I have Docker installed on my Mac OS Catalina and recently found very big file Docker.raw. It is 64 Gb. Is it really needed? And if so, why is it so big ?

  • It's not a macOS file, doesn't have anything to do with macOS. Ask whoever packaged the Docker you're using. May 19, 2020 at 13:14
  • This is mostly caused by unsupervised training sessions. After ending up containerization trainings, people (for example: me) forget to clean up the newly created volumes and containers. I don't know if your situation is related to what I've experienced, but doing the mistake that I mentioned above, I ended up finding your question here and others might do the same. So, another option apart from the accepted answer would be checking the unused containers,images and volumes. Because directly reducing the disk image use wipes out all images, containers and volumes as docker warns. May 21 at 23:06

3 Answers 3


Docker for Mac stores Linux containers and images in a single, large file named Docker.raw. To reduce its size, after having pruned the unused docker objects ( https://docs.docker.com/config/pruning/ ), open the Docker Desktop preferences, and then under 'Resources' -> 'Advanced' -> 'Disk image size':

Screenshot Resources -> Advanced -> Disk image size

You can reduced file to less than 64GB. it's telling you how much is currently used the current data. Also Resizing to a smaller size will delete the disk image; all Docker images / containers will be lost. Other settings will be preserved.

  • 4
    This is the real answer May 27, 2021 at 22:31

The answer to your question is in the Docker documentation:

Disk utilization in Docker for Mac

Docker Desktop stores Linux containers and images in a single, large “disk image” file in the Mac filesystem. This is different from Docker on Linux, which usually stores containers and images in the /var/lib/docker directory.

The size of this file is big in your system because you have a lot of images and containers. You can reduce its site by pruning unused objects.


The easiest way to reduce Docker.raw file size is by setting the preferences, as Docker official page states:

Select the Docker icon and then select Preferences > Resources > Advanced.



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