error message on attempting to run Libreoffice

I purged an old version of Libreoffice on my Mac that was acting up very badly - barely functioning. Installed a new version today, but when I try and open it, I receive a 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 ‘bethcarruthers’ closes LibreOffice on host ‘Beths-MacBook-Pro.local’.”
There is NO other instance of Libreoffice on this system. I am the only user. Can this be related to the old version that I purged? How can I do a complete purge of all things Libreoffice (except my documents of course), so I can do a clean install of the latest version?
I could use some advice from those with more knowledge of Libreoffice. Thanks!


most probably there is a .lock file in $HOME/Library/Application Support/LibreOffice/4 - Delete using the following procedure.

  • Stop LibreOffice
  • Open a Terminal
  • Execute cd $HOME/Library/Application\ Support/LibreOffice/4
  • Execute rm .lock
  • Execute exit
  • Start LibreOffice and check whether the issue is gone

Since the message mentions bethcarruthers, I need to assume that there is/once was a user named bethcarruthers on your system or you copied over some parts of your user profile from that user (may be from another system).

If you want to purge everything (including your LibreOffice user profile), then don’t forget to delete $HOME/Library/Application Support/LibreOffice/4 in addition to the program itself ( directory from /Applications).

Hope that helps.

Hi again, just to say that there is one user and admin on this system and it is I, bethcarruthers. Also, again - terminal finds nothing in the Library for libreoffice. So I remain flummoxed.

terminal finds nothing in the Library for libreoffice

What does this mean? Did you execute the commands as given in the answer or did you not execute (Terminal is not a search programm).

If you don’t like the “Terminal”-based solution, do the following:

  • Ignore the message and start LibreOffice
  • Start in Safe Mode using Help -> Restart in Safe Mode and confirm the restart using button: Restart
  • Archive your profile expanding Advanced (click on the word Advanced right above Help button) and click Archive User Profile button
  • Select option Reset to factory settings
  • Activate [x] Reset entire user profile
  • Click button Apply Changes and Restart

I’m fine with using terminal. My response means that yes, I used terminal and executed “cd $HOME/Library/Application Support/LibreOffice/4” as you suggested. The response was that no instances of “libreoffice” were found. I have since trashed the new version of Libreoffice that would not open without that error message. Are you suggesting I reset my Macbook to factory settings? At this point I have a new SSD on the way, and when I swap drives I will take the time time to make a clean install of the OS and software. Thanks again for your help.

“cd $HOME/Library/Application Support/LibreOffice/4”

This is not the command given in my answer - my command was:

cd $HOME/Library/Application\ Support/LibreOffice/4

which is masking the Space character using backslash \

> Are you suggesting I reset my Macbook to factory settings?

Not at all - This is about resetting your LibreOffice User Profile (which is located in $HOME/Library/Application\ Support/LibreOffice/4 to factory settings.