Stop Docker from automatically starting on startup on MAC

Disabling Docker auto-start

Docker is a platform as a service (PaaS) product that uses OS-level virtualization to deliver software in packages called containers. The service has both free and premium tiers. The software that hosts the containers is called Docker Engine. Docker takes away repetitive, mundane configuration tasks and is used throughout the development lifecycle for fast, easy, and portable application development. Kindly refer to these related guides: Stopping Zoom App from launching automatically at startup on Mac, How to enable or disable automatic login on macOS: Fixing username greyed out for automatic login, and how to start an application automatically on macOS. Startup apps and programs are some convenient ways to save time and effort of having to start a program manually upon computer startup. However, you might have experienced that when many programs try to start at once, your computer may be extremely very slow! The image below shows Docker automatically starts upon startup.

macOS Docker startup control

You must have noticed that the traditional way of removing apps from the startup in Mac does not work here. You may also want to see for yourself by launching the System Preferences.

  • Click Users & Groups.
  • Click Login Items.

What is the fix?

Tailor Docker’s behavior effortlessly. Tweak installation, updates, and more in Preferences. Stop Docker from automatically starting to have full control. Furthermore, To do this, Launch the Docker app by clicking on the launchpad and searching for Docker.

Prevent Docker from starting automatically

Click the gear icon to access the Docker Dashboard. Control and stop Docker from automatically starting with ease.

Managing Docker startup behavior

This will open the Preferences window as you can see below. Within the Docker Preferences menu, you can conveniently fine-tune various Docker settings, including installation, updates, version channels, and even your Docker Hub login. Plus, you’ll gain the power to stop Docker from automatically starting, giving you greater control over its behavior.

Disabling Docker auto-start

On the General Menu, untick “Automatically start Docker when you log in” and click on Apply & Restart as shown below.


When next you open your session, Docker will not automatically start Docker Desktop when you open your session.

I trust this blog post has been informative in guiding you on how to effectively stop Docker from automatically starting. Should you have any inquiries, feel free to share them in the comments section.

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