Docker starting very slowly on Windows 10

I’m on the latest Docker for Windows 4.17.0 on Windows 10 Pro OS Build 19045.2728. Since I updated Docker and Windows, Docker takes forever to start, apx. 5-10 minutes. Sometimes it takes so long it times out. Usually it starts eventually. This has been happening since Friday.

Michael DeBellis

Update: this morning it completely failed to open after about 10-15 minutes. I got a pop up error window with an Exclamation Mark that said:
Docker is unable to communicate with the Windows Subsystem for Linux
Restart WSL and try running Docker Desktop again. In cases where WSL becomes unresponsive, usually a reboot is required.

Usually, when this happens I just reboot. Also, I noticed a message saying that there was an upgrade available. I just upgraded last week so that may be a message that just indicates Docker wasn’t connected yet but I’ll see if perhaps I can upgrade. Sometimes when this happens i just uninstall and reinstall Docker and that usually works. It’s kind of a pain because I have to re-initialize the container I use but not that big a deal, I may try that. Appreciate any other suggestions. I have no idea how WSL for Windows works or how I would restart it.

2nd Update: I restarted Windows and then when I opened Docker it started just fine.

Hey Everyone, There could be several reasons why Docker is starting very slowly on Windows 10. Here are some steps you can try to troubleshoot the issue:

  1. Check if Docker is already running: Sometimes, Docker may already be running in the background, and attempting to start it again will take a long time. To check if Docker is running, open the Task Manager and look for the “Docker Desktop” process.
  2. Increase Docker’s memory allocation: Docker may be slow to start if it doesn’t have enough memory allocated to it. To increase Docker’s memory allocation, open the Docker Desktop app, go to Settings > Resources > Advanced, and adjust the memory limit.
  3. Disable antivirus software: Some antivirus software can interfere with Docker’s startup process. Try disabling your antivirus temporarily and see if Docker starts up more quickly.
  4. Check for network issues: Docker may be slow to start if it’s having trouble connecting to the internet. Make sure your internet connection is stable, and try disabling any VPN software you have running.
  5. Check Docker logs: Docker logs may provide more information about why it’s starting slowly. To view the logs, open the Docker Desktop app, go to Settings > Diagnose & Feedback > View logs.


I had the same issue last year, it just solved itself when i changed my desktop pc, anyways you can manually open docker, what you have to do is first disable docker auto start either from task manager or from its settings, then when you start your pc open wsl manually by terminal then just open docker it will open in less shorter time. If you can’t disable auto open of docker then just force it to crash somehow, you may do this for example by force killing wsl with wsl - -shutdown.

Facing the same issue. Had to uninstall on several occasions and download again. Keeps giving the same out put. Worked well at a certain point but now , it’s a complete failure. I’ll try the suggested solutions as well.

I went with my standard solution: when in doubt, delete and reinstall. That worked for me.

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I recommend checking if there are any conflicting applications or services that might be affecting Docker’s startup time. Antivirus or firewall software, virtualization software, or any other applications that interact with Docker could potentially cause delays. Temporarily disabling them or adding Docker to the exclusion list can help identify if they are the root cause.