Install Docker for Windows

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

Docker for Windows is a desktop application based on Docker Community Edition (CE). The Docker for Windows install package includes everything you need to run Docker on a Windows system.

For Windows Server on Docker Enterprise Edition, see Install Docker Enterprise Edition for Windows Server.

Download Docker for Windows

You can download Docker for Windows installers from the Stable or Edge channel.

Both Stable and Edge installers come with experimental features in Docker Engine enabled by default. Experimental mode can be toggled on/off on the Daemon tab of the Settings dialog.

For more about Stable and Edge channels, see the FAQs.

Stable channel Edge channel
Stable is the best channel to use if you want a reliable platform to work with. Stable releases track the Docker platform stable releases.

On this channel, you can select whether to send usage statistics and other data.

Stable releases happen once per quarter.
Use the Edge channel if you want to get experimental features faster, and can weather some instability and bugs. We collect usage data on Edge releases.

Edge builds are released once per month.
Get Docker for Windows (Stable) Get Docker for Windows (Edge)
Checksum: Stable installer SHA256 Checksum: Edge installer SHA256
  • Legacy (.msi) installers are available for Edge and Stable channels.

  • Docker for Windows is designed to configure Docker development environments on Windows 10. You can develop both Docker Linux containers and Docker Windows containers. To run Docker Windows containers in production, see Install Docker Enterprise Edition for Windows Server. To run Docker Linux containers in production, see Install Docker.

  • Docker for Windows requires 64-bit Windows 10 Pro with Hyper-V available. See What to know before you install for a full list of prerequisites.

  • You can switch between Edge and Stable versions, but you can only have one app installed at a time. Also, you need to save images and export containers you want to keep before uninstalling the current version before installing another. For more about this, see the FAQs about Stable and Edge channels.

What to know before you install

If your system does not meet the requirements to run Docker for Windows, you can install Docker Toolbox, which uses Oracle Virtual Box instead of Hyper-V.

  • README FIRST for Docker Toolbox and Docker Machine users: Docker for Windows requires Microsoft Hyper-V to run. The Docker for Windows installer enables Hyper-V for you, if needed, and restart your machine. After Hyper-V is enabled, VirtualBox no longer works, but any VirtualBox VM images remain. VirtualBox VMs created with docker-machine (including the default one typically created during Toolbox install) no longer start. These VMs cannot be used side-by-side with Docker for Windows. However, you can still use docker-machine to manage remote VMs.

  • Virtualization must be enabled in BIOS and CPU SLAT-capable. Typically, virtualization is enabled by default. This is different from having Hyper-V enabled. For more detail see Virtualization must be enabled in Troubleshooting.

  • The current version of Docker for Windows runs on 64bit Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise and Education (1607 Anniversary Update, Build 14393 or later).

  • Containers and images created with Docker for Windows 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.

About Windows containers

Looking for information on using Windows containers?

  • Getting Started with Windows Containers (Lab) provides a tutorial on how to set up and run Windows containers on Windows 10 or with Windows Server 2016. It shows you how to use a MusicStore application with Windows containers.

Install Docker for Windows desktop app

  1. Double-click Docker for Windows Installer.exe to run the installer.

    If you haven’t already downloaded the installer (Docker for Windows Installer.exe), you can get it from download.docker.com. It typically downloads to your Downloads folder, or you can run it from the recent downloads bar at the bottom of your web browser.

  2. Follow the install wizard to accept the license, authorize the installer, and proceed with the install.

    You are asked to authorize Docker.app with your system password during the install process. Privileged access is needed to install networking components, links to the Docker apps, and manage the Hyper-V VMs.

  3. Click Finish on the setup complete dialog to launch Docker.

Start Docker for Windows

Docker does not start automatically after installation. To start it, search for Docker, select Docker for Windows in the search results, and click it (or hit Enter).

search for Docker app

When the whale in the status bar stays steady, Docker is up-and-running, and accessible from any terminal window.

whale on taskbar

If the whale is hidden in the Notifications area, click the up arrow on the taskbar to show it. To learn more, see Docker Settings.

If you just installed the app, you also get a popup success message with suggested next steps, and a link to this documentation.

Startup information

When initialization is complete, select About Docker from the notification area icon to verify that you have the latest version.

Congratulations! You are up and running with Docker for Windows.

Where to go next

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