Docker Desktop Auto-Start upon Server Reboot

Hi All,

How can I get Docker Desktop to start running automatically after a Windows 10/11/Server 2019 server reboot?

I tried to create a batch file that opens the Docker Desktop EXE file. But, this fails to work. The task keeps running for a long time and the docker desktop application doesn’t start up.

This is the code that I have in the batch file

Start “” “C:\Program Files\Docker\Docker\Docker Desktop.exe”

Has anyone attempted this before?


Docker Desktop is not for servers but for development it is not even officially supported on Windows Server. You can still automate starting Docker Desktop by allowing it to start when you log in (Settings » General » “Start Docker Desktop when you log in”).

Since Docker Desktop is a desktop application, I don’t know how it can be started without anyone logging in.

You can check the Windows Services, look for Docker and find what those services start. Mybe you can manage to start the vitual machine without the Desktop, I wouldn’t be surprised if it were not possible.

If running Docker as a server app is important to you, you could create a virtual machine, install Docker CE in it and configure the VM to start with Windows. I am not sure how that can be achieved, except never shutting the virtual machines down when you stop the host os so the HyperV VMs can automatically be restored from saved state.

Note that I usually work with Linux so most of what I say I just heard about from soneone.

What kind of containers do you want to run? Windows containers or Linux containers?

What about windows containers? Can they be run from docker engine?

What exactly would you like to do? The topic was about automatically starting Docker Desktop on Windows. If you are using Windows containerw but with Docker Desktop, that doesn’t change anything.

You can read about Windows containers here

Since you mentioned Docker Engine, this is a direct link to the ways you can run Docker without the Desktop on a server

On a server, I’m pretty sure Docker would start automatically.

Sorry, to clarify I was wondering if there was a supported scenarios for running windows containers on a windows server and having the docker service startup on boot without requiring a login.

That is 100% something that a server should support so I would be really surprised if it didn’t.