Eclipse: Workspace Unavailable

Eclipse isn’t known for it’s helpful error messages at the best of times – and here’s one example… “Workspace in use or cannot be created, choose a different one.”

Unfortunately, Eclipse doesn’t offer any suggestions on how to fix this, so some manual searching was required. Here is what worked for me:

  1. Remove the workspace lock:
    • close Eclipse – and go to the .metadata folder in your workspace, e.g. C:\workspace\.metadata.
    • delete the .lock file in this folder.
    • in some cases you may be prevented from deleting the .lock file (see error message below). If this is the case, move to Step 2.
  2. End the Javaw process:
    • open Task Manager, and end the process javaw.exe.
    • return to the metadata folder, and delete the lock file.
    • restart Eclipse.

Eclipse should now open your workspace correctly.

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