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How To Kill Docker Container

When working with Docker, “killing” a container is a way to stop or delete the container and all of its related processes. Developers working on Docker need to build and manage numerous containers during their time on the project. They could at times want to end the operation of the Docker containers. In this case, Docker offers two methods for stopping containers, including stopping a container forcefully and killing a container graciously. In this blog, we’ll tell you how to kill docker containers.

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Now let us discuss the steps to kill Docker containers and important codes that help in the process.

How to Kill Docker Container?

Follow the instructions that are provided in order to kill Docker container:

Step 1: Display each of the Containers

To begin, use the command “docker ps -a” to display all of the Docker containers, and then choose a specific container to kill:

- docker ps -a
Display each of the Containers

The result displays three Docker containers, and the container labeled “cont1” is the one that we chose.

Step 2: Kill Docker Container

Now, to forcefully stop or kill docker container, use the “docker kill” command together with the container’s name or ID that you have picked.

- docker kill cont1
Kill Docker Container

“cont1” has been killed, as evidenced by the aforementioned command.

The container can also be gently killed by using the command “docker stop container-name/ID>” as an alternative:

- docker stop cont1
Kill Docker Container

The command mentioned above was successfully carried out demonstrating that “cont1” has been stopped.

Step 3: Confirm that the Killed Docker Container Was Successful

Display all containers using the command that is supplied to verify whether or not the container that has been picked has been killed.

- docker ps -a
Confirm that the Killed Docker Container Was Successful

The result shows that the current state of the “cont1” container is “Exited,” which implies that it was effectively destroyed.

How to kill all docker containers?

1. Stop All Running Containers

To halt all running containers, use the following command:

- docker stop $(docker ps -aq)
Stop All Running Containers-1

The docker ps -aq command lists all container IDs, and docker stop halts them.

2. Remove All Stopped Containers

Once the containers are stopped, you can remove them with:

- docker rm $(docker ps -aq)
Stop All Running Containers

Again, docker ps -aq lists all container IDs, and docker rm removes them.

3. Forcefully Remove Containers (Optional)

If you want to be more assertive and remove containers forcefully, you can use:

- docker rm -f $(docker ps -aq)
Stop All Running Containers

The -f flag stands for force, and it kill docker containers even if they are running.

Cautionary Notes

  1. Data Loss: Deleting or killing docker containers will result in data loss. Ensure you have backups or have committed important changes before proceeding.
  2. Running Containers: If some containers refuse to stop, the forceful removal option can be used. However, be cautious, as it may lead to unexpected results.


To kill Docker container, you have to observe all of them and then choose the one you want to kill. After that, use the command “docker kill container-name/ID>” to abruptly kill the operation of the container that was selected. The container can also be gently killed by using the command “docker stop container-name/ID>.” This is an alternative method. With this research, we provide you with the proper way to kill Docker container step by step.

Stopping and removing all Docker containers is a powerful maneuver that should be executed with care. Whether you’re cleaning up or starting fresh, these commands will help you manage your Docker environment effectively. Always consider the implications before unleashing these commands.