After upgrading, and throwing away all old Tor or Firefox/Mozilla files I can possibly find (including using the terminal command to show hidden files) every time I attempt to run the Tor Browser Bundle v3.6 it says a copy of firefox is already running. As I said, I have thrown away all of the associated files I can find. When running ps -ax | grep firefox it comes up with no open processes. If anyone knows the name of the process that's hanging me up, I could kill it right here. I just can't risk mucking about in the 30-odd processes I see without knowing what I´m doing. Please Help! p.s I have an extra machine for the moment, I can't run either on normal internet, because of my situation, I can only access the internet through Tor. In a foreign country, English first language.

Diatribe: You may have noticed that most of us mac users suffer from multiple problems when asking for advice.

  1. I'm not on windows, don't answer if you don't have Mac knowledge or don't know for sure that what you're saying works on a mac.
  2. I'm just learning about all of this, so please don't tell me: "just do a ps -ax" without telling me how. Computer help forums are so chock-full of people trying so show their superiority by implying that others should have some arbitrary level of pre-knowledge. It doesn't make you look smarter, it just tells me how rarely you get laid. I would never do that to someone I was teaching how to survive in big waves or to scuba dive.
  • If there are no Firefox processes running, your Firefox profile has probably gotten locked. I recommend that you get Mac-specific support for undoing that. I found some suggestions, but they seem too extreme to repeat here.
    – mirimir
    Jun 28, 2014 at 7:52

3 Answers 3


This looks like a duplicate of Tor Browser Bundle Showing Error "Firefox is Already Running" on Mac. I just posted my answer there, which is that there seemed to be permission/ownership problem on the Tor installed app (because of the way it happened to get installed on my system).

(In short, if you haven't actually started Firefox elsewhere, the problem probably is not that Firefox is already running.)

  • The answer that John G points to here is the best that I've seen. And he's apparently a Mac user ;)
    – mirimir
    Aug 25, 2014 at 4:02

Sadly, I have done a lot of internet research but I have never found an answer that works for me on a Mac. My best guess is that when I start Tor browser, it somehow 'launches' firefox again and causes this issue (?)

I used Tor on my Windows laptop but now have switched to Mac. Sadly, it looks like I can no longer use Tor due to my limited tech knowledge.

I am an advanced novice. I also don't have some necessary 'working knowledge' of Mac which some posters assume. However, Sean - insulting people will not get them to help you. I'm also frustrated but, it's not the fault of posters if they don't know the answer to your problem.

  • If they don't know the answer, they shouldn't be posting speculation.
    – WGroleau
    Jun 3, 2016 at 22:15

This also is happening to me inside my Parallels virtual machine (Windows 7) running on my Macbook Pro. I haven't experienced it in the OS X side of the house; when I launch Tor or Firefox the correct application launches on the Macintosh. It seems to have started when I updated the Tor browser in the Parallels Virtual machine and pinned the Tor icon to the Windows 7 task bar. Around the same time, I also added extensions to my "Firefoxes". This is as close as I can get to isolating the problem. This doesn't solve any problems but this issue reaches across the Parallels/OSX boundary. I have looked at the processes on Process Explorer from the Sysinternals suite and don't see anything out of place there running there. Look at your Macintosh "Activity Monitor" to see what is running. You don't have to use the terminal to do this. You can kill processes from the Activity monitor. Also if a file is locked, usually it won't respond to any commands until you unlock the file which usually means closing it from the application that you opened from. If you know what file it might be, click on it to try and open it or launch it. If it is locked, it will let you know. If you recently updated your Tor browser, see if you still have the previous install program in the download area and try using that. I am working on the basis that my issue on the virtual machine in Parallels is some how associated with the Tor update or adding extensions to Firefox. Also I would like to add, having had my browser high-jacked four or five years ago, I have good protection and am a little more savvy now; and I don't think anything has taken control.

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