTPS requests, requires --proxy-http-mode to be manual

  • --override-proxy-exclude=<hosts/domains>: Bypasses proxy settings for the hosts and domains. Uses a comma-separated list.

  • --hyper-v-default-data-root=<path>: Specifies the default location for the Hyper-V VM disk.

  • --windows-containers-default-data-root=<path>: Specifies the default location for the Windows containers.

  • --wsl-default-data-root=<path>: Specifies the default location for the WSL distribution disk.

  • --always-run-service: Lets users switch to Windows containers without needing admin rights.

Note

If you're using PowerShell, you need to use the ArgumentList parameter before any flags. For example:

Start-Process 'Docker Desktop Installer.exe' -Wait -ArgumentList 'install', '--accept-license'

If your admin account is different to your user account, you must add the user to the docker-users group:

$ net localgroup docker-users <user> /add

Start Docker Desktop

Docker Desktop does not start automatically after installation. To start Docker Desktop:

  1. Search for Docker, and select Docker Desktop in the search results.

    Search for Docker app
  2. The Docker menu ( whale menu ) displays the Docker Subscription Service Agreement.

    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.
  3. Select Accept to continue. Docker Desktop starts after you accept the terms.

    Note that Docker Desktop won't run if you do not agree to the terms. 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.

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