Install Local Docker Desktop on macOS without Admin


Instructions to install Docker on macOS for which user does not have Admin privileges. These instructions are meant for iMacs in Biochem 201 but should work on any Mac.

Cargo boat and Docker logo.


  1. Download Docker Desktop from
  2. Create local Applications directory and copy Docker App within
  3. Launch and uncheck options requiring admin password during set-up

Optional: register with Docker


Detailed instructions “Install Docker Desktop on macOS without Admin” with many screen illustrations are available from the following links:



Docker Tutorials

Tutorials for using Docker can be found at:

Docker tutorials (on this site)

Introduction to Docker (beta lesson from Software Carpentry.)

Windows users

As far as I understand Windows users need Admin at least the first time Docker Desktop is installed, and the user can later be “authorized” to using it.

More advanced Windows users may prefer to run Docker within the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL2) which does require more command-line experience. The following installation tutorial may be useful:

Image credits: container ship left box by Pixabay artist dendoktoor.