#Windows10 – How to solve “#docker daemon is not running”. Extreme solutions like restart windows won’t work! 🙀🙀🙀

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Hi !

Time to share a weird experience on Windows 10 and Docker. Sometimes, usually after some Windows 10 update or even after a software installation, docker stop responding.

An typical error may look like this.

error during connect: This error may indicate that the docker daemon is not running.: Post http://%2F%2F.%2Fpipe%2Fdocker_engine/v1.24/build?buildargs=%7B%7D&cachefrom=%5B%5D&cgroupparent=&cpuperiod=0&cpuquota=0&cpusetcpus=&cpusetmems=&cpushares=0&dockerfile=Dockerfile.amd64&labels=%7B%7D&memory=0&memswap=0&networkmode=default&rm=1&shmsize=0&t=noToday.azurecr.io%2FU%3A0.0.88-amd64&target=&ulimits=null&version=1: open //./pipe/docker_engine: The system cannot find the file specified.

From Visual Studio Code we get:

And it’s very weird. When I check the Docker desktop app, it’s stuck in the the STARTING state.

docker windows 10 for ever in starting mode

I can restart the docker desktop app, and I will still have the issue. As I said, weird.

I’m a handy man, so I decided to restart the docker service. Just 2 commands:

Net stop com.docker.service
Net start com.docker.service

However, this does not solve the problem. And sometimes, even restarting Windows won’t fix the problem.

After some time, I found the root cause:

Somehow WSL was set to version 1 instead of version 2.

I’m not sure why, however the solution is super easy. Just run a command to set WSL to version 2 and then restart docker service.

wsl --set-default-version 2
Net stop com.docker.service
Net start com.docker.service

If you are a visual person, this may look like this:

docker windows 10 set WSL2 as current version

Important: you need to run these commands with Administrator privileges. So in a Windows Terminal world, this may also look like this. Right click on the Windows Terminal App, and click on “Run as administrator”.

Happy coding!


El Bruno

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