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Ivan Aulia Rahman
Ivan Aulia Rahman

Posted on • Updated on

When My Docker Desktop Stuck on Starting State

Since getting to know about Docker, I feel that there are many conveniences that I can feel while developing a project. Like I can bring a project and its dependencies to the production environment easily, installing multiple services (ex: database, message broker, etc) regardless of the OS I'm using.

A few days ago, when I was about to work on a project, I called the Docker Desktop service to start up. Incidentally I was in need of a Postgres service for a related project, but somehow after a long wait and I tried to login to Postgres but failed because the port was not recognized. After I checked the Docker Desktop, it was still in the starting state. Even after hours it is still in the starting state.

docker deskstop stuck at Docker Desktop starting

Because I felt I did not give any treatment to the settings of the Docker Desktop before, so I thought this might just be an occasional bug, so I tried to restarting my Windows. However, the result is still the same. I felt I just wasted a lot of time, then I finally decided to re-install the Docker Desktop.

But what happened? When I did the uninstall process it just couldn't work. The uninstall process is stuck at the stopping vm ... state, even after waiting for hours it's still the same. I tried to download the latest version of Docker Desktop, then I tried to update using it. I didn't expect that the result would be the same as the uninstall process, which was stuck at the stopping vm ... state.

Upgrade gets stuck in "Stopping VM and preparing for update" state

Finally I googled and found a discussion on Github. I followed the steps as it written in the comments below (thanks to ianmaddox).

fix docker desktop stuck on starting

  1. Search for hyperv, then select windows features hypervisor windows features
  2. Uncheck Containers, Hyper-V, and Windows Hypervisor Platform, then press OK
  3. Search for hyperv, then select Hyper-V Manager windows hyper-v manager
  4. Stop any Docker instances (if any)
  5. Restart your Windows.
  6. Check all features that has been unchecked on steps no. 2
  7. Try to start you Docker Desktop
  8. If it is still stuck on starting state, repeat steps no. 1-6, then re-install Docker Desktop

After further investigation, it turns out that this problem can be caused by several things, including installing another service that uses a hypervisor (besides Docker), updating the Docker Desktop when the WSL feature is on, etc. But for the problem I'm experiencing, it's still not clear why it happened like that, because I feel like I haven't made any changes to the Docker Desktop or hypervisor.

That's what I can share regarding my experience dealing with Docker Desktop stuck on starting state. Thank you for reading this article to the end. Help others who have the same problem by share this article.

Top comments (5)

matija2209 profile image

Did not work for me

ivanauliaa profile image
Ivan Aulia Rahman

Try this

  1. Kill docker service or docker desktop service
  2. Restart docker desktop
andrewbaisden profile image
Andrew Baisden

Interesting thanks for sharing the solution.

snimesh17 profile image

I don't have "Containers" "Hyper-V" in windows features (from step1-2)
any clue?
(OS: Windows 11)

ivanauliaa profile image
Ivan Aulia Rahman

You can visit this thread, there are so many options which you can try it.