Profile in use
From MozillaZine Knowledge Base
This article explains how to regain access to a locked or unavailable profile. This occurs if
The most common cause of this error is that your Mozilla application did not shut down properly. It might still be running in the background (even though it's not visible) or it might have closed abnormally, without deleting the lock file. To avoid conflicts, Mozilla applications such as Firefox, Thunderbird, and Mozilla Suite/SeaMonkey are designed to allow only one copy of the application to access a profile at the same time. This is done by checking for the existence of a lock file when it starts. If the lock file already exists, the application exits with an error message. Otherwise, it creates a lock file in the profile and deletes it at exit. Normally this is completely transparent to the user; however, in the case of an abnormal shutdown, the application might not delete the lock file, preventing you from using the profile. Other causes include the following:
Note: Entering an incorrect
Go through your task or process list and stop each instance of the Mozilla application, or restart your computer. (If you need to do this on a recurring basis, read this for possible causes and solutions.)
Remove the profile lock fileThe application may have shut down abnormally, leaving the lock in place. To fix this, open the profile folder and delete the file,
For Mac OS X: 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.
For Windows: 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 run the system error-checking tool (e.g., Chkdsk in Windows 2000/XP/Vista/7 or ScanDisk in Windows 98/ME). .
Check the profile folder name and location
If your Mozilla application cannot find the profile folder it will typically report that the profile is in use or, in Firefox, Thunderbird, and SeaMonkey 2, that the application "is already running, but is not responding" or that your "profile cannot be loaded. It may be missing or inaccessible". This can happen if you delete, rename or move the profile folder, if you run the application from removable media, or if the profile folder is stored on a network drive (bug 278860).
If possible, you should restore the profile folder to its original name and location, so that your Mozilla application can find it. Alternately, you can edit the "profiles.ini" file to show the changed location (see below) . Another solution is use the Profile Manager to create a new profile that points to the new folder location, by using the "Choose Folder" option during the profile creation process. See Moving your profile folder for more information.
Important: If you deleted your only profile folder, have no backup to restore and are now seeing the "already running" dialog box, delete or rename the profiles.ini file (or its parent Firefox, Thunderbird, or SeaMonkey folder) in the profile folder path. A new default profile will be created when you next start your Mozilla application.
Check the profiles.ini file
Firefox, Thunderbird, and SeaMonkey 2 look for the profile folder based on the information stored inside the profiles.ini file (see the linked article for details). You can use a text editor such as Notepad to open the "profiles.ini" file to see what information it contains. Here is an example:
[General] StartWithLastProfile=1 [Profile0] Name=default IsRelative=1 Path=Profiles/v6zui74n.default
IsRelative=1 indicates a relative path in the expected profile location, as above.
IsRelative=0 indicates a custom (absolute) profile location, for example, someone might use this to put their profile on a thumb drive or removable disk:
... IsRelative=0 Path=D:\firefoxProf
If you can't spot an error in that file try running the Mozilla application with a specific profile using command line arguments. This bypasses the profile manager and profiles.ini. If you succeed then you know that the problem is with profiles.ini, For example,
firefox.exe -profile "C:\Documents and Settings\<user>\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\xxx.default''
That example is for XP. <user> is the Windows log-in user account name and "xxx" is a random string.
If that fails check that the location of each profile is correct and edit its location in the profiles.ini file if necessary. If that fails you probably need to use the Profile Manager to create a new version of that file (see below) but there are a couple other solutions you should consider first.
Check access rights
This problem can also occur if you don't have the rights to edit the files in the profile (or create the lock file in the first place). Please note that this can happen if you try to use a profile from a filesystem mounted with read-only (e.g. a remote Windows share which doesn't have "allow network users to change my files" checked). This can be pretty tricky to diagnose because there is no lock file in the profile, yet the same message appears (profile in use). Incidentally, Linux users may have ~/.thunderbird and/or ~/.mozilla-thunderbird in their home directories if they have had more than one version of Thunderbird installed.
Check for other applications using the profile
SeaMonkey 1.x, Mozilla Suite, and Netscape 7 all use the same profile folder location and profile registry. If two or more of these programs are installed and you see a "profile in use" message, another of these programs may be using the profile. Try shutting down this program to unlock the profile. Additionally, you should create separate profiles for SeaMonkey 1.x, Mozilla Suite, and/or Netscape 7, as profile corruption can result if these programs share the same profile. (This problem does not occur with Firefox and Thunderbird, which do not share profiles with other applications in the same way that SeaMonkey 1.x, Mozilla Suite, and Netscape 7 do.)
Initialize the connection to a file share
If you are running Windows and store the profile on a file share try accessing the file share beforehand using Windows Explorer. Some users have reported this prevents the problem.
Create a replacement
Mozilla applications are extremely picky about the contents of the profiles.ini file, they will not ignore any errors in it, even if they're for other profiles. If you can't fix the problem by editing the location backup the profiles.ini file, delete the original, and then follow the instructions in Move your profile folder - Thunderbird or Moving_your_profile_folder to create a new known good profiles.ini file and have the profile manager update it with the location of your profile. If that works you can "move the profile" again to tell it about other profiles.
Restoring data from a locked profile
Related bug reports