Install Docker for Windows

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Docker for Windows is the Community Edition (CE) of Docker for Microsoft Windows. To download Docker for Windows, head to Docker Store.

Download from Docker Store

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.
  • Nested virtualization scenarios, such as running Docker for Windows on a VMWare or Parallels instance, might work, but come with no guarantees. For more information, see Running Docker for Windows in nested virtualization scenarios
  • What the Docker for Windows install includes: The installation provides Docker Engine, Docker CLI client, Docker Compose, Docker Machine, and Kitematic.

About Windows containers

Looking for information on using 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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