"Firefox is already running but is not responding" error message - How to fix it | Troubleshooting

"Firefox is already running but is not responding" error message - How to fix it

All of your personal settings, bookmarks, and other information are kept in your Firefox profile. Firefox needs an unlocked profile to start up, and if the profile is locked, it displays the "Firefox is already running, but is not responding" message. This article explains what to do if you see this message and how to prevent it from showing at startup.

Note: If this is a recurring problem, see Firefox hangs when you quit it for possible causes and solutions.

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End Firefox processes

If Firefox did not shut down normally when you last used it, Firefox might still be running in the background, even though it is not visible.

If you try to open it while it's running, an error message will appear with the option to click Close Firefox. If that doesn't solve the problem, restart your computer or try the following options. Restart your computer to see if the problem goes away or try the following options.

Restart your computer to see if the problem goes away or try the following options.

Ubuntu Linux

  1. Click on System and choose Administration.
  2. In Administration, click on System Monitor. Here you will find firefox-bin one or more times.
  3. Highlight the listing and click End Process for each one.

Use the Windows Task Manager to close the existing Firefox process

  1. Right-click on an empty spot in the Windows task bar and select Task Manager (or press Ctrl+Shift+Esc).
  2. When the Windows Task Manager opens, select the Processes tab.

    Task Manager
  3. Select the entry for firefox.exe (press F on the keyboard to find it) and click End Process.
  4. Click Yes in the "Task Manager Warning" dialog that appears.
  5. Repeat the above steps to end any additional firefox.exe process, if more than one entry is found, then exit the Windows Task Manager.
  6. Start Firefox normally.

Remove the profile lock file

If restarting the computer or ending the Firefox processes didn't help, it may be that Firefox previously exited without deleting the lock file.

  1. Restart your computer. After it restarts, don't try to start Firefox.
  2. Go to your Firefox profile folder - see Finding your profile without opening Firefox.
  3. Delete the parent.lock.parentlock file.
    • If you attempt to delete the parent.lock file and receive the error, "Cannot delete parent: The file or directory is corrupted and unreadable", restart the computer and check your drive for errors (see How to perform disk error checking in Windows XPCheck a drive for errors).You need to use a free utility like Onyx or Maintain to turn on visibility for invisible files to show .parentlock. This file contains no information, and deleting it will unlock the profile.You will need to turn on the display of hidden files. In the File Browser window, select the View menu and make sure Show Hidden Files is checked.

Initialize the connection to a file share

If you store the profile on a file share, try accessing the file share beforehand using Windows Explorer.

Check access rights

Firefox must also have the right to create files in the profile folder. The error can occur if you try to use a profile from a file system mounted with read-only permission (e.g. a remote Windows share which doesn't have "Allow network users to change my files" checked).

To check if the profile folder has the proper permissions:

  1. Go to your Firefox profile folder - see Finding your profile without opening Firefox.
  2. Go up one folder.
  3. Right-click on your profile folder and select Properties.
  4. Click on the General tab.
  5. Make sure Read-only is not checked marked.

    readonlyprofile.png
  1. Go to your Firefox profile folder - see Finding your profile without opening Firefox.
  2. Go up one folder.
  3. Hold down the Ctrl key while you click on your profile folder, and select Get Info.
  4. Make sure Ownership & Permissions is set to Read & Write.
  1. Go to your Firefox profile folder - see Finding your profile without opening Firefox.
  2. Go up one folder.
  3. Right-click on your profile folder and select Properties.
  4. Click on the Permissions tab.
  5. Make sure Folder access is set to Create and delete files.

Restore data from a locked profile

If you are unable to unlock the profile using the above methods, use the Profile Manager to create a new profile and migrate your data from the locked profile to the new profile. For information on how to do this, see Recovering important data from an old profile.




Based on information from Profile in use (mozillaZine KB)


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