How to Completely Uninstall Docker Desktop on Mac: Quick Guide

Kelly Wu
Last updated: May 16, 2023

Summary: We will walk you through how to completely uninstall Docker on Mac in 3 ways.

Docker is an open-source platform where you can deliver software in packages. If you need to reinstall it for issues like unresponsiveness and crashes, or if you want to remove it because it takes up too much space, follow this guide to learn how to completely uninstall it from your Mac.

3 Ways to Completely Uninstall Docker Desktop on Mac

What Is Docker?

Docker is an open-source platform for developing, shipping, and running applications. Compared with virtual machines, Docker wins in terms of rapid development, efficient virtualization, small footprint, and low cost.

However, it also has limitations such as a steep learning curve, limited features, lack of security, etc.

Whatever reason you want to uninstall it from your Mac, read on this blog, and we will show you how to completely remove it from your Mac in 3 ways.

How to Quickly Uninstall Docker on Mac Using BuhoCleaner

If you're looking for a quick and safe way to uninstall Docker from your Mac, use BuhoCleaner, the best app uninstaller for Mac. Not only can you use it to uninstall Docker without leaving any traces, but also you can use it to delete the residual files of uninstalled apps with one click.

DownloadFor macOS 10.10 and above
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Here's how to use BuhoCleaner to uninstaller Docker:

  1. Download, install and launch BuhoCleaner.
  2. Click App Uninstaller in the BuhoCleaner sidebar and click the Scan button.
    Quickly Uninstall Docker on Mac
  3. When the scanning process is done, you can see all the apps installed on your Mac. Locate Docker, tick the box next to it, and click the Remove button. (If Docker is in use, you may be asked to quit it first.)
    Uninstall Docker on Mac with BuhoCleaner

How to Manually Uninstall Docker on Mac Using Finder

Docker comes with a built-in uninstaller. However, this tool can only remove some of the Docker files. To completely uninstall Docker from Mac, you can use Finder.

Here's what you need to do:

1. Quit Docker

If Docker is still running in the background, you may not be able to delete it. It is recommended that you use Activity Monitor to quit all its processes first.

  1. Open Activity Monitor via Launchpad or Spotlight.
  2. Highlight all Docker processes, click the Stop button in the toolbar, and click Quit or Force Quit.
    Quit Docker Processes

2. Uninstall Docker App

  1. Open Finder > Applications.
  2. Find the Docker icon and drag it to the Trash.
    Manually Uninstall Docker on Mac with Finder

3. Remove Docker's Related Files

  1. Click the File menu in Finder and choose Go to Folder.
  2. Go over the files in the following paths and move them to the Trash.
  • ~/Library/Caches/com.docker.docker

  • ~/Library/Cookies/com.docker.docker.binarycookies

  • ~/Library/Group Containers/group.com.docker

  • ~/Library/Logs/Docker Desktop

  • ~/Library/Preferences/com.docker.docker.plist

  • ~/Library/Preferences/com.electron.docker-frontend.plist

  • ~/Library/Saved Application State/com.electron.docker-frontend.savedState

  • ~/.docker

  • /Library/LaunchDaemons/com.docker.vmnetd.plist

  • /Library/PrivilegedHelperTools/com.docker.vmnetd

  • /usr/local/lib/docker

    Remove Docker Related Files from Mac

4. Empty your Trash.

How to Uninstall Docker on Mac Using Terminal

Another way to uninstall Docker is to use the Terminal. Note that this method is risky. If you aren't familiar with commands, we recommend using one of the two methods mentioned above.

  1. Launch Terminal.
  2. Run the commands one after the other in the Terminal.
sudo rm -rf ~/.docker
sudo rm -rf ~/Library/Containers/com.docker.docker
sudo rm -rf ~/Library/Group\ Containers/group.com.docker
sudo rm -rf ~/Library/Caches/com.docker.docker
sudo rm -rf /Library/PrivilegedHelperTools/com.docker.vmnetd
sudo rm -rf /Library/LaunchDaemons/com.docker.vmnetd.plist
sudo rm -rf /usr/local/lib/docker
sudo rm -rf ~/Library/Application\ Support/Docker\ Desktop
sudo rm -rf ~/Library/Preferences/com.docker.docker.plist
sudo rm -rf ~/Library/Saved\ Application\ State/com.electron.docker-frontend.savedState
sudo rm -rf ~/Library/Group\ Containers/group.com.docker
sudo rm -rf ~/Library/Logs/Docker\ Desktop
sudo rm -rf ~/Library/Preferences/com.electron.docker-frontend.plist
sudo rm -rf ~/Library/Cookies/com.docker.docker.binarycookies
Note
The rm-rf command is dangerous. Please use with caution. It is recommended that you copy and paste the command into Terminal to avoid deleting files by mistake.

Conclusion

Now you have 3 ways to completely uninstall Docker on Mac. Which one do you like to try first?

By the way, BuhoCleaner is more than an app remover, it is also a cleaning tool that can clean and speed up your Mac in seconds. Don't forget to give it a try.

Living in Chengdu, Kelly is an Apple technician focused on Mac, iPhone, and iOS repairs. Meanwhile, he's also a columnist at Dr.Buho, with a simple mission to help fix Apple things that are with software or hardware glitches.