If you've used the Opera web browser for any length of time, you may have already run across the following scenario: shortly or long after having closed the browser, you try to launch it back up. Instead of the normal startup process, you receive the following error message: "Another instance of Opera is still in the process of shutting down. Please wait until it finishes, or terminate it using the task manager - Press retry to restart Opera, or cancel to quit" (note that the actual error message may slightly differ on Mac).
In this tutorial, we will explain how to remedy the problem on both Windows 7 / Vista / XP, and Mac OS X. we'll also cover the options you have when you successfully open Opera the next time around, through the "Welcome to Opera" dialog.
Update: download the latest version of Opera (11.60, at the time of this writing), and you'll see a much more useful dialog whenever Opera "hangs" in the background, which reads "Opera is still closing. Please wait - (etc.)". Once you're confident that you've waited long enough to let Opera save its settings, click on the "Force Start" button, and your operating system (Windows, Mac OS X, Linux) will kill the process and relaunch Opera.
When you are facing the error message pictured in the screenshot above, you have two choices: click on the "Retry" button to attempt to start the process over. In some cases, Opera may successfully re-launch, if the reason for the problem was that Opera was still exiting in the background since you last shut it down. In most cases, however, this is because Opera "hangs" as a background process (like Store Init Failed - whatever the reason). If clicking Retry once or twice doesn't fix your issue, click "Cancel" and read on:
Tip: If you are using Mac OS X on an Apple computer, click on the "Apple" menu and choose "Force Quit"; then, kill the Opera process that may be listed.
You have successfully forced the Opera web browser to shut down; let's now relaunch.
This is what you'll see after restarting Opera from a crash: (explanations below screenshot)
Warning: if you choose one of the last two options, you may not be able to access some of the web pages you had opened through Opera browsing history.
Finally, click on the "Start" button at the bottom. If you were lucky, you are back inside Opera, with all websites successfully restored!
Side info: there is no way to avoid this crash or unsuccessful shutdown problem: neither are typically caused by something you did. And in most cases, you'll be able to restore all your tabs without a problem!