When I try to open LibreOffice, I get the following error:

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 'macowner' closes LibreOffice on host 'new-host.home'.

Do you really want to continue?

I don't know why this started. Also, there is only one account on this computer, I changed its name from "macowner" to its current name over a month ago. Edit: I found out my computer kept the same file directory structure when I changed the username of my account, so my account's directory is called /Users/macowner. This may be where LibreOffice gets the string for its error message.

I'm running LibreOffice 4.1 and OS X 10.7.5.

How do I remove this error?

2 Answers 2


According to the LibreOffice docs and this similar Ask Ubuntu Q&A, it stores a .lock file ~/Library/Application Support/libreoffice/4/user on OS X to indicate a session is active and running.

To clean it up:

  1. Make sure no instances of LibreOffice are currently running.
  2. Open the Terminal application
  3. Optional: Check to see if lock file exists, at the prompt type: ls -l ~/Library/Application\ Support/LibreOffice/?/user/.lock
    If you see "cannot access" this means the lock file is not present.
  4. At the prompt type: rm -f ~/Library/Application\ Support/LibreOffice/?/user/.lock
  5. Close the Terminal application
  6. Start LibreOffice
  • I tried this (the command is actually: rm -f "~/Library/Application Support/LibreOffice/4/user/.lock") but it did not work. Dec 8, 2013 at 21:52
  • To be more specific, the file was removed but the error continues to appear Dec 8, 2013 at 22:19
  • See my amended answer. Try deleting non-version 4 .lock files as well.
    – Ian C.
    Dec 9, 2013 at 0:22
  • I only had version 4 on my laptop. However, I simply ignored the message and opened LibreOffice anyway. For the record, this was triggered when I added charts to a LibreOffice Text Document (Word Equivalent). Dec 9, 2013 at 1:09
  • I edited the command to work. There were problems with the quoting and ? * usage.
    – dfc
    Jun 22, 2014 at 2:06

There are several lock files which may require deletion:

rm -rf ~/Library/Application\ Support/LibreOffice/*/user/.lock
rm -rf ~/Library/Application\ Support/LibreOffice/*/.lock

P.S.: This fix applies to OS X 10.9 and LibreOffice 4.2; Actual results may vary.


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