Mac OS

How to stop Docker from automatically starting on Mac

disable Docker auto start

Docker is an open-source containerization platform (software) that allows you to build, test, and deploy applications quickly. Therefore, it enables developers to package applications into containers with standardized executable components combining application source code with the operating system (OS) libraries and dependencies required to run that code in any environment. Kindly refer to the following related guides: See the following guides on how to start an application automatically on macOS, how to stop TeamViewer from starting automatically on MacHow to stop an application from starting up automatically on macOS, and how to stop Cisco Webex Meetings from starting up automatically.

Using Docker, you can quickly deploy and scale applications into any environment and know your code will run. Here are some more guides you may want to see: How to enable or disable startup programs: How to view or change programs that run on startup, how to enable or disable automatic login on macOS, and how to enable and disable automatic login on Ubuntu Linux via the GUI and CLI.

Mac Docker startup control

You must have noticed that when you start your PC, Docker starts automatically and when you try to stop this application using the traditional method, it does not work as there isn’t Docker to remove. You may want to see it also for yourself.

  • Open System Preferences.
  • Click Users & Groups.
  • Click Login Items.

There isn’t Docker in the list of login items, Docker isn’t listed. Therefore you cannot add or remove the service from automatically starting.

What else should we do?

To fix this issue, you will have to launch the Docker Application by clicking on the LaunchPad on Docker to launch it.

prevent Docker automatic launch

This will open the Docker Dashboard as shown below. Click on the gear icon as shown below.

manage Docker startup on Mac

In your Mac settings, you can stop Docker from automatically starting by adjusting preferences.

On the General Menu (in the dialog that appears), untick “Automatically start Docker when you log in”

disable Docker auto start

In order to apply our changes, you will have to click on Apply $ Restart as shown below. As you can see above, it was grayed out.


After making this adjustment, your device’s restart will no longer trigger the automatic launch of Docker Desktop. This way, you can effectively stop Docker from automatically starting on Mac, granting you more control over your sessions.

If you wish to learn more about other settings on the General tab, the information below will be useful to you.

  • Start Docker Desktop when you log in: Automatically starts Docker Desktop when you open your session.
  • Include VM in Time Machine backups: Select this option to back up the Docker Desktop virtual machine. This option is disabled by default.
  • Use gRPC FUSE for file sharing: Clear this check box to use the legacy osxfs file sharing instead.
  • Send usage statistics: Docker Desktop sends diagnostics, crash reports, and usage data. This information helps Docker improve and troubleshoot the application. Clear the check box to opt-out.
  • Show weekly tips: Displays useful advice and suggestions about using Docker.
  • Open Docker Desktop dashboard at startup: Automatically opens the dashboard when starting Docker Desktop.
  • Use Docker Compose V2: Select this option to enable the docker-compose command to use Docker Compose V2.

I hope you found this blog post about how to stop Docker from automatically starting on Mac helpful. If you have any questions, please let me know in the comment session.

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