How to uninstall Docker on your Mac

What is Docker?

Docker is an app for building, bugging and testing containerized apps. You can run Docker on a Mac, Windows, or Linux machines. It allows developers to do everything necessary from start to finish to create and ship containerized apps.

If you’ve downloaded it to try it out and have decided not to use it, you may need to uninstall it. Here, we’ll show you how to do it.

Check running processes first

There are several steps needed to uninstall Docker on your Mac. The first is to get rid of the application itself, but before that, check there are no currently running processes.

  1. Go to Applications > Utilities and launch Activity Monitor.
  2. Look for any processes in the list that have “Docker” in their name.
  3. If you find any, select them and press the “Quit Process” button in the Activity Monitor toolbar.
  4. Quit Activity Monitor.

How to uninstall Docker manually

  1. In Finder, go to your Applications folder.
  2. Locate the Docker app.
  3. Drag it to the Trash and empty it.

That removes Docker, or at least the main application. It doesn’t get rid of all the files that were installed along with it. So, you’ll need to track those down and remove them.

  1. In Finder, choose the Go menu and select “Go to Folder.”
  2. In the text box, paste: ~/Library
  3. Click on the Application Scripts folder and look for “com.docker.helper”
  4. Drag it to the Trash.
  5. Now, click on the Caches folder and look for the com.docker.docker folder.
  6. When you find it, drag it to the Trash.
  7. Next, find the Containers folder, select it and look for “com.docker.docker” and “com.docker.helper” and drag those to the Trash.
  8. Check the Application Support folder for any files or folders with Docker in their name. If you find any, drag those to the Trash too.

How to uninstall Docker with CleanMyMac X

Once you’ve removed all those files and trashed the Docker application, it should be completely uninstalled. If all of that seems like a lot of work, there is an easier way. By using a dedicated uninstaller, like the one in CleanMyMac X, you can uninstall multiple apps in a few clicks. 

There is something else to bear in mind. If you think you might use Docker again, but have decided to uninstall it because it seems to be causing problems on your Mac, you could try resetting it. That way you won’t have to download Docker for Mac all over again. Resetting an app means removing all of its settings and preferences files so that when you next launch it, it starts up as if it was a brand new copy of the application. You might find that it solves the problem.

The easiest way to reset an app is to use CleanMyMac X. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Download, install and launch CleanMyMac X (free trial available).
  2. In the left hand sidebar, in the Applications section, choose Uninstaller.
  3. When all the applications are listed, locate Docker and check the circle next to it.
  4. Click on the dropdown menu labelled Uninstall and choose Reset. 
  5. Press the Reset button at the bottom of the window.
  6. Wait for it to finish and quit CleanMyMac X.

Docker will now have reset and the next time you launch it all its settings and preferences will have returned to their default. So, you’ll need to set it up again from scratch, but any problems it was causing your Mac should be gone. 

Uninstalling Docker manually isn’t particularly difficult. But as you can see from the steps above, it’s time consuming and quite fiddly. You need to look in several different folders that are hidden away on your Mac. By far the easiest way to uninstall any app, is to use a dedicated uninstaller like the one in CleanMyMac X. However, before you uninstall it, you should consider resetting Docker, as that may well solve any problems you’ve been having. You can do that using CleanMyMac X too.

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