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Support Portal



Tor Browser Manual


Community Team Wiki

Support Portal Git


Our synchronous medium of communication is IRC meetings that happen every other Wednesday at 1800 UTC in #tor-project on OFTC. If you've never been on IRC before, here are some instructions to get started. These instructions are for a Mozilla IRC server, so instead of you'll use OFTC. The OFTC server addresses are: (alternative ports: 6668-6670, 7000) or for SSL (alternative port: 9999) (SSL is recommended).

Once you get connected and create a nickname, you can join the channel #tor-project. More info on getting started on IRC. and here's some info on IRC conventions and etiquette.

Our asynchronous medium of communication is the mailing list. This list is public in the sense that anyone can subscribe, send emails and read archives. Feel free to subscribe and just listen if you want, and feel free to post if you you want to say something that you think is on topic.


Tor Browser

Will people be able to tell which websites I visit?

Tor Browser protects your browsing activity and history from being seen by anyone who might be monitoring your network traffic.

Why is Tor Browser built from Firefox and not some other browser?

The Tor Browser is a modified version of Firefox specifically designed for use with Tor. A lot of work has been put into making the Tor Browser, including the use of extra patches to enhance privacy and security. Unfortunately, no other browser today is suitable for the modifications required for these privacy properties. While it is technically possible to use Tor with other browsers, you may open yourself up to potential attacks, information leakage, and so on, so we really don't recommend it.

My favorite website is blocking access over Tor!

Sorry to hear that you can't visit the website you wanted! Sometimes websites will block Tor users because they can't tell the difference between the average Tor user and some malicious or automated traffic. The best success we've had in getting sites to unblock Tor users is getting users to contact the site administrators directly. Something like this might do the trick:

"Hi! I tried to access your site while using Tor Browser and discovered that you don't allow Tor users to access your site. I urge you to reconsider this decision; Tor is used by people all over the world to protect their privacy and fight censorship. By blocking Tor users, you are likely blocking people in repressive countries who want to use a free internet, journalists and researchers who want to protect themselves from discovery, whistleblowers, activists, and ordinary people who want to opt out of invasive third party tracking. Please take a strong stance in favor of digital privacy and internet freedom, and allow Tor users access to"

Our website is blocked. Can Tor Browser help users access our website?

Tor Browser can certainly help people access your website in places where it is blocked. Most of the time, simply downloading Tor Browser from and then using it to navigate to the blocked site will allow access. In places where there is heavy censorship we have a number of censorship circumvention options available, including pluggable transports:

Can I use Tor with some other web browser?

We strongly recommend against using Tor in any browser other than Tor Browser. Using Tor in another browser can leave you pretty vulnerable; you don't get nearly the same privacy protections that you get when using Tor Browser.

My antivirus/malware protection is blocking me from accessing Tor Browser.

Please open your antivirus or malware protection software and exclude the following processes:

For Windows:

  1. firefox.exe
  2. tor.exe
  3. obfsproxy.exe (if you use bridges)

For OS X

  1. TorBrowser
  2. tor.real
  3. obfsproxy (if you use bridges)

Then restart Tor Browser

I downloaded and installed Tor Browser, but now I can't find it

The file you download and run prompts you for a destination. If you don't remember what this destination was, it's most likely your Downloads or Desktop folder (we do not create any shortcuts, since Tor Browser is designed to be portable, meaning you can move it around freely and for example run it from a USB stick on other computers). If you can't find it in either of those folders, download it again and look for the prompt that asks you to choose a directory to download it in. Choose a directory location that you'll remember easily, and once the download finishes you should see a Tor Browser folder there.

Can I use Flash player in Tor Browser?

You might have noticed that Flash is disabled in Tor Browser. It is STRONGLY not recommended that you not enable Flash. In fact, Flash isn't safe to use in any browser -- it's a very insecure piece of software that can easily compromise your privacy or serve you malware. Fortunately, most websites, devices, and other browsers are moving away from the use of Flash.

Does using Tor Browser protect other applications on my computer?

Only the Tor Browser's traffic will be routed over the Tor network. Any other applications on your system (including other browsers) will not have their connections routed over the Tor network.

If you need to be sure that all traffic will go through the Tor network, you might want to look at the Tails live system:

Tor Messenger

What is Tor Messenger?

Tor Messenger is a cross-platform chat program that aims to be secure by default and sends all of its traffic over Tor. It supports a wide variety of transport networks, including XMPP, IRC, Twitter, and others; enables Off-the-Record (OTR) Messaging automatically; has an easy-to-use graphical user interface; and a secure automatic updater.

See the introductory blog post( for more information.

Does the Tor Project make any software for sending messages?

Tor Messenger is a cross-platform chat program that aims to be secure by default and sends all of its traffic over Tor. It supports a wide variety of transport networks, including XMPP, IRC, Twitter, and others; enables Off-the-Record (OTR) Messaging automatically; has an easy-to-use graphical user interface; and a secure automatic updater.

See the introductory blog post( for more information.

What platforms is Tor Messenger available on?

Tor Messenger is currently available on Linux, Windows and OSX.

Where can I download Tor Messenger?

While the Tor Messenger remains in beta, the latest downloads can be found on our wiki at

What is OTR?

Off-the-Record (OTR) Messaging allows you to have private conversations over popular instant messaging protocols by providing Encryption, Authentication, Deniability and Forward Secrecy. For more details, please see


Can I run Tor on an Android device?

Tor on Android is provided by The Guardian Project. More information can be found at and

Who is the Guardian Project?

The Guardian Project maintains Tor (and other privacy applications) on Android. More info can be found here:

Can I run Tor on an iOS device?

There is currently no official version of Tor Browser for iOS. There is, however, an app called Onion Browser, which is open source, uses Tor routing, and is developed by someone who works closely with the Tor Project. You can download it from the iOS App Store: Please beware of fake Tor apps in the iOS store!

How do I run Tor on Windows Phone?

Sorry, there is currently no supported method for running Tor on Windows Phone.


Connection issues




How do I run a middle/guard relay on Debian?

  1. If you're on Debian, start with "apt-get install tor" (as root).
  2. Make sure your clock, date, and timezone are set correctly. Intall the ntp or openntpd (or similar) package to keep it that way.
  3. Edit /etc/tor/torrc to look like the following:
    ## The IP address or hostname for incoming connections (leave commented and Tor will guess)
    ## Set the nickname of this relay
    Nickname ididnteditheconfig
    ## Set your own contact info
    ContactInfo 0xFFFFFFFF Random Person <nobody AT example dot com>
    ## If you control multiple relays, include then in the family
    #MyFamily $keyid,$keyid,...
    ORPort 9001
    DirPort 9030
    ## Set your bandwidth rate (leave commented and Tor will run without bandwidth caps)
    #RelayBandwidthRate 30 MBytes
    #RelayBandwidthBurst 100 MBytes
    ExitPolicy reject *:*
  4. Run "service tor reload" (as root)
  5. Once your relay connects to the network, it will try to determine whether the ports you configured are reachable from the outside. This step is usually fast, but it may take a few minutes. Look for a log entry in your /var/log/tor/log like Self-testing indicates your ORPort is reachable from the outside. Excellent. If you don't see this message, it means that your relay is not reachable from the outside you should re-check your firewalls, check that it's testing the IP and port you think it should be testing, etc.

When it decides that it's reachable, it will upload a "server descriptor" to the directory authorities, to let clients know what address, ports, keys, etc your relay is using. After a few hours (to give it enough time to propagate), you can query Atlas to see whether your relay has successfully registered in the network.

What is the difference between a single and standard onion service?

Over the past several years, we've collaborated with many large scale service providers such as Facebook and Riseup, organizations that deployed Onion Services to improve their performance.

Onion services are great because they offer both anonymity on the service and the client side. However, there are cases where the onion service does not require anonymity. The main example of this is when the service provider does not need to hide the location of its servers.

As a reminder, an onion service connection between a client and a service goes through 6 hops, while a regular connection with Tor is 3 hops. Onion services are much slower than regular Tor connections because of this. With single onion services, a service can now specify in its configuration file that it does not need anonymity, thus cutting the 3 hops between the service and its Rendezvous Point and speeding up the connection.


For security reasons, if this option is enabled, only single onion service can be configured. They can't coexist with a regular onion service. Because this removes the anonymity aspect of the service, we took extra precautions so that it's very difficult to enable a single onion by mistake.

In your torrc file, here is how you do it:

HiddenServiceNonAnonymousMode 1 HiddenServiceSingleHopMode 1

Please read about these options before you enable them in the manual page



Can I use Tor with bittorrent?

Using Tor with bittorrent is not recommended or supported. For further details, please see our blog post on the subject at

Why did you infect my computer with malware? (CryptoLocker)

You have been infected with malware. The Tor Project did not create this malware.

The Tor Project writes software that is used every day for a wide variety of purposes by the military, journalists, law enforcement officers, activists, and many others. Unfortunately, the protection that our software can provide to these groups of people can also be abused by criminals and malware authors.

The Tor Project does not endorse, support or condone the use of our software in this way. However, we are not able to assist directly with these cases as we did not write the malware that you have been infected with.

Does Tor keep logs?

Tor doesn't keep any longs that could identify a particular user. We do take some measurements of how the network functions, which you can check out here:

Does Tor Project offer xmpp/email/some other privacy-enhancing technologies?

No, we don't provide any online services. A list of all of our software projects can be found here:

Can I use the Tor logo in my product/movie/book/etc?

You can read all about that here:

I'm having a problem updating/using Vidalia

Vidalia is no longer maintained or supported. A large portion of the features Vidalia offered have now been integrated into the Tor Browser itself.

Why can't I use Vidalia anymore?

Vidalia is no longer maintained or supported. A large portion of the features Vidalia offered have now been integrated into the Tor Browser itself.

Does the Tor Project offer hosting?

No, the Tor Project does not offer hosting services.

Can I change the number of hops Tor uses?

Right now the path length is hard-coded at 3 plus the number of nodes in your path that are sensitive. That is, in normal cases it's 3, but for example if you're accessing an onion service or a ".exit" address it could be 4.

We don't want to encourage people to use paths longer than this as it increases load on the network without (as far as we can tell) providing any more security. Also, using paths longer than 3 could harm anonymity, first because it makes denial of security attacks easier, and second because it could act as an identifier if only a small number of users have the same path length as you.