Running Tor on Mac

Install Homebrew

  1. If you do not have Homebrew installed, follow the installation instructions here. TLDR: Open the Terminal and paste the following line:

    /bin/bash -c "$(curl -fsSL"
  2. You will be prompted for your system password before installation; proceed with entering your password. You may be asked more than once.

  3. You will be notified which directories Homebrew is going to create, hit RETURN:

    Homebrew installation

    Homebrew creates the directories and downloads any other files it needs e.g. “Command Line Tool for Xcode” and “Homebrew”.

    Wait a few minutes while it downloads and installs what it needs.

    Once installation is complete, close the Terminal.


Surprisingly, Homebrew uses Google Analytics to collect anonymous usage data. You can deselect the option to share usage data by opting out.

Install Tor


If you have the Tor Browser open, close it and quit the application.


If you are on a very old version of macOS, such as High Sierra (10.13) or below, first execute this command in a Terminal window:

echo 'export PATH="/usr/local/bin:$PATH"' >> ~/.bash_profile

Then close the Terminal.

  1. Open a new Terminal and install Tor using the following command:

    brew install tor
  2. Then run Tor with:

    brew services start tor

This will start Tor and ensure that it is always running, even after a restart. See the Tor Project docs for more details.

Enable Tor System-wide

  1. Enable proxy autoconfig file (This will download the Start9 standard proxy config file. You can use your own if you prefer):

    sudo curl --output /Library/WebServer/Documents/proxy.pac
  2. Now enable apache service:

    sudo launchctl enable system/org.apache.httpd
    sudo launchctl kickstart system/org.apache.httpd
  3. Go to System Settings:

    System Preferences
  4. Click on Network and then select the interface on which you wish to enable Tor system-wide (both Ethernet and WiFi advised - do one then the other):

    Select Network
  5. Click Details:

    Click Advanced
  6. Click “Proxies,” then select “Automatic Proxy Configuration,” add this URL: http://localhost/proxy.pac, then click “OK”:

    Select Proxys

Done! You have now enabled system-wide Tor potential.

We advise going back to step 4 and repeating this for Wifi/Ethernet depending on which interface you haven’t done yet.

If you ever need to view the status of the tor service, enter the following into a Terminal:

cat /usr/local/var/log/tor.log || sudo cat /opt/homebrew/var/log/tor.log

If using Firefox

Firefox can be configured to use Tor on your Mac to resolve .onion URLs. Complete this guide: Configuring Firefox for Tor