Install Docker for Windows

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

The Docker for Windows install package includes everything you need to run Docker on a Windows system. This topic describes pre-install considerations, and how to download and install Docker for Windows.

Already have Docker for Windows? If you already have Docker for Windows installed, and are ready to get started, skip to Get started with Docker for Windows for a quick tour of the command line, settings, and tools.

Looking for Release Notes? Get release notes for all versions here.

Download Docker for Windows

If you have not already done so, please install Docker for Windows. You can download installers from the Stable or Edge channel. For more about Stable and Edge channels, see the FAQs.

Stable channel Edge channel
This installer is fully baked and tested, and comes with the latest GA version of Docker Engine along with experimental features in Docker Engine, which are enabled by default and configurable on Docker Daemon settings for experimental mode.

This is the best channel to use if you want a reliable platform to work with. (Be sure to disable experimental features for apps in production.)

These releases follow a version schedule with a longer lead time than the Edge releases, synched with Docker Engine releases and hotfixes.

On the Stable channel, you can select whether to send usage statistics and other data.
This installer provides the latest Edge release of Docker for Windows, offers cutting edge features along with experimental features in Docker Engine, which are enabled by default and configurable on Docker Daemon settings for experimental mode.

This is the best channel to use if you want to experiment with features under development, and can weather some instability and bugs. This channel is a continuation of the Edge program, where you can provide feedback as the apps evolve. Releases are typically more frequent than for Stable, often one or more per month.

We collect all usage data on Edge releases across the board.
Get Docker for Windows (Stable) Get Docker for Windows (Edge)

Important Notes:

  • Docker for Windows requires 64bit Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise and Education (1511 November update, Build 10586 or later) and Microsoft Hyper-V. Please see What to know before you install for a full list of prerequisites.

  • You can switch between Edge and Stable versions, but you must have only one app installed at a time. Also, you will 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

  • README FIRST for Docker Toolbox and Docker Machine users: Docker for Windows requires Microsoft Hyper-V to run. After Hyper-V is enabled, VirtualBox will no longer work, but any VirtualBox VM images will remain. VirtualBox VMs created with docker-machine (including the default one typically created during Toolbox install) will 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.

  • The current version of Docker for Windows runs on 64bit Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise and Education (1511 November update, Build 10586 or later). In the future we will support more versions of Windows 10.

  • 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 will use the same VM to build and run containers. In the future, Docker for Windows will better isolate user content.

  • The Hyper-V package must be enabled for Docker for Windows to work. The Docker for Windows installer will enable it for you, if needed. (This requires a reboot). If your system does not satisfy these requirements, you can install Docker Toolbox, which uses Oracle Virtual Box instead of Hyper-V.

  • Virtualization must be enabled. Typically, virtualization is enabled by default. (Note that this is different from having Hyper-V enabled.) For more detail see Virtualization must be enabled in Troubleshooting.

About Windows containers and Windows Server 2016

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

  1. Double-click InstallDocker.msi to run the installer.

    If you haven’t already downloaded the installer (InstallDocker.msi), you can get it here. 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 will be 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.

    Install complete>

Start Docker for Windows

When the installation finishes, Docker starts automatically.

The whale in the status bar indicates that Docker is running, and accessible from a terminal.

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

  • Getting started provides an overview of Docker for Windows, basic Docker command examples, how to get help or give feedback, and links to all topics in the Docker for Windows guide.

  • Troubleshooting describes common problems, workarounds, how to run and submit diagnostics, and submit issues.

  • FAQs provides answers to frequently asked questions.

  • Release Notes lists component updates, new features, and improvements associated with Stable and Edge releases.

  • Learn Docker provides general Docker tutorials.

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