Either another instance of LibreOffice is accessing your personal settings or your personal settings are locked.

With error messages like that, you can forget getting my mom to use LibreOffice :). That said, I’m not my mom and LibreOffice is the best free alternative to MS Office IMHO so I should not really complain!

This all started when I tried to open a 200+ MB CSV file on my Mac. I usually right click and select Sublime Text but I was busy and ended up double clicking it triggering LibreOffice Calc to start opening it up. LibreOffice froze my machine. I killed LibreOffice, proceeded to open the file in Sublime Text, did my due and forgot about it. Today when I’m started LibreOffice, I got the following error message:

Either another instance of LibreOffice is accessing your personal settings or your personal settings are locked. Simultaneous access can lead to inconsistencies in your personal settings. Before continuing, you should make sure user ‘karthicr’ closes LibreOffice on host ‘LA14001.local’.

Do you really want to continue?

I sure as hell know LibreOffice is not running but you can verify the same via the Activity Monitor or via the Terminal using the following command:

ps -A | grep soff

If LibreOffice is running, you should see something along the lines of :

695 ??         0:03.16 /Applications/LibreOffice.app/Contents/MacOS/soffice
710 ttys000    0:00.00 grep soff

If LibreOffice is not running, you should not see the first line, only, the second line. The second line with grep represents the process you were running to search for a running instance of LibreOffice.

If LibreOffice is in fact running, kill that process right from within the Activity Monitor or do it from the Terminal via the following command:

kill -9 695

where 695 is the process id of the instance you get from the earlier command.

If LibreOffice was not running, as in my case, it usually means that a dirty shutdown left behind a .lock file which is usually created by LibreOffice and removed on a clean shutdown. In this case, all we need to do is locate that .lock file and remove it.

Common places where you will find the .lock file include:

On a Mac:

~/Library/Application Support/LibreOffice/4

On a Linux Machine:


The 4 in indicates the version of LibreOffice and will change depending on the version of LibreOffice you are running. Delete that .lock file and run LibreOffice again, you will see no more scary errors.


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