Docker Remove Volumes

In this quick guide, we'll dive into the process of removing Docker Volumes, ensuring your host remains clutter-free.

Why Remove Docker Volumes? 

Clean Up: Old or unused volumes can take up significant disk space. 

Organization: Removing unnecessary volumes ensures clarity and eases management. 

Data Security: It's often a good practice to remove old data that's no longer in use to prevent unintentional exposure. 

Removing a Single Volume 

Use the docker volume ls command to locate the volume name or names you wish to delete. Then you can remove one or more volumes with the docker volume rm command: 
docker volume ls

The command to remove a Docker volume is straightforward:

docker volume rm VOLUME_NAME_OR_ID

For instance, to remove a volume named my_old_volume:

$ docker volume rm my_old_volume

Proceed with Caution

Before removing a volume, it's essential to ensure: 

No Active Use: Ensure no containers are using the volume. Docker will prevent the deletion if a volume is in use, safeguarding against inadvertent data loss. 

Backup: If there's any chance the data might be needed later, take a backup.

Removing Multiple Volumes

In some cases, you might want to remove multiple volumes simultaneously. Docker simplifies this:

docker volume rm VOLUME_NAME_1 VOLUME_NAME_2

For example:

$ docker volume rm old_volume_1 old_volume_2

Purging Unused Volumes

Docker provides a handy command to remove all unused volumes, helping you reclaim space and reduce clutter:

docker volume prune

You'll be asked for confirmation, as this action is irreversible. 

For example:

WARNING! This will remove all local volumes not used by at least one container.
Are you sure you want to continue? [y/N] y

Deleted Volumes:
old_volume_3, old_volume_4

Total reclaimed space: 1.24GB


In this guide, we have seen how to remove Docker volumes with examples. We have also seen how to remove unused volumes using the prune command.

Related Volume Management Guides