My file is Murphy.gnucash. There is a file called Murphy.gnucash.LCK in the same folder. When I open my file in gnucash, it gives me these options:

Open Read-Only

Create New File

Open Anyway


I need to get back in so I can continue updating my accounts. What do I do?

It doesn't matter if I use "Open" from the "File" menu, or if I double-click the .gnucash file in Windows to open it.

Ah, sorry I misunderstood, @chepner - I will try the "Open Anyway" option.

  • 4
    I've always just used Open Anyway. GNU Cash doesn't seem to clean up its lock files very well if the program exits unexpectedly.
    – chepner
    Commented Mar 15, 2019 at 19:24
  • 2
    I'd (close gnucash first!) rename Murphy.gnucash.LCK to Murphy.gnucash.LCK-hold and try again.
    – RonJohn
    Commented Mar 15, 2019 at 23:31

1 Answer 1


The purpose of the lock file is simply to make sure two separate GNU Cash processes aren't trying to read and write to the file at the same time. Usually, the problem is not that you have two processes, but that one process exited without removing the lock file. When you open GNU Cash again, it sees the lock and assumes something else is using your file.

If that's the case, it's safe to simply say "Open anyway". If you want to be absolutely sure no other GNU Cash is running, you can check your OS's version of a task manager, or even reboot your machine first.

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