How to Export And Import Windows Containers With Docker

In this blog post, I’ll show you how to Import and Export a Windows Container Image from one Container Host to another using the docker command line.

Moving Container Images from one Container host to another Is one of the most important tasks you will need to know In order to manage Windows Containers.

Docker has made the process straightforward and robust which allow our Containers to be super portable (the purpose of Containers).

The Docker commands for this job are Docker SAVE and LOAD, the saved Image will be saved as a .TAR file.


Docker provides an additional layer of abstraction and automation of operating-system-level virtualization on Windows and Linux.

Get Started

In my case, I have created an IIS Container Image with a static website I need to move to another host, the Container Image Is called ServerCoreIIS and I’ll use the command below to save to c:\Install folder on my Windows Container Host.

docker save servercoreiis -o C:\Install\IISServrCore.tar

Done, In my case it took around 5- 10 minutes to export the container

To Import the Container to a new host, I will copy it to the host and use the cmdlet below.

docker load -i C:\install\IISServrCore.tar

If I use docker images I’ll see my the Imported container

Windows Containers

First released on Windows Server 2016 TP5 with full Docker Engine Integrated.

The Installation process Is done from PowerShell using the Docker and Windows Containers Module and takes a few minutes.

Windows Containers is ideal for Front End Services with data that doesn’t change (Web Servers, etc).