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Sunday, March 2, 2008

"Thunderbird is already running, but not responding.

"Thunderbird is already running, but not responding. To open a new window you must close the existing thunderbird process, or restart your system"

This is a stupid message i know. I searched through Google and Mozilla forums and didn't really find any straight forward answers so I am hoping to give you that here.
Most people will suggest that Thunderbird wasn't closed properly and has left a lock file behind that causes this error but i never found any "lock" file (sometimes called "parent.lock" and has restarted my computer improperly with Thunderbird on many times but never the less here we go!

This scenario solution is based on people who have their profile folder for Thunderbird moved to a non-default location (to back up there mail or avoid defrag or whatever) or has moved the folders of the default folder. If not try this solution anyway.

  1. Open C:\Documents and Settings\USERNAME\Application Data\Thunderbird\profiles.ini
  2. Change the value after "Path=" to "Path= C:\CURRENT FOLDER LOCATION" (no")
  3. Save file
  4. Open Thunderbird or restart and then open Thunderbird.
So as you can see the solution really works for correcting the location of your profile location. You may have to do this for other users on your computer if you moved their profile location as well.

Hope I have made someone's troubles go away ;D




  1. Thanks! You fixed my troubles!

  2. Brilliant! Very clear instructions, and it actually worked.

    Thanks again.

  3. I was having this problem, so I searched Google and found your blog post. It works perfectly; much better than the help on Mozilla's site. Thanks a lot.

  4. Thanks a lot mr Soft.

  5. Thanks! I didn't use your method but you got me to where the issue was. I just changed the path= to my profile name since I was trying to load an old email backup and it worked! Thanks!

  6. Absolutey spot on! Many thanks for clear instructions.

  7. Excellent help. Thanks! We had a corrupted mail file, so I dragged a copy of the file from my computer to my wife's where the problem lay. Thunderbird didn't recognize the new file copied from my computer because of its different "gobbldygook" file name a5oqrt40.default - something like that.

    Followed your advice, edited the profile.ini, changed the old gobbledygook name to the new one, and problem sorted. THANK YOU!

  8. I read in another forum to open under Start the "run" and type "thunderbird -p" in order to manage the profiles.

  9. Really thanks for your post...

  10. hi guys .. im using thunderbird 3 .. lately when i receive an incoming mail (appearing at lower right) my thunderbird suddenly stops responding (not respoding msg).. tried uninstall and reinstall same thing .. using home vista premium 32 bit .. ang i can't find this in vista "thunderbird\ profiles.ini" .. or is it hidden? .. pls help me my work is at stake T_T thnx

  11. Yes it could be hidden.

    In Windows 7 the profile is stored elsewhere as it does not use the Documents and Settings folder no more.


  12. Thank You! This was the solution that I needed!

  13. I have read several serious forums talking about this problem, but the only answer I have found there was to reinstall Thunderbird...

    Thank you, you saved me with this !

  14. you rock. nuff said.

  15. Thanks for taking the time to post this! I have no idea how long it would have taken me to figure it out.

  16. I don't understand all the quote marks. If my profile is located in C:\Thunderbird Profile, should the line look like this?


  17. Let's try that again. I don't understand all the quote marks. If my profile is located in C:\Thunderbird Profile, should the line look like this?

    Path= C:\Thunderbird Profile (no)

  18. Path= C:\Thunderbird Profile

    (no") just means do NOT write the ". Many people get confused if the " content " means add the " but the "s are actually used as a way for me to tell you exactly where the text to type starts and ends. First " is begin and second " is end.

    Hope that helps!

    Patrick G L

  19. I'm using Tbird 3.1 on Win7. Got that message after crash from power outage. I was able to get it (eventually) restarted using "Thunderbird (Safe Mode)". It loaded up properly, exited from there and was able to restart regular Tbrid

  20. This did not work for me.(win 7 64)
    Now when I open up Thunderbird my account and emails are all gone and it asks for details for a new account. doh.

  21. This happened to me when I set up a new install of thunderbird on a new computer and copied my xxxxx.default file in the profiles. I just had to change the xxxxx.default file shown in the Path of the new ini file to the name of the file I had copied over. Thank you to the person who started this thread.

  22. Great! It solved my troubles. Thanks from Brazil.

  23. I tryed to follow the instructions but it did not allow to alter the path, asking for the saving of a new file with other name.
    I searched the folder gqk7p45h.default on my settings and found all files (actuals and archives) that I can not access.
    Fear to miss up something, can you give me a suggestion?
    Mário, Lisbon