After shakedown off Cuba, Gearing reached Norfolk 22 July 1945 and trained precommissioning crews for other destroyers until putting in at Casco Bay, Maine, 5 October. Celebration of Navy Day from 26 to 29 October at New London, Connecticut, gave 5,000 citizens the chance to board the powerful destroyer. Subsequently Gearing put in at Pensacola, Florida, 4 November to screen carrier Ranger during carrier qualification operations.
Returning to Norfolk 21 March 1946, she conducted peacetime operations along the Atlantic coast of North and South America, in the Caribbean, visiting Montevideo, Uruguay and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Gearing sailed 10 November 1947 on her first Mediterranean cruise, calling at Algeria, Malta, Italy, and France before mooring again at Norfolk 11 March 1948.
Peacetime operations along the eastern seaboard and in the Caribbean prepared her for a second cruise to European waters; the destroyer visited most of the nations washed by the Mediterranean from 10 November 1947 to 11 March 1948, and duplicated this long voyage from 4 January to 23 May 1949.
During the fall of 1949 Gearing took part in Operation Frostbite, an Arctic cruise test and development of cold weather techniques and equipment. She continued operations off the east coast of the United States and in the Caribbean through 1950. Another voyage 10 January to 17 May 1951 brought her from Norfolk to the Mediterranean and return; the remainder of the year was occupied by training cruises as far north as Halifax and south to Cuban waters.
By now Gearing had established the pattern of peacetime operations she followed well into the 1960s: “Med” cruises usually once a year, and exercise in the Atlantic and Caribbean. These kept her in fighting trim for the ceaseless duties of sea power. She was modernized and overhauled late 1961 through early 1962 at Boston.
In October 1962 Gearing took part in the American “quarantine” patrol against Cuba as the world trembled on the brink of war. This swift and classic use of power at sea solved the crisis. On 1 November Gearing returned to Norfolk. Through the remainder of 1962 she continued operations in the Atlantic.
After participating in Operation “Springboard-63” early in 1963, Gearing sailed for the Mediterranean in March, serving with the Sixth Fleet during the summer. She returned to Newport in September for a “FRAM I” overhaul. Following operations in the Caribbean and North Atlantic in the spring and summer of 1964, Gearing entered the Mediterranean 4 October to rejoin the Sixth Fleet. After returning home early in 1965, she continued operating in the Atlantic Fleet into 1967.
Decommissioned in 1970, Gearing was stricken from the Navy List 1 July 1973 and sold for scrap 6 November 1974.